Why- 8 Years Later

And the story goes like this:

The worst type of pain has to be mental, there cannot be anything worse than that. Physical pain, chronic unrelenting physical pain can’t be great. It must be a terrible burden, but there are drugs that you can take to minimize or escape it.

But when the pain you feel is located inside you, when your soul screams and your heart aches, that is true misery. I won’t say that I have suffered more than others, many have life experiences that are incredible tragedies, things that make my own look less than miserable, at least from the outside.

And that is part of the problem, when you are truly down and beat up it feels like you are looking at the world from the outside in. Your friends/family are happy and the world in general seems to be populated with people who are so gosh darn happy you want to beat them to a pulp. Can’t they see that there is sadness and misery, aren’t they aware that in an instant everything that they love and value can be taken from them.

Fortunately, the world doesn’t function that way and I think that this is in part how we are able to rebound and heal the wounds that seem to take forever to disappear. The sun that was hidden behind the clouds magically appears and life feels less like a chore and more like a gift.

Eight years later I stare at a face that looks vaguely familiar and hands that resemble mine. The eyes tell the story that the mouth won’t share. There is sorrow in them, Worry lines that didn’t exist accent a hairline that no longer reaches the places it once did. It is not unlike the aftermath of the constant pounding of the surf on the shoreline. Sooner or later the rocks turn into sand and what once was crumbles.

There are memories that roam through my head uninvited and unwelcome. They have borne witness to my folly and stand in front me, silent accusers that only I can hear. They stand in judgment and it matters not if I proclaim my innocence because they claim to have been prophetic. These ghosts of the pasts rattle their chains and moan. I stand there stony faced ignoring the whispers and the dirge that plays in the background.

I take the beating that is meted out against me. I refuse to cry out in pain. I will not acknowledge it nor show any weakness because to do so would be worse. It is a test of endurance and I can take the shame I feel. I bear the burden because it is who I am and what I do. The weight of it upon my shoulders threatens to cause my knees to buckle. I am not Atlas. I wasn’t granted the strength of a Titan.

Yet I endure and I sustain my efforts because the time in the secret world allows no other way. Once you enter you cannot go back. There is no turning around. If this were the Lord of the Rings I would be traversing the Mines of Moriah. But I go without a party of heroes. There is no Wizard to fight the Balrog nor warriors to ward my back from the slings and arrows of the goblins. The demons of the deep are mine alone to confront.

I was bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.
I was unrecognizable to myself.
I saw my reflection in a window, I didn’t know my own face.
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin’ away
On the Streets of Philadelphia.

I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone,
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone,
At night I could hear the blood in my veins,
Black and whispering as the rain,
On the Streets of Philadelphia.

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me.
It’s just you and I my friend.
My clothes don’t fit me no more,
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip this skin.

The night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake,
I can feel myself fading away,
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss,
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the Streets of Philadelphia
Streets of Philadelphia– Bruce Springsteen

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