Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guest Writer: Brittany Beltram

Emotional Geography

As a young adult I spent so much time skimming stones over the troubled waters of my adolescence, wanting to change, trying to run away from the familiar, trying desperately to create an existence that was far removed from the nest made by my parents. The comfort and safety brought by their twigs and grass was stifling to my newly molted exterior screaming for independence. Like a seed that is released into the wind and haphazardly takes flight; attempting to germinate anew with bigger blooms seeded by brave determination on a prized hill top location to bask in all the sun's glory.

At first, independence was a child of four, filled with fury, parked at the end of the driveway with a suitcase packed full of the essentials—Barbies and clean panties. I was anxious to escape the dysfunction that ruled a nest meant to foster and feed. Then as the feathers fell and I was a teenager, independence was running away with temporary friends while clutching to the tailgate of an old Ford pick-up truck following the fork in the road that led me back home—defeated and despondent. My first solo flight was in a lover's arms as he cradled me over his troubled and addictive behaviors trying to help me fly with stoic but toxic charm. I later learned to fly alone but with the broken wings of addiction which when I gained height and distance my transgressions would find me plummeting towards the ground to taste the asphalt of reality.

The geography of my freedom was filled with new ground that was visually unfamiliar and all consuming in its landscape of strangers and big city indulgences. I created my own towers to scale in flight that left me feeling a master of my own chaos.

Whether a city or forest dweller, over time my mapping skills changed and I epitomized all the destructive behaviors that my parent's nest, filled with hovering hands and a flora of ultimatums, wanted to prevent.

As time moved forward and the tree of my existence was rooted with love and eventually bore fruit, I too began the journey that my parents did before me by stitching the squares of my past together forming a cloak to shelter my own precious chicks from harm.

We are all plagued by the desire of wanting to be free—to roam, to fly and just to be.

So as my children grow and begin seeding their tomorrows with the experience of today I know their eyes will eventually turn skyward. Soon they will spread their blanketed wings that have been fabricated by me and with outstretched arms and the will of Superman they will set forth and fly.

© Brittany Beltram 2010

Brittany Beltram doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up... but hopes it involves telling stories.She blogs at


  1. There are many lovely phrases in this well-told tale of growing up, one of my absolute favourites is "stitching the squares of my past together".

  2. This is so very clever. I loved the way you weaved this together.

  3. "master of my own chaos". Great description. Good description and nicely used analogies.

  4. A very moving little piece that quietly sits and waits for its time to be read and taken to heart. Any writer worth her salt should leave bits of herself like this to future generations to be able to visit and get to know "grandma" all over again. You can't put a price on being able to hear an ancestor speak from the page, or screen as it were. And this voice is a charmer, to boot.

  5. MR. Michael i read this post or story (don't know what this is)but is really nice. I talks about something that many friends have to learn "Freedom". I really liked it.

    Atte. Felipe Aparicio


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