stopping time at nautilus teachings


i don’t remember
the day
i stopped
being a
time keeper
nor the day
i threw away
all the keys
took all the doors off
and lived in
open spaces
ready for me
to paint…
i don’t remember
which day
i was first tackled
or hit…
this is mostly because
my life was lived
by the clock
the tick of a lock
after shutting a door
and the heated feeling
of being damaged
by someone i loved…
those were the days
when i did not exist
i knew not who i was
what i wanted
and had no voice
it was a time when
i wrote on everything
including my self and my clothes
when images were kept hidden
inside my head
when i followed all the rules
did everything i was told
and never minded having
a chain around my leg
being shoved down
called every despicable name
one can think of

i did not exist
i wore watches
i kept track of when he
would be home
i knew how much time
it took to make
the house just right
make dinner
bathe the kids
fix myself up
paint a smile upon my face
greet him
as he should be greeted
and play my role…
i did not get any awards
no big hugs
or even words of praise
but i knew when i was free
and i counted the hours
minutes-even seconds
until he would leave
no matter where i was
i had a watch
and in some ways
my watches saved me
sometimes i thought
i could actually feel the moments
ticking away
and as the hour neared
for him to return
my skin would hurt
and my heart
sped up
leaving me at times
one day
i woke up
i took off my watch
and put it in a box
with all my other watches
i put big locks on all the
outside doors
changed all passcode’s
phone numbers
and took off
every door inside
my house…
room by room
i painted away
the scent, memory and color
of his life
i boxed up
every single thing
he ever touched
or gave me
and the children
called the church
they came
loaded up my life
and i sat,
we sat
in rooms
nearly empty
but full of new colors
new dreams
and the knowing

i rebelled against
the time keeping
of anything
or any one,
i no longer
had to monitor
the words i spoke
i was free to think
anything i wanted
words filled up journals
images encompassed
canvas after canvas
time whirled around me
letting pieces of me
break away
until all that was left
was my
faith filled soul
i was now a limitless
winged woman
with no strings attached
and yes,
the world
was my oyster…
to this day
i hate watches
my husband
once gave me one-
he is a watch lover-
it was our anniversary
and we were going
away for the weekend
it was early
he was so excited
to give me this watch
i opened it
looked at him
and said,
“i love you
take this back
i hate watches…”
i will never keep
anything i don’t like
eat something i don’t want to
go places i don’t wish to be
nor will i ever
in my life
be told again
what to do
or say…
time will pass
but now
i live inside
the ebbing and flowing tide
of my life
knowing i am
always free to
hitch a ride into shore
or keep bobbing
up and down
buoyed by my faith
always knowing
i am enough…