56: Things I Carry – Tending My Secret Garden

There was a bountiful garden planted in this moment.

I love everything about this photo taken nearly eleven years ago so I’ve kept it. I hate everything about this photo so I’ve hidden it.

Let’s talk about it.

My Secret Garden

Everyone should cultivate a secret garden.

Esther Perel, Mating in Captivity

I love the moment of the experience.

I can see the moment in my minds eye: the experience, romance, passion, submission and love shared between one soul to another loving, beautiful soul. I know precisely when and where this picture was taken.

I know why it was taken.

The bohemian, romantic, hedonistic idealist poet in me loves everything about this photo and the symbolism.

Shame’s Weeds

Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets

Paul Tournier

I hate the moment of the experience.

I can see the moment in my minds eye: the betrayal, lies, shame, remorse, pain and damage done by one soul to other beautiful, loving souls. I know precisely when and where I should have been when this was taken.

The principled, pragmatic, honest loving person in me hates everything about this photo and the symbolism.

Tending One’s Garden

There is a concatenation of events in this best of all possible worlds: for if you had not been kicked out of a magnificent castle for love of Miss Cunegonde: if you had not been put into the Inquisition: if you had not walked over America: if you had not stabbed the Baron: if you had not lost all your sheep from the fine country of El Dorado: you would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts.”

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”

Voltaire, Candide

I won’t hide these moments again. I won’t hide my truth. I will share those things with the people that are willing to recognize its value to growth. I can only own what is true, not what others imagine is true.

If I invite someone into my secret garden it is because I want to share something with them. If they prove they cannot be trusted I will weed them out. The garden is mine to tend. I set the boundaries.

The story behind this moment is personal and private but if it is meaningful and true to my story. I hide my truth because Shame fears rejection, ridicule, abandonment, and judgement. If my choices are made from a place of truth than their may be fear but not shame.

A man cannot live one life fully split between two moments, two gardens. Inevitably they both will be overtaken with weeds. As I continue to tend my garden I recognize we reap what we sow. There are still weeds in my garden. There will always be weeds and they are my weeds.

I planted these. I will tend to them.


My Secret Garden

Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.

― A.A. Milne, Eeyore

I love C still and cannot go back.