The facade and passing time

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
-T.S. Eliot
Ah, T.S. Eliot and “The Love Song of  J. Alfred Prufrock” is one of my favorites.  I remember the day we studied this poem in college and when the line “to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet” came into the discussion.  Isn’t that just the truth?  We all do it, but I find it particularly real in my case lately.  I get up, put on my makeup and prepare to meet those in the world who have no idea of my pain.  If they did, they’d only question why I had not yet healed or why I stayed.  I often feel like I’m screaming inside for anyone to notice or care.  I find it interesting that even my close friends have stopped asking how I am.  Do they think it will make it worse or bring it up when I had not thought of it?  We all know that is unlikely. 
Eliot goes on to discuss the “time to murder and create,” and in my heart I feel the intensity of those words, too.  It is funny how time and life experiences can change our perception and perspective.  When I first read this poem, I never could have imagined this kind of murder.  The kind of murder where the one closest to you guts you and leaves you bleeding out while continuing to feel they are entitled.  And time to create?  I certainly didn’t imagine sharing this kind of pain publicly by creating a blog.  It is a bit scary to think that people are reading this who don’t know me.  Yet, isn’t it interesting that you know me better than those in my everyday life. 
 There will be “time yet for a hundred indecisions / and for a hundred visions and revisions” as we sit and question and wonder if we should reconcile or leave.  We ponder and twist and try to make it all work in our heads.  I woke up this morning with new questions in my mind, and it infuriated me.  For me, the questions have slowed down, but it is the logical ones that remain–the things and details that I am starting to believe that only those who have cheated and twisted reality can make sense of.  It is maddening. And really, would any answer really help at this point? 
 Time.  It really is the four letter word.  We have it or we don’t.  We waste it or we stay in the moment.  We use it wisely or we have regrets.  Time.  Is.  Passing.  What are we choosing to do with it?
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1 Response to The facade and passing time

  1. Natalie says:

    In Retrouvaille, we talked about the masks we each wear, and to determine our mask, the questions seemed a lot like some personality tests I’ve taken. I laughed a bit when mine came out as “Calm, Cool, and Collected” because on the outside, that is usually what I am – I exist behind a mask that seems to say, “Yep! I got this.” It’s prompted me think a lot about how that meshes with Brene’s work on vulnerability, because if there’s anything I don’t “got”, it’s been *this*.

    Of course, there are masks that maybe are more of a description of one’s personality, and then there are masks that some people wear to hide the bad stuff – like the masks our husbands wore while they were actively betraying us. Are they the same masks that they used to hide from their internal issues while they self-medicated with fantasy and extramarital sex? How do you hide from yourself, anyway?

    I don’t know if their answers will ever help us, but if we’re being honest, those answers are most important to the people who did this, first and foremost, to themselves. I mean, of course I want it to make sense in my head – maybe then it would bring some mental peace to the overdrive my brain has been in since DDay. When my husband says he looks in the mirror and sees someone who destroyed his wife, I think how much easier it would have been if he’d faced his demons BEFORE he allowed them to obliterate everything.


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