Shattered and Scattered

I woke up Saturday morning with thoughts about two words and the difference between them.  In my dream I had been writing about them.

Shattered and scattered.

But as the sleep cleared from my brain, so did whatever sleep Tara was writing about them.

I hate it when that happens.

So I’ve spent the past couple of days thinking about those two words and what they look like in our lives.  And what could I possibly have been writing about them?

Things shattered.

Things scattered.

There have been those big moments in my life when dreams, hope, faith were shattered.  The end of a life with someone–losing them through a relationship changing (they never really end, do they?) or by a life being over.  Shattered usually means the end of something that was so much a part of me and who I am that it takes ages to pick myself back up and learn to walk and feel and breathe again.  Shattered means there will always be a crack where the sadness and darkness can seep back in at odd times.  Shattered means an altered life.  Losing something or someone and having no control over it.

But when I think about scattered, it’s different.  It’s really more about things in my control.  My mind is scattered these days.  I try to convince myself that I have grief-induced ADD but in fact, it’s been almost 19 months.  How long can I keep telling myself that?

Not sure.  I’ll keep you posted.

So, scattered.  My thoughts.  My papers.  If someone comes asking me for one more piece of paper (math, spelling words, shopping list, application, social security card *ahem*) I might just lose my cool.  The mind is already gone.  Other things scattered–Legos, memories, charging cords, clean clothes, dirty clothes, books, recycling, dishes, shoes, my thoughts (oh, wait)…..

Yes well.

Scattered is an indicator of where I’m at in the season.  I tend to be more scattered in the school year than in the summer, simply because I add on that other role–teacher–to who I need to be in a day.  Some days during the school year I’m doing good to remember I have two students and what grade each is in.  Other days we’re on it.  Like I hope tomorrow will be.  Already have everything prepped and ready to go. That’s a win right there.  Or at least a good place to start.

Scattered is more about the mind, isn’t it?  What I have in me to make the organization and activities happen.  The funny thing is it seems that the more scattered my life becomes, the less I’m able to tolerate it in things around me.  Weird. I know.  Double standard.  I know.  Just keeping it real and honest here, y’all.

Shattered, I think, is more about the heart.  In each instance that “shattered” sits by a dot on the timeline of my life, it has been my heart.  Aching, continuing to beat against its own will, lost.  Shattered leaves me drained and hollow and broken.  Shattered is slower to come back from. Way slower.

Scattered is fuss and bother, and “I need to get my act together.”  Shattered is there is nothing foreseeable beyond this moment, because I am not sure how to take another breath in this moment right here.

I’m not sure what Dream Tara was writing about these two words the other night.  But it has been interesting to think about them and realize that even though they are very different, they are related.

Each seems to feed the other.  I feel more scattered after each one of those life and heart-shattering events.  Oh I can hold it together for a day or two to get everything on a checklist done, but then after…..I’m done for.  See me, here? Now?  Seriously, eighteen months later.  I’m as scattered as I’ve ever been, only with a fit or two of trying to be organized thrown in there every couple of months or so for good measure.  I wonder how many shattered’s one can take before the scattered is just a given.  Before it becomes the norm.

“Oh look at her, she’s always so lost, I guess this last one finally did her in.”

Oh my, I hope not.

I’ve never been the most organized.  I feel like I should let y’all know this.  Mama would be the first to say so.  I think she even wrote about it in her journal.  You know you’re good *ahem* when it makes the journal, right?  I’ve always had to work to fight clutter and disorganization.  Mama had the organization gene or was really good at faking it.  My sisters have it, and I think my brother might have it too.

What happened there?  Not. Fair.

But in better days, my mind wasn’t nearly as scattered.  I could sit and read for hours without having those “squirrel” moments.  Now my life is constantly “squirrel” this and “squirrel” that.  It is rare for me to be able to sit and focus and read.  Or finish a grocery shopping trip without crossing back and forth through the store three times.

I miss my brain.  If y’all find it, there’s a reward.  Somewhere around here.   If I can find it.


So tonight I ramble.  Blame it on the headache? Sure.  Blame it on being tired?  Yep.  Why not?  But mostly I know it’s that tonight is one of those where the scatteredness takes over because today was one of those days that the shatteredness seeped back in–memories of those I love who are on the other side of the veil.  Whom I would love nothing better than to have a few minutes’ visit with–even if just on the phone.

Tonight I guess I’ll try to be thankful for being shattered.  In my Daddy’s yearbook from his senior year, each senior had a quote next to his or her picture.  My Daddy’s quote was from Alfred Lord Tennyson: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Yes.  I loved.  And I still do.  And I lost them.  All in different ways.  And because of that, I lost a bit of my well-being, my equilibrium, and I became scattered.

But if being shattered and scattered is because of the joy and love I shared with them, then yes, it is better.  Far better, and I will wear my heartache and scattered mind like badges of honor.  I loved and was loved.

And this is where I landed.

Awake.  In a dream that I never wanted to come true.

And still, I breathe. And live and love and laugh.

Love and deep breaths of peace to all.





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