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Scraps and Bounty

By Mary Gilbert

There is an energy between us. It’s dark and heavy. Square with sharp edges that shift in an effort to dissolve. The first and second chakras feel hollow and numb. Afraid of the light. A craving that can never be filled. Experienced as lovers, a dryness. An ebb and flow of resistance. The very surrender required to be nourished by love. There is an essence of grasping—take as much as you can, eyes closed, before it disappears. Feeding on the scraps. 

I imagine you as a young boy deprived of the very physical essence of your first love--your mother’s touch. Her sweetness as a dangerous, illusive instrument of torture, unavailable to your pure, loving, adorable spirit. Projecting her own malnourishment into the world as the wounded nurturer destroying the very source of her salvation. Who will save her? Feeding on the scraps. 

Did you know I have a recurring dream of my mother waving down at me from a royal tower clothed in queen’s garb. My father guards the entrance to that tower, dressed like a violin teacher, cheerfully redirecting my need. I try to push past but dismembered hands, attached to the doors of the towers slap me away like silly children on the playground. Feeding on the scraps. 

I feel your buried stories now surfacing for review. Your one true love, taken cruelly like a Greek tragedy raging white horse and all, dying in your arms. Who will hold you? Where can you bury your grief? Self-betrayal and relationship purgatory. Wounds aligning, competing for the light. Searching together in the same places for a feeling that never comes. Bearing the fruits that were meant to be. The source of your salvation. Feeding on the scraps.

When I dream of you, your essence is khaki. You stand apart from the story like an emaciated waif with an extended belly. Something in me that never felt alive. A half-hearted observer. I try to reach you. Your attention now the object of my searching but unlike my childhood dream, I don’t try to break past the barrier. I just observe, feeling alone, waiting, waiting, waiting, for love to come. Feeding on the scraps. I wait alone for you to come to me late at night. So tired. Longing for you. I can feel your edge anxiously surfing, eating leftovers, consuming, thinking, endless moving, always leaving. The Good Guy suffers in the grip of her endless rage, filling up on disappointment, loss, guilt, despair. Did you know that love is already here while we are feeding on the scraps?

Lovingly letting you go feeling a sickness in my stomach, grief and loss feel like emptiness in my first and second chakras. Nourished by my own awareness that there is no replacement for a real, sit down, vitamin-rich meal of presence, hearing, seeing, enjoying fully, a shared inner space. No need to feed on the scraps. In another universe I imagine us on a remote beach, lying on a soft white bed in the shade of a palm. Pelicans soar overhead, a gentle breeze massages our skin. A Genie appears with eyes like sea glass. Wings like Hermes. “I have a 17-course meal just for you,” he says. “Everything you could want is yours for the asking.” Without missing a beat, we smile at each other, and say graciously, “No thank you. We are already full.”


Mary Gilbert is a creative missionary in the world of business. She harnesses the power of consumer demand to drive rapid and radical transformation to re-humanize the workplace. She is currently working on a new organization that introduces non-traditional methods and strategies to improve company cultures, re-empower employees, and heal the collective trauma that characterizes so many workplaces.

Find more of her writing at:

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