Saturday, November 27, 2010

Walking Backwards

She was sitting in her room. The overhead light was off and just a tall floor lamp provided a slight glow to the quiet chamber. Soft light illuminated her white naked legs, her black and green tattoos that coiled around her thigh and calve. Her thin fingers held the pages of a red-covered book open, its pages a pale yellow, its words in deep black.

“I will stop making efforts to remain asleep.”

The words went through her like waves of truth. They wrapped themselves around her, plunging deep into areas she left dry and untouched.

She sat still on the soft bed, letting the sentence roll through her, letting it resonate wherever there was space. She held on, letting the next sentence wait.

She actually made efforts to remain sleep. She took steps in the opposite direction. She turned her back on the path every day, walking backwards, throwing stones, doing all she could to remain asleep, to remain where she was.

Every argument.

Every eye roll.

Every long tangent of jealousy that held her down like a drowning girl in a shallow pool.

Every reaction of jolting anger.

She sat with the book open, her hands still, her eyes soft and unfocused while the words traveled deep, coiling around the sinews of habits and pride.

“I will stop making efforts to remain asleep.”

This is what she did, everyday, perhaps every hour, as rage poured through her heart, dropping her far from the mountain she was climbing. She remembered sitting on the same bed earlier in the morning, staring up into the aluminum covered piping that ran through a part of her room. She sat there for nearly five minutes, staring into the foil, finding shapes and faces and reliving the comment she heard the day before. The four words that pierced her, the four words that she holds onto for hours, holding on o them, letting them form more bubbles of anger and reaction.

It was what she did, she found ways to remain asleep. It didn’t just come naturally. She made an effort. She actively put her attention on things she could not control. She didn’t focus on herself, which would have been the one place it would have made a difference and instead focused on every misstep of those around her.

“I will stop making efforts to remain asleep.”

Could she actively relax and let go of those efforts? Could the anger just fall away like old skin? She imagined herself on the same bed, still and calm, a slight smile on her face while rage just dripped off, falling to the earth and turning into green sprouts and vapor.

Her machine was trying, actually making an effort to remain in the dirt, to keep as far away from the mountaintop as it could. It tried everyday, reminding her of pain, of pride, of the way it all should be, but was not.

As she held the book open, her eyes softened and she took a deep breath, allowing the exhalation to cleanse her. Moving her eyes slowly onto the next sentence.


crystl37 said...

This is beautiful, and completely resonant with my own experiences-brought about by single lines of text which seem to stop time around me and allow me space to explore the moments.

thank you

Radio Free said...


static deformity said...

yes, that is exactly what happened. one precious moment that opened the gates and allowed something new to sink in. it's so cool that you understand it, that it has happened to you, that we can share the eternal moment together.