Saturday, October 23, 2010

Birch Tree

Well, I've debated about posting this for a long time, now.

I wrote it when I was at my lowest point, when I thought my life was over. It's a stream of consciousness piece, which is what I tend to write to release my feelings.... and, at the risk of putting a damper on a blog that is usually so positive, I've decided to share it. Sometimes it feels good to share things that hurt. Not because I want others to hurt with me... but because I want to release it, push it forward and out of my life. It's pretty obvious in the piece what situation prompted me to write it. I have been dead for a long time now. And I'm beginning to learn, finally, that God isn't done with me yet. He wants life for me, and life to the full. One horrible event can't remove me from His will. A thousand horrible events can't remove me from His will. So, here it is.


And you cannot grasp it, she thinks, her mind wandering far, deeper, into the small hum of the fluorescent light, burying itself in the rise and fall of passing cars outside her window. You can’t grasp it at all. She laid back on the bed, spreading her arms wide above her head, feeling the cotton pull of the coverlet on her cheek. My life is ticking, she thought, and sighed, pushing air into the dimness of the evening room. This is waste, she thought. She didn’t cry; her eyes were too dull, her tear ducts rusted from misuse and bitterness. Tomorrow will be better.

What is a life all about? I’m stuck inside. The whisper blue o
f the morning sky peered, wonderingly, around the edges of the curtains. She woke up, and was still muffled beneath the layer of discontent that lay, like a robe, on her limbs and enveloped her thoughts. Take them captive, she thought. Make every thought captive. This day will be better than the last. She shifted herself and slid her legs onto the floor, and passed a bed-warm hand over her face, pushing droopy bangs aside. She exited the bedroom, and leaving her footprints behind her, and it started again.

This ache is ending without end, she thought. I am ended; the pain is unending, I’ve reached the finishing of myself. There is no upwards trajectory, there is no way to rebound and she cannot see any way to grow. I am a stunted plant, said her heart. I am a plan
t without sunlight, even the deep sea plants need nourishment. I am a plant adrift in the sea, rootless. She opened the door to the cupboard, and reached for a box of cereal. Filling a bowl, she sat at the melamine table, running her finger over the chips on the edge. She felt like she was suffocating, her soul buried in gray. As she ate, she wondered why. She couldn’t compose a proper response, and didn’t expect to.

When he left, he took precious things with him. He took the ring back, the beautiful ring with its high-mounted center stone, that shone rainbows in bright sun and glaring fluorescent bulbs. He took the part of her that believed that she was worth chasing and convincing and proving one’s value to. He took the remnant of her belief in her own beauty, that tender rosebud surrounded by disease and death. That rosebud was now his boutonniere as he quit the apartment, and as a robe he wore her dreams for the future, glowing verdant green. Knit of scenarios imagined and re-imagined over the span of years, the robe was dreams of sweet-faced babies, of a home well-kept, of love so wild that it was still humming with vibrancy in old age. It was all gone; he took it with him when he left.

What will I feel, when other pass through the passageways of sacred ri
tual, she thought. It will be burning jealously, nestled in the deep of my stomach, curling around my spine like a lick of flame, smouldering coals reminding me of the things I have lost, what I have forsaken, what has forsaken me. It will be sadness like tall white birch tree with bark peeling like tears, stark and naked and cold. It will be dullness, dead thoughts, life extinguished. It will be like death, undying.

If I can’t resurface, she thought, I will drown in this room. She saw her life stretched, like a birch tree, her life splintering as the barren branches stretching forth into grey skies, cloudy winter. She saw her days, stretching out before her and fading out into m
eaninglessness and repetition, a certain placing of the plate at the table, a folding down of the bedspread, a positioning of shoes at the door. This is all my life will be, she thought. This is a room with bars for windows, this is life in a cage.

This is death, undying.


Once, my heart agreed with Solomon when he wrote that "the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind". I was dead. I am still emerging from death. But I am reaching for God's promise that He has "come that they may have life, and have it to the full". God told me I would have a full life with Him. I need to cling to that, know it. He is not finished with me yet.