The idea is to build to filling at least one page a day… I am not quite there as far as quantity goes, and definitely not there as far as consistency goes, but I’m working on it. I have decided that I will post a little excerpt every few days this month, maybe more frequently depending on what is going on in my world in general. That being said, here is an excerpt from my March pages so far…..
I let yesterday go. I felt heavy and sad, worn out and down. It is not a date I want to remember or celebrate. The day that everything I knew shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. The memories stick to me like shards of glass, cutting my skin, my soul. Two years. I am only just now beginning to learn how to breathe again.
Last night, I dreamed that I was standing in a river that was dammed. In the tiny streams that were still flowing, a small group of five yellow ducklings were walking and sliding. They were trying to swim and not doing very well. In the back of my mind, I knew that the river would start to flow normally, and if the ducks did not learn how to swim, they would drown. I went to the little ducklings, and started showing them how to paddle their feet and they followed me down the river. I stepped through the streams and little pools, looking back over my shoulder to make sure they were following. I knew that we would have to go to the riverbank soon before the dam burst. Then I woke up.
Pema Chodron writes about the opportunity that lies within this kind of pain. Our first instinct is to run away, hide from it, deny it, and I definitely did that. The pain so great, so deep because of the betrayal of trust I could not face the truth. I still can’t really. She advises to sit with the pain though. Step into it like you are stepping into a warm pool of water, let it surround and embrace you. In the end, it is the only real way to know; the only way to get beyond it. This is what I had in my mind yesterday as the day passed. I sat in it. It was the first time in two years that there was a sort of dialogue between us about our daughter. Afterwards, I let the tears fall. Actually, they let me fall. I couldn’t stop them. I have been trying for the past two years to find a way to forgive him. I am just not there yet.
2 am wake up out of a dead sleep. Sweating, heart pounding, no memory of a nightmare or fragment of a dream hanging on me. I throw off the covers, heaving, trying to catch my breath. God what is happening to me? Everything is hot. The air is hot, pressing down on me. It is early March, winter lingering in its weakened state but still holding on, yet I’m drowning. 17 minutes for my heart to slow. Is that normal? I ask the corner shadow. Check my phone for emails that I don’t care to read. Nothing. No text message. No word from anyone.
I should not watch horror movies before sleeping. Especially ones about angels at war. Or Christopher Walkin, whom I love and fear.
The floor is warm under my toes. My throat is full of sand. In the darkness I step quietly. The girls are sleeping. At the top of the stairs the brrap of the cat chattering cuts the silence. Shhh, I tell him. I need water. The stairs groan as I walk down. The cat barrels past me. There’s no reason to shove. We are all going to the same place, I mutter in my head. In the kitchen, I search the darkness for a mug. Turning the lights on would be painful and blinding. I move easily knowing where everything is. No echolocation required.
The water tastes like tin and algae. I make a face that no one sees. The cat knocks on my elbow. Yes, I know you are there. I scratch his forehead with my other hand. His white spotted fur glows in the moonlight. The backyard is empty except for it. The street is too I imagine, though I refuse to look. My heart dances against my rib cage. I find it hard to breathe. I asked for one day without being worried or bothered. I never have just one day. I ask in the mirror, as I climb the stairs again. What would it take to break free? A chance if I can see it.
I never used to worry like this. Maybe I should have long ago? I don’t know. I never used to have nightmares either. Why would angels be at war in the first place? It’s another question I have never thought to ask. The answers are in the opposite, like the cure for being poisoned. These thoughts weave in and out as I lay down again and sink my head into the pillows. The sparrows and robins could be quieter. Or shut up all together. They won’t because it is time for change. I have no choice but to listen.