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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Abandoning The Box

I wake to the quiet—a split of time held in smoky purity …but then a thought imposes--a heavy tsk-tsk that makes my head bow and my stomach curl. It’s a call to suffering, a shift towards fear…
”you’re too old to change."
"You’ve wasted your life."

Such were my thoughts while living in the box.
It was a tight and toxic environment,
where tainted truths were dished out in little doses.

And why did I ingest all the lies?
Because I was told to,
and I wanted to please them,
and it wasn’t their fault,
or mine,
or who knows whose,
because the road to every hood and home has been paved with lies since man's first thought.

I kept imagining what it was like outside of the box—maybe peek and catch a glimpse of something new, but the fear that there might be something better out there kept me from looking. After all, what would I do? Nearly everyone I loved lived in the box so I couldn't leave.

I stayed in the box in my twenties, when youth beckoned me “explore”.

I stayed in the box in my thirties, preaching with grave conviction on the apocalyptic consequences awaiting all who abandoned their boxes.

I stayed in the box in my forties, when the days turned stale and life became as unproductive as a dry heave.

Then I turned 50, and I said to myself, “Enough! My life is more than half over and all I’ve seen is the inside of this box.”

In that instant five decades worth of boxy convictions toppled, inspiring me to peek outside of the box.

Yes, I did.

And what did I see?

I saw myself smiling
right back at me.

So I lifted my skirt
and climbed on outside,
where the sun in its brightness
shone as my guide.

I saw paintings and theaters,
dancers and drunks,
buildings and alleyways
sprayed on by punks.

Some things were so frightening,
I wanted to run
straight back to the box
and hide from the sun,

but I knew in my heart
I had something to do,
so I thought till a thought
bubbled up from true-blue.

I could write a book.
I could
and I did.
I wrote one about
my life as a kid.

It took all my breath
to say stuff out loud,
to recycle myself
back into the crowd.

But now I’m connected
to me and to you
to all of the people
in search of true-blue.

And life is much bigger
for it’s being lived
by someone who’s free!

Listen to life.
It is wise.
It is generous.
It is speaking.


Stephen Hayes said...

Very interesting. I tend to live much of my life outside the box, creating my own opportunities and solutions to problems. my wife is far more comfortable inside the box. Rules make her comfortable.

Debra said...

I hope to hear more of your escape story, my friend. You are such an intriguing soul. And a free spirit. And I miss you.

Julia said...

Holy good God. This is Beauty at its best. Leah. You've left me wowed, awed, wordless. Oh my GOOD-ness. How I love you.

Martha Jane Orlando said...

Once again, dear Leah, I am overwhelmed by the beauty and simplicity of your words and the honesty of your heart. (The paintings are amazing, too!!!) You have wonderfully expressed the box-mentality that haunts and houses too many of us who wish to live life freely and fully. I'm glad I escaped mine . . .
Sending you lots of love and wishing you nothing but blessings!

Leah Griffith said...

Stephen, thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I love that you visit me.
I've discovered that most people are totally unaware of how boxy their lives really are. They often accept family and cultural norms as truth, taking on an established mind set and forfeiting authenticity. So, it is my humble opinion that we are all boxed up to one extent or another. It is fun breaking free;)

Leah Griffith said...

Debra Debra Debra, we are kindreds. Soul sisters set far apart. I miss you too. <3

Leah Griffith said...

Holy thank you, Julia. You have no idea how much you, and your words,mean to me. Big love to you!

Leah Griffith said...

Martha, your comments are like a double cone, dripping with sweetness and cool refreshment. Thank you for being you. <3

Gretchen said...

Leah, this is so absolutely beautiful.! Your years in the box did serve a purpose. They were your years of growing and stretching, until finally you realized that there was more. You had been encased in a safe cacoon of sorts. Finally the itching to explore and soar became too much to hold inside the box. What a brave journey you have taken. The result is the miraculous transformation and emergence of you. To see that there are 'dancers and drunks, buildings and alleways painted on by punks'..How exquisitley poetic! .Life is just teeming with excitement, passion, uniqueness, and vibrancy. There is a smorgasboard of delights waiting for us when we no longer have fear. You, Leah, are the dreamer, the wise crone, the painter, the writer, the lover of all things. How wonderful for everyone that you have stepped outside of the box. The world is a much more colorful, creative, and magical place because you have entered it fully. I can't wait for more of your creations!

j said...

Wow, Leah! LOVE the combination of art and words (no surprise t here, I guess). This is just beautiful! xoxo

Leah Griffith said...

Gretchen, I'm so glad that you're here with me. <3

Leah Griffith said...

J, thanks. <3

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Oh I so know this feeling, Leah! Thank you for showing people like me the way. You know how much I love your words and these paintings tell such a powerful story!

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you for your visit and your uplifting comment my sweet sister on the other side of the world. <3

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

I love this post, Leah. I love how the words changed from the heavy, "in the box" to the whimsical, almost Dr. Seuss-like description of "out if the box." The illustrations are perfect. Love, love, love!!!

Leah Griffith said...

Karen, you so get me. This post is very Dr. Seussy. As a matter of fact when I wrote it I had a line in there that said, "I'm gonna Dr. Suess this thing!" LOL! Thanks for your visit and insightful comment;)

Deborah Tisch said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Leah Griffith said...

Thanks for visiting with me, Deborah. Your words are appreciated. How's the photography coming? I've yet to find a class for beginners.

Marie Loerzel said...

Sweet Jesus Leah, I'm fucking crying my eyes out here. Your words, your paintings, your thoughts. YOU overwhelm me with emotion. I'm so proud to call you a friend! Love you woman!

Leah Griffith said...

Marie, now you've made me cry. I fucken love you, man. Big love!

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