Knobbly, knarly seal rock …

Knobbly, gnarly seal rock
I can see you in the distance
Stoic, still ever present
Watching, waiting, there.

From here I can’t see
The hundreds of muscle-
Shells attached to thee
Waiting, watching, there
Closed for now,
Sleeping, dormant,
Waiting for the sea
To bring crustaceans
And 
A veritable delicious
Medley
Of sea fry for your dinner
When the tide comes in.

Knobbly, gnarly seal rock
You have been a symbol
Used by me many’s a time
In therapy sessions
And meditation.
My beautiful, wondrous
Place in nature
I almost always see
When taken down a path
In guided meditation
Or indeed with hypnotherapy man

It was from you I launched
A suitcase
Full of memories good and bad
Beliefs and value systems
No longer serving
Me, as I grew and changed
And accepted things about my past
That were holding me 
In unhelpful patterns
Of behaviour over and over.

The day the suitcase went
I cried and cried.
A lovely leather case
Worn and battered by many travels
Like Paddington’s
With pop up fasteners
And a lock and key.

Out in a boat I carried the case
Letting it float away from me
In a state of hypnosis 
I watched it go
Getting smaller and smaller
As the distance grew 
Between the case and me.

It was perhaps
The very first
Letting go
I did
At least subconsciously.
The first of many
In my sessions
With hypnotherapy man

I hated him
A lot of the time
He never made it easy
Pushing, prodding
Forcing me
To explore
Areas of my psyche
That were just plain uneasy.

I may have cried
And been annoyed
And failed to see the lesson
At the time
But later, with time for reflection
I understood
He was right to challenge me.

The change sometimes was subtle
And difficult to see
But gradually
A different world
Opened up to me.

I was an eager student
A sponge, soaking up
All the new knowledge
That came my way
Wanting understanding
And clarity
To know how things work
The therapy
To uncover all I was told
Not settling 
Until I knew 
What was going on.

True therapy
Is really hard
It digs and scratches, pokes and prods
Makes you look
At things maybe 
You really would prefer
To keep hidden.

It tests you
It tests all those around you
It can be very uncomfortable
Unsettling, disturbing
Until you see
A new way
Which may have
Profound, welcome
And unwelcome repercussions.

This you should be
Aware of from the start
For me though
My urge to know
Over-rode any
Reservations 
I may have had 
And I stuck at it.

It did affect 
My relationships
With my mum
Which is
My only regret.

Patterns in a family
Can be sinister
And unhelpful
Every family has them
They’re ‘fine’ if left alone
I didn’t though
And 
I saw my mum through different eyes
I tried to talk it through with her
But she refused to see
How important it was 
To me
It was too difficult 
For her
She put up a wall
Smiled and carried on
Nothing changed
Other than
An uncomfortableness
Not there before
But once known
The knowing cannot be
Undone.
So it was for me.

Since she died
She’s come to me
And said that she is sorry
Our relationship
Was not
What it could have been
She mentioned her own mother
My dear, darling grandma.
But maybe I was unaware
Of the real relationship there.

I’m a grandma now
And I can see
It is a very different love
And relationship I have
With my little girls
To that I had
With my son
So I have let go
Of all the frustrations
I felt about my Mum
And know in my heart
She loved me very much
As I loved her
And what learnings
I needed this time round
She has 
In her own way
Passed on to me.

So, knobbly, gnarly seal rock
I love you and I thank you
For being such a very
Important part 
Of my story
Long may you be
On Watergate
Watching, waiting, there.

© Gill Tembo August 2019

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