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The dilemma of the anxious

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:34pm

"...start thinking in gray"



My husband is fond of a quote about the futility of publishing poems: "like making love to a sleeping woman."



I won't make you read any, but I do write poetry.



It comes out of a delight with language. I'm often stopped entirely by a phrase, as I did with the phrase above. It epitomizes the dilemma of the anxious. Rigidity of thought, an inability to "set shift," is a strong characteristic of those predisposed to eating disorders - and their families.



An anxious mind seeks rituals and clear rules. Ambiguity and nuance are a tough sell for a mind tortured by repetitive and exhausting thoughts of calamity and wrongness .



I appreciate that phrase because as a daughter of two races I chafed at the terms people wanted to call me - "mixed" "mulatto"... or worse. As a teenager I chose another word: grey.



And of course, moving toward age 50, the color gray sparkles back at me in the mirror more every day.



I love the phrase above for its poetry, and poetry only touches us when it communicates something true.



Thinking in gray strikes me as a most profound sign of healing. A marker of wisdom. A delicious secondary benefit of recovery, and of witnessing the recovery of a loved one.



(It bothers you, doesn't it, that I used both grEy and grAy in this post. So there. They're both right, depending on where you're from. case in point.)

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