Trapped in a life with myself in a roiling sea of pain. When all around me is spinning out of control, I find I have very little reserves to shore me up. I am empty, with nothing to offer to anyone but ,most disturbingly, nothing to give to my child when she is in such obvious pain. A child who has lived with parents who have behaved so badly, who are so mired in their own misery that there is little room left for her. She’s an angry child and I don’t blame her. But I am down on the ground, below the ground, and the boot is on my heart grinding the heel in and telling me “Take it bitch, you deserve it. You’ve earned it. And there’s plenty more where that comes from. Eat some dirt … there, that’s a good girl. Now throw yourself down the hole. If you can get back up I’ll kick you down again, and again, and again.”
Pain is where I live. Sorrow the altar upon which I sacrifice myself nightly. You just have to go down there sometimes and be open to it as you drag yourself to the edge on bloody knees and look down as far as you can fathom. Looking up you might see a little speck of hope like a tiny planet billions of miles away in a dark sky. But for now you cling to the edge as the abyss keeps you mesmerized. How could it have ended up so badly? How did we come to this place of misery? Face it. Sometimes there’s just no escape.
And then you go outside and the dog is wagging his tail and his ears are flapping in the breeze and you walk. And you walk. Breathe in the cold air. Look at the dog. Breathe. See his simple glee. The boot is still there on my heart but the dog is determined to make me sing. I love that damn little dog. He’s saved me on more than one occasion. He’s onto something and it’s not just sniffing the random traces of other beings who have walked before him. The child walks beside me, forced from her tearful rant out into the air. Her mood lifts, the dog leads us on. And as the sun goes down, we round the corner together.
art by Simon Tsang via www.lukechueh.com/ sightings.html