A Bit of Darkness

No one wants to be in this place but we all sort of end up here – in the hole. All of the books, all of the rituals, all of the practice, they can’t protect us absolutely.

This rule of gravity, this inevitability of falling back down no matter how high you’ve been, this is the part that makes me question God.

What’s the point?

Maybe it’s because I forgot to meditate today, slept in instead. Or maybe it’s because I didn’t write, or that my jeans are hot on my legs, or maybe it’s the kids, one of them bored and scrolling, the other crying so often and so deep that it opened me up and let the black stuff get all the way in, looking back at me, a snarled smile.

I’m old enough now to know the reasons don’t really matter.

I’m here now. Again. In this familiar place.

So many of us in our deep, tunneled wells, adjacent to one another but not knowing it. Inches close but completely alone, our individual voices wastefully echoing up and out, always up and out, intermingling up there with the things out of earshot.

So strangely comforting to know this, that, through the coarse walls of dirt, are others like me, trapped and growing tired of their own echo, curled up and hugging knees, struggling to even recall the sound, the feeling, the presence of the wind.

But the wind is mighty and it never gives up, or at least keeps playing its game. It gathers its strength from the openness of the flats, it can lift rock and rubble and stone hearts, and it carries our words on its back.

As long as you keep the words coming out, even just a little bit, as long as you let the black spiral continue to curl its way to the top — to speak in futility, to reach without hope — in time the wind will do the rest.

You won’t hear the rescue coming, you won’t witness the change. You may even still be cursing the hole and the things that got you there, but as your echo fades and your eyes adjust, you’ll look again at the walls of earth that surround you and you’ll notice, almost with regret, but more with wonder, that the wind has come and gone. And it’s left its mark.

Or, did you just not see it before?

In the walls themselves, one on top of the other, hard to make out but definitely there: footholds in the dirt.