“You hung up on me?” 
“Yes, I’d said all I had to say.”
This morning I snapped at Valecia, whose feelings I know to treat carefully, who deserved part but not all of my aggravated and door-slamming irritation.  I had not listened well enough and came to exactly the wrong conclusion, which was exactly the right conclusion to vent something I’ve been afraid to say straight-out. Because I’ve been afraid it’s been unsayable.
I offered my apology, which she has not yet accepted.
“How do you eat an elephant?” the old joke goes. “Slowly, in pieces.”

Afterward, as I was mulling over what had just happened–okay, what I had just done, because that is the way it felt to me–I flashed on something else.

When my therapist, Don, mentioned recently that he’s been taking pictures for 30 years, my immediate reaction was consternation, even shame. Though he’s been more than supportive of my talent and continues to praise my work when I bring it in, he actually sees very little of what I do. How could I be such a fool as to go on and on when he probably knows more about photography than I do? How can my five or six years measure up against that? And I was found wanting. Again.

I must have scraped bottom this morning because I got to a new place as I mulled over these feelings in my journal. There is nothing denied me that is necessary. Startled, I realized that the grain of sand that forms the pearl of great price and the one Blake used to espy heaven are one and the same–and that I have what I need. I can tell my truth to Valecia. I can quit trying so desperately to elicit from Don a life-saving love I could not get from my Daddy. The real question is only how thoroughly I occupy myself. There is nothing denied me that is necessary. I would have said, “That’s news to me.” Now I say that’s good news.

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