Thursday, June 22, 2006


What do you do when something awful happens?

You feel as though you have suddenly sprouted extra arms from your torso, that they are flailing in every direction while your legs remain planted and immobile. Your new hands grasp at empty air, all reaching for different invisible items that remain tantalizingly, torturingly out of reach.

You ache. You physically ache for those who are in much worse pain than you. You feel guilty for induldging your own emotion at a time like this. You feel guilty because you weren't always so good to those who now need you.

You get scared. You get deeply, core-strokingly terrified that worst fears can and do come true. You become afraid of your own front door because of what is just beyond it. Scared because you have no ability to protect the people you care about from what wants to hurt them.

You get angry. Angry that something has so deeply violated the boundaries of right and wrong. Who thinks that they have the right to destroy like this? How can something this brutal be allowed to exist? Who the hell let this happen?

You marvel at your own capacity to hate, and understand with new clarity how inextricably hate and fear are mixed.

You walk with hunched shoulders and a stony face washed in that hate and fear. Not too long ago you trip-hopped down these streets. Now they seem filled with threats, and your feet race to get you home, behind bars and locks and into a bed where there is an open Swiss Army knife under your pillow but no sleep to be found.

You look for answers, for any speck of silver lining. There is no great loss without some small gain, right? Ma Ingalls said so, and she was a tough prairie wife who knew from struggle that life, dear friends, is full of pain.

You look and you look and you stretch at all boundaries of reason looking for a lesson, a reason, an explanation, anything substantive and hopeful that can be extracted from a pit filled with the filth of the world.

And it's only when someone else you love, someone who you reach out to for comfort, finally says "there is nothing good in this" that you finally allow yourself to understand that there is no lesson. Only hurt.


Maggie said...
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Hey Pretty said...

You may also start to question your deeply abided belief that all things happen for a reason.

ejtakeslife said...


sparkles anonymous! said...

Oh EJ.... I have no idea what happened, but Jesus.... I hope you're okay.

As for all things happening for a reason - I never believed that. Pain happens; random pain happens, and there doesn't have to be anything redemptive about it at all.

Marci (aka Baby Banana) said...

Damn girl, not just tugging on the heart strings...ripping them out.

Warm & fuzzies...

McQueeney said...

EJ...yeah, that's pretty much it.

Heather B. said...

Poor EJ, you want a hug?

Lillian said...

Damn. I don't know what happened, but I hope you're alright. You and your friends are in my thoughts. Mental hugs all around.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you write.

I love the way you share.

Take care.