Neglected Songs & Forgotten Stories

My mind is like a toddler. It’s hard to make it be still and quiet. It’s actually like several toddlers at a playdate – thoughts all assembled in various states of development, some playing together, others content being left alone, talking, singing, crying, giggling, whining, yelling and sometimes, just watching. Each, like all toddlers and most adults, wants her own way. Each requires attention, affection, guidance, love. They are full of potential, demanding that I feed and nurture them – all of them. Each is a story I would love to write, a business I would like to start, a service I want to provide in my community. They’re special plans for my loved ones, letters to send, projects to create, tasks to complete, organizations to join. Like toddlers, they want my attention when they want it – no later and no sooner.

Imagine having at least 10 or 20 toddlers all the time. Now imagine caring about all of them but knowing that for a few to be raised to maturity and experience their highest potential, the others must be abandoned, dwindling to mere memories. Most of the time I can focus on raising who must be raised while the others make noise in the background. I really do hate to leave them there by themselves in various stages of neglect. If I had the time and other resources I’d like nothing more than to raise them all, but I can’t. I’m just me. I have what I have and I can do what I can do, which means some must be left behind. Nonetheless, I keep them with me and we go about the tasks of the day. By evening we’re all worn out and we all sleep well – usually.

Sometimes they just won’t go to sleep or they keep waking up. They know that I have favorites, or at least some who simply demand my attention instead of patiently waiting for me. It’s never the ones I’ve been taking care of. They rest well, knowing that they usually get everything they need. It’s the neglected songs and the forgotten stories that refuse to let me sleep. The never started plans and unfunded ideas are restless, playing, laughing, and vying for my limited attention. They want to be held and cherished too, but I just don’t have the time. They dance and perform, scream and fight, anything for my attention in the middle of the night. Eventually they pout in quiet defeat and I finally drift off for a few hours of sleep.

If lucky, the ignored will linger in a state of constant childhood as I focus on the chosen few. The others fade completely from my memory, only reappearing as hazy glimpses in my dreams. Sometimes I recognize them, all grown up and thriving, cultivated and protected by someone else. Maybe once I accomplish a few more things, I’ll rescue some of my abandoned ideas, pick them up, and raise them into something beautiful.

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