Having just escaped from dreams of destruction and rejection, I inserted myself into a situational self-grieving. There are plenty of things which can smother you in fear (if allowed to), constrict around your neck and tickle the inside of your ears until it becomes a torture. Thoughts rolling over and over again until they’re over cooked as a burnt chicken on a rotisserie, charred with no good meat left to eat. I’ve licked the stamp and sent the letter, the same letter, written over and over again in scrawls and scratches on heavy, linen paper. Words defined and redefined but never redirected: always boomerangs. I keep thinking I can empty the fireplace with a teaspoon.
The fire is out and the gritty edge of morning blackness feigns its death, for I know it will be back to dull the edge of the blade I use while dissecting my sorrows and persecutions. Daylight slithers in, soft gray with an odor of musty basement and rotting leaves. Now that I can see a hundred yards the world begins to collapse in; I find myself in the jaws of a monster, his hot breath comes in waves. I feel the steamy stench through the holes in my gray socks. This is tender time: when the masterpiece of dream becomes painted over by world number two whose colors seem more stark, whose contrast seems more sharp and whose frame is rigid ebony, sharp boundaries which cannot be crossed. I am awake.
The day was gray. Mist hung in the air, painting goosebumps on my face. I looked out over the brownscape, remnants of dying trees covered mohair grass which was patiently waiting for a day of longer sunshine. I blinked three times hoping the scene might instantly change but the mist repainted the same picture in an instant. My breaths were short and shallow, keeping my eyelids barely pumped up enough to squint at a distant triangle of mournfully honking geese who were headed east; they didn’t seem to know where they were going. My belly rubbed against the rough inside of my sweater with each shallow breath, reminding me that Winter planned on staying for a while. I struggled to imagine red tulips.
A stray dog entered the scene. Jumpy squirrels scattered in a blur of gray fur. The black dog relieved himself on my lawn. My eyes widened just enough to let the cold mist sprinkle them before releasing back into a squint. I was too weak to chase the dog away, just barely had enough strength to imagine myself stepping in his unwanted gift when Spring comes; it would lay there frozen over months until spring thaw softened it enough to wedge in the treads of my tennis shoes. I took a deep breath as my heart skipped.
Why couldn’t there be a rip in the gray blanket of sky which was holding me down?
I can sum up today in one word: worried. Worried about a call I received from a creditor trying to collect on a medical bill. Worried that my work schedule has changed dramatically, destroying my personal life. I’m so worried that I didn’t even want to eat my lunch. Where do I find consolation? How do I get in this spiral of worry anyway?
Worry has always been the thing I cling to; I suppose because it’s familiar. I haven’t had a lot of joy, or at least I don’t look for it. God forbid that I be ungrateful. I’m really overlooking all the blessings I do have. At a time like this, when I’m about to worry myself into a literal panic I must:
- Take deep breaths
- Take inventory of what I am grateful for
- Use faith to eradicate my worry
- Practice mindfulness
I believe it was Edgar Cayce who said “Why worry when you can pray?”; I’ll try a little of that too.
Spiritual growth is the only goal to which one should strive; all else is fading into nonexistence the instant it is considered.–TB
I’m seeing Robins around the last two days. Usually by this time of year they are long gone. This struck me as rather odd.