Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015

(Brought to you in part by mental (sk)illness)

Imagine with me
for a moment: You're in
a dry Sahara, not much around
but you
begin to notice
a massive hole in the
parched earth.  The unfortunate
truth is that you must pass
this hole to
continue your journey.  You

look for ways around it, you
try and remember what
you've been taught, but
there's no way
around it.  You see the edge
and beeline for it.  As you try to
rush by on its side
the foundation begins to crumble.

You suddenly see
a familiar face and
she reaches out
her arm.
You're safe, but you can't
seem to find
the solid ground on which she stood
and she's gone.

You trip on your own
feet and
begin to fall again.

Another familiar face appears,
"I'm here
to help!" she shouts down at you.
"Take these and
put them under you.  They'll ease
your landing."
"But I don't want to
live here,
this is not my home," you
retort.  "I just want to be
back on solid ground and
you're keeping me down."
"Here's a rope and
some string, when you're ready,
build a ladder.  You're keeping
yourself down."

As you tumble
further down the pit
you see posts
lining another end of the expanse.
You reach for one and it's
not very sturdy, so you grab another
and another and another,
gradually rising out

from the vast hole.  You whisper for help.
Every so often a post crashes
to the bottom   or you
lose your grip.
Your cries for help become
clearer, more audible to
the faces above.  Some faces jump
in after you.  "I'm here," they say.

You use their arms
for support (somehow they stand
on solid ground), trying
to avoid stepping on their faces.  You repeatedly express
endless gratifications as you reach the top
together.  "Just one final push
and I'll make it," you tell
yourself in a daze.

Then your mind rushes
to remember:
I'm not out of
this forever.
As you crawl
                                  the hole's outer edge
you see broken glass bottles and
smell olive oil,
so you cautiously rise
to your feet.  In the distance
you see shadows, but the dark clouds
haven't reached the horizon.
The hole next
to you hasn't vanished.

A flag that has been
quilted with
a mosaic of voices, tools, and faces
all culminating in
                                                         a self-portrait of you
has been placed along its edges.

You pick up
a rope you've fashioned yourself,
thank the hair that
holds it together, and
continue on your way.

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