The Gift

 

Copyright May 2003 © by P.R. Lowe

I left you for a long time, guess I was afraid … too busy to hear you, or see you … or know you.

Who are you?

You never left me. You were always there, nagging ever so slightly at my entrails … just a twinge now and then. I barely felt you at all … still, I knew you were there every now and then, when my daughter would look at me a certain way … or a squirrel, dashing across the road, in front of my vehicle, would seem to freeze in time and rise up from the pavement toward me so his face was magnified a thousand fold and I could see the fear of me in his eyes so clearly that a fist would rise up in my throat and I would, for a nanosecond, feel as if my innards would heave up out of me and splatter on the windshield. It would happen that fast, then you would be gone again.

In those moments, I realized that your presence was always just a breath away and I could possible be danced around like a puppet … however briefly; part of something so much larger than myself … never really free of you. Sometimes I did feel held captive, for I could not just be, I could not rest into my apparent life. I was your instrument … and in denial of it all. I thought if I stopped to listen, opened up the vein and let your blood run through me, that I could never return … never be real again. I would walk among them but they would not hear me or see me. I would vanish into that squirrel’s eye … become a reflection from another place … fail at being human.

And finally, so what? I am tired of covering my ears so I do not hear you, I am tired of looking away so I do not see you and mostly I am tired of busying myself so I cannot feel you. I am still apprehensive, but not from fear of you, but from the shear AWE of you … for I have suspected that you could consume me … yet, also hold my hand and lead me down that narrow dark path behind the old willow tree; the one I thought was bewitched, the one that made me feel like Alice about to fall down the rabbit hole, the one I dreamed about, the one I knew somehow, no matter how horrific and scary it seemed, would lead me to a better place … free and peaceful at last; mostly free of the fear of walking that path, the fear that I would be alone and completely open and unarmored against you … and the excruciating pain and pure unadulterated joy of it, combined, would surely be so extreme that I would vaporize right there on the spot from the world I had known heretofore as real.

Again, so what? That pure non-illusory moment right before I went “poof” might be exactly where you and I come together at last.

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