Sadness

When sadness is all you know

And in the morning you get up
And you try to find an inch of caring
And you paint on a smile
And you moisturize your frown
And you put on your armour
All black, all red, a stunning dress
Yoga pants and tunic
Anything, everything to hide behind

Do not see me–
Get distracted by my armour–please!

Do not see me–
As I fade into the background–please!

I can’t fade.
I am too much.
Too obvious.
Too present.
And then there are words faster than my brain tumbling out unsuspectedly.
So I hide.
Behind my armour of distraction.
Homemade–my silent prayers woven into the fabric.
Not even dragon claws could cut through.

So you carry the hills, the wood, the sea, within. Anchors in a wild wild world.

You might carry faith, belonging, love.
You might carry anger, pride, resentment.
Opposing mechanisms for the same purpose: To keep you save
In this wild wild world, from whom you need to hide your pain.

When the world drowns in tears

Every tear carrying with it an infinite amount of pain
All around you
Inside you
There is no escape
Just pain
And sadness

The girl with the bleeding feet
Red shoes swirling wildly
Towards the abyss

Every drop of blood carrying with it an infinite amount of sorrow
All around you
Inside you
There is no escape
Just sorrow
And grief

Are you out of tears yet?

Are you out of pain?

Are you out of sorrow?
Never, ever again?

Just stop being silly
It will never end

But there is a hug
And there is a talk
And there are friends

There are birds in the trees
And flowers in the grass
There are rays of sunshine on your skin
And grey days for cuddling in

So cry your tears
And scream your fears
And bleed your sorrow
But then tomorrow
You get up again

Grief is a strange beast

Grief is a very strange beast
Fighting you with tooth and claw
You fight back
Every fiber of your soul
On high alert

Eventually it sleeps
For while
For days
For weeks
For months

And then
One day
 

You tamed it

And then
One day

You think you tamed it

You let your guard down
You don’t watch over your shoulder

And when you least expect it
And when it is most inopportune
It pounces
Claws stretched
Teeth exposed
Ripping open wounds
Barely closed over

Only to go to sleep again

Leaving you the aching pain of scars

Empty Space

IMG_20160926_113506Fathers’ Day—25 Years On

The hubbub of empty rooms
The hullabaloo of music gone bye
That unbearable rage of silence

Your shadow walking across the courtyard
An ethereal body chopping wood
The echo of your smell when I hugged you
The intangible sensation of your love

I am grown up now
The resonance of conversations
Reverberate in an empty space of my heart

25 years on
The empty space is quieter now
The echoes shallower
The excruciating sound of silence
Muted by life going on

My Sadness

Creeps up on me
Unexpectedly
In the most inconvenient moment

In monthly ebb and flow
Expedited by grief—about changes

Grief about having to let go
Grief about accepting that which once was is no more
Grief about could-have-beens
Grief about loss

In monthly ebb and flow
The grief is brought to the fore
The ebb and flow of life
Will always be bittersweet
A tear for the past
A smile for the present
And the future—an unknown—not worth fretting about
Because what is to come is to come

So I embrace my sadness
Because this too shall pass
Because at the moment this is
Bit by bit by bit a part of healing
And tomorrow the sun will smile again

Living in Increments

A mathematical model I have just learned

Living in increments
My not so mathematical version:

One day at a time
After ten years had splintered into a million pieces

The screeching of breaks
An unconditional survival function

One step and then another
Mom learning to walk again

One breath at a time
As panic attacks rolled over my body

Tear, by tear, by tear
Washing your pain away

An unsuspected laugh
That ray of hope

A stranger’s smile
We see one another
Just being human

Just being human
Step by step
Day by day
Tear by tear
Smile by smile
Laugh by laugh

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

There’s a catch!
First: thou hast to love thyself

First and foremost
Love yourself

Born out of darkness: Memories

She swallowed the darkness with every breath; it was so thick. There was no escape. Just darkness all around, all within. The only colour: tiny droplets of crimson, turning into gold, once they hit the ground.
‘My soul is still bleeding then.’ A thought. As she stared at her feet, immersed in a puddle of gold. The pain screamed into her ears. There was no escape. No running. Nowhere to go, but deeper into her self. Deeper, and deeper, through the darkness, she went. The pain jumped out at her, screeching again, but she pushed it aside. Deeper, and deeper, until she saw a thread of light, the first thing she actually saw since the crimson and gold.
Light.
She bent down to pick up the thread. Her hand touched the vibrating cord. There was sound. A quiet sound. Some sort of hum. She pulled. The sound became louder. Amidst the humming there were words. So she kept pulling. There seemed to be more thread, somewhere, deep in the darkness. She held tight, kept pulling, and began to make a ball of yarn—a ball of light.

The sun shone, on this chilly May morning, she could already feel the warmth on her face. Toes ice-cold and barefoot in morning-dewed grass as she walked among the rows of apple trees. Gentle blossoms in white and pink. Leaves beginning to emerge. Blackbirds singing. She was content, in the middle of spring.

The ball of light became bigger as she moved along, the humming louder, the words clearer.

A little girl in a blue and white nightgown stood underneath an apple tree, reaching for fragile blossoms—carefully. Cold dew dripped, and left traces of winter-echoes running along her arm. Everything was so clear. The air. The morning. The blackbirds. Life. This was before. Before the darkness came.

She sobbed. ‘How many ways to say goodbye?’ A second thought. It was easier to breathe now with the ball of light in her hand.

The dragon moved his claws lazily through the sand, just the claws not the paws. The other dragon turned her head to look at him.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I am stretching.’ He chuckled.
The little girl was curled up in the crook of his arm. She giggled.
‘Can I hide a bit longer here? I am scared of the darkness.’
‘Of course child.’ She-dragon said.

‘I remember.’ Thought number three.
‘I remember!’ She almost shouted
‘Eventually the girl was grown older, and.’ She paused.
‘And the dragons, pushed her, gently, a paw steadying her lower back; but they pushed her away; to go out into the world; to face the darkness; to stand on her own two feet.’ She continued the story, quietly talking to herself. The ball of light had grown. She was barely able to hold it in two hands now.

A blue ball-gown swished as she twirled. She didn’t want to go to the ball. Loss had torn a black hole into her heart, into her soul. Darkness had already begun to ooze, taking over, pushing the light away, and making her ill.

‘And then I walked through the garden for hours and sang. I sang. The words just came; the melody just came. And everyone was listening, the grass listened, the beetles, the birds, and the hare in the field behind the garden fence. Everyone stood still and listened, as I called them in my songs!’

‘That’s it!’ She shouted, almost dropping the ball of light, clutched tight to her chest. Light was dripping from the twine, running through her fingers. Escaping.
‘I bore witness to life!’ She shouted on top of her lungs.
‘No!’ She stopped herself.
‘I do bear witness to life. I do bear witness to love! I am light.’
And the ball of yarn exploded into a thousand rainbows, into a thousand songs, into a thousand stories, into a thousand poems. And the little girl in the blue and white nightgown danced out of the darkness into the light. Blue ball-gown swishing. Gold glistening as it sprayed in all directions with each dancing step. And then she sang. She sang again to the grass, to the trees, to the beetles, and to the hare and the fox, in the field behind the garden fence.