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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Steel shackles and spider webs by Sue Irving 14th June 2015





Why are you so often holding back?” my colleague Bob asked me the other day and proceeded to tell me the story of an adult elephant. The elephant’s ankle is tied with a flimsy rope to a wooden post, yet it never attempts to break free - it still remembers the futility of trying to escape when it was a baby elephant.

 

When I am praying about my shackles, the phrase “Steel shackles and spider webs” pops into my mind. I vaguely remember this. It is the headline of a journal entry I wrote when I was processing some difficult memories. I find the entry. It was written in 2000!

 

“It’s time You found yourself another ambassador, Lord. I can’t do this. I thought I could when I was back in London. It didn’t seem like such a big deal to drag the last skeleton out of the family cupboard.

There has to be another way to exorcise the memories. What good will it do anyway if I speak up after all these years? Dad won’t remember or simply deny everything. He has a short memory for his sins and a long memory for mine...

***

“I am with you always.”

“But it doesn’t feel that way!”

“I am with you.”

“I feel outnumbered. It’ll be two against one.”

“I AM.”

“If You are the great I AM, then it’s us two against none – I wish it would feel that way…”

***

We are sitting around the dining table, with dad to my right and mum opposite me... I’ve come to my Jordan river.  I can either stay in the desert or cross over to find out whether there is a land flowing with milk and honey. All I can see are two giants.

What if I burst into tears when I am trying to speak? They will never respect me if I cannot pull myself together.

What if they call me a liar or lunatic? What if dad hits me? What if they throw me out of the house? What if dad gets so distraught that he has a heart attack? I could never forgive myself...

“There’s something we should have talked about when I was 19.” My first step into the surging waters.

...

“I am sorry. If I had known how much you were affected, I would have spoken up long ago.” 15 years I have been waiting for these words. It’s been a long wait, but that doesn’t matter now.

My fears that felt like steel shackles around my heart turn out to be nothing more than spider webs...”

 

I have not thought about this incident for many years and had forgotten the lessons, but here they are in black and white, teaching me all over again about the true nature of many of my fears and the need to face them.

 

It also reminds me that the value of writing goes far beyond getting published. Sometimes we are the key audience for our own writing, even many years down the line.

 

About the author:
Sue Irving is the co-ordinator for the Creative Communicators in Petersfield. She has wanted to publish a book since she was 16, and her dream finally came true last year.  How to conquer a mountain: Kilimanjaro lessons, co-authored with by husband John, is available as a paperback and e-book on Amazon.  Good things come to those who wait... sometimes a VERY long time (32 years!)

 



 


 

About the author:
Sue Irving is the co-ordinator for the Creative Communicators in Petersfield. She has wanted to publish a book since she was 16, and her dream finally came true last year.  How to conquer a mountain: Kilimanjaro lessons, co-authored with by husband John, is available as a paperback and e-book on Amazon.  Good things come to those who wait... sometimes a VERY long time (32 years!)

 

 
 


 
 


 

 



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