It's been quite the few months. So much sadness lately. I'm digging out now (I hope) from the depths of it all.
You know how your soul gets overwhelmed, and you need to surrender to it all, everything, and just sink down, down, and down into this abyss, the emotional depths, the dark murky bottom of yourself to lick wounds and bind up your heart and find your hope again? But there's all this stuff that holds you back from being allowed to just let the suckiness suck you down, all these people who need you in the here and now, and all the responsibilities only you can handle and all the minutes of daily life ticking away at you, ticking right into your eyes, holding you captive like a school teacher waiting for your answer? (And it's probably a good thing, but it feels like captivity.)
That's where I've been. Being ticked at, while the sucky sucked. I clung to crumby countertops and neighborhood sidewalks and daylight and small voices clinging back. It almost rips you apart, the wishing to bottom out, go dark, shut down, versus the greedy, needy pull of life-keeps-going. If I didn't have to, I wouldn't. That's it, plain and simple. And some things I've let go (that I shouldn't have, probably) but releasing anything at all sometimes seems like a small, downward escape.
My nephew Owen is sick again. I didn't say anything because what do you say when you've been preaching the hopeful word to yourself and anyone who listens, and Dark Scary Bad walks up behind you, large and mean, and taps you hard on your small shoulder and you turn around and there It is again and it's not a nightmare and it's not going away? But now he's improving and though there's no wide, pretty bow yet with which I can tie it all up, these fair, light strings of hope float again around him, maybe we'll tie those up one day. He's still in the hospital and sick, but out of immediate danger. A million friends and family pray for him. His parents. My sister ... I just can't do what I want to do. My words stutter out, frail, "Do you need anything?" Even when my mind knows there's only one thing they need, and it's nothing I can give them.
And Al was out of town, and I got chickenpox. And the sadness felt even sadder laying heavy over that grainy, achey, hazy sickness, and I let go of more that I probably shouldn't have, and felt my grip loosen, but kept my fingernails embedded in spelling words that needed practicing and puddles that needed wiping up and bellies that needed filling. Even words got too hard and finally I only spoke the bare necessities. My hands and feet did what they had to do, my heart abandoned everything and everyone else.
I felt it wanting to ask for something it needed, but the words had already gone. And so in one instant, when I couldn't not anymore, I let my heart just go. Down and down, darkness into black.
I never heard it hit bottom.
But now I feel it on its way back up. I don't even know how that happens, but it does.