The Ties That Bind Us



The pull to go and the pull to stay, both yield the unknown and yet the desire to shed this life as a snake does her skin keeps me distracted and itchy;

Change wants to come from the inside out and I want to wake up, a new me, these days of tragedy and confusion behind me, transformed through the living into wisdom that will lead the way forward—and yet, here I pause;

I stop at the urge and I can’t see my way past it and in the fog, frustration builds—How do we move from where we are? What does it take to make the first step? When everything wants to change, where do we start? Where does the push to continue come from and when it feels lost, how do we find it?

It’s the same with writing—

My words lead me so far—I open the door and step in, and some days, I can feel the dark corners begin to illuminate—Ah, I think—I can fill this room with words that will feel like the warmest of spaces, and here is where I can form a couch, and here is where the bookshelf will go, and secretly, beneath it all, I’m hoping that one day instead of a room, my words will build a house or a neighbourhood, or even a small town—

And here is where I want to pause again;

Almost afraid (most definitely afraid) to continue navigating through the thread of this thought because instead of an ending that is neat and tidy, what if I catch another one and start to unravel something else? What if I take a shortcut to the right and the path is covered over and I have to hack at it to make a sentence and what if I’ve already lost you?

This could become the never-ending story, as one thought nudges another and soon enough I’m up to my neck in words that consume me and already I spend so much time alone that I forget what it feels like to be comfortable with people—

And then the wall falls, my brain, overheated, shuts down; my heart flutters, annoyed and grateful all at once—the ties the bind us, here, to this place we are in.

She starts to push, increasing the reach of her thump:

Come back, she whispers—

Come back, for today, you have gone far enough and you must get out of bed and you must walk through the trees in the forest with your dog, because it is there that you can let the dirt below your feet start to loosen the layer of skin that has become unbearable to wear; you must wade into the lake, up to your thunderous thighs, for it is the water that will soften the itch of the skin that is not-quite ready to go, for we are still heart-deep in the foundation of this house that eventually will be built, one room, one word, at a time;

Then, and only then, will the unknown reveal herself to you,

Through this prayer. 









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