I know I shouldn’t always attach explanations on posts like this but today I feel the need to. Whenever I post a dark piece I get many messages of concern (and criticism) from people. Sometimes they say “Lighten up.” Most often readers are worried. I want to say that these pieces capture only a fraction of the spectrum of feelings I have.
My days are not spent wallowing in sadness. When I need to rise to the occasion I do. It’s often easier for me to write about the world of the dark places though… in some ways I think those are the ones that need light the most. These words are often the ones which go unwritten and unexplored.
I always find joy in the small moments each and every day. Today I tweeted, “I find beauty in the flowers in my room, the sight of the leaves through the window, the sound of the wind, the loyalty of my dog.”
There is shimmer in each and every day. Some days we just have to look hard for it, dig deep. And some days there is just a darkness overhead. I find that giving a voice to the those depths, shedding light on them, is important. There are many who live in this land. Today’s post comes from the feeling of doom that accompanies test results, that awful waiting period.
I wait for the burlap bag over my head,
Wait for the rope round my neck.
I wait for the chair to be kicked out,
The floor to drop open,
Snapping the rope’s length and my body with it.
This is what it feels like each time I drive to the office,
Head into the building,
Take a seat.
Usually I hate traffic
But when it slows my journey I find myself grateful these days.
Stretch out that time.
Make it longer until I hear words I don’t want to hear.
They are tricks, of course,
Silly childish games I play.
I turn on the heated seat and press my back against the core
Burning relief into my spine.
I am at war with myself.
I ready myself to smile, to say good morning,
To greet the office staff with a brave and carefree smile.
“How are you?” one will ask,
Letting the words roll off her tongue the same way
The lady with the Irish accent ringing up my groceries asks me
Without waiting for an answer.
I’m not fine.
I’m anything but.
There is no time for that, though.
It’s time for results and plans and tests and exams.
It’s time to steel myself again,
Stand up straight,
Pretend there is no fear,
For minutes at a time this is how I get through the day.
I walk at a clip, slightly faster than that executioner with the bag and rope who chases me,
One step behind or maybe two,
Just stay the hell away from me.
Just for a little while longer.