I do not feel very blessed these days.
I do not feel...
And there I stop. I do not feel. All that numbness, all that ice and gray. I am locked up tight in my private tower, invisible to the eye, but with walls so thick, with neither windows nor doors, it's tough-- it's impossible-- for light to get in, or air or blessings. I tell myself that it keeps the panic at bay. But the ghostly tendrils of panic pool at my feet and coil up my legs, clinging to me like those no-seeum spiderwebs that stretch across a garden path.
It's a spiderweb kind of day.
These are the times when wiser heads than I say "Look for the blessings..." Personally, I would like to spit at those people, those know-it-all, smug and spiritually fit people. I do not like those trite little exercises, these Kumbaya moments. Not now. Now I prefer the safety of my tower, with its hollow silence and stillness.
Thoughts, though-- they have a life of their own. They skitter and slip sideways. They aren't particulate, like light, so they need no cracks, no hidden pathways to circle and whistle and draw attention to themselves. They sing, unbidden, and flit in manic disarray.
I have been at this too long. I have listened once to often. There are blessings.
Even rooted in my tower, in the middle of whatever pain or brokenness that has tethered me to this spot (this one spot, moving neither left nor right, forward or back)-- there are blessings. Dammit. Like a soothing balm, they tumble forth, catching some inner light so that I see them all, just out of the corner of my eye, like bright feathers the color of jewels.
What are my blessings? Dammit-- what are they? I have to name them, acknowledge them, and so make them real-- for me. This is a reminder, no matter how much I whine about it. I need reminders.
- I didn't take a drink today. Life abounds with miracles.
- I have a roof over my head, food on the table.
- I have heat in the winter, clean running water, cooling when it's hot.
- I have access to medical care and medicines.
- I have skills. No job right now, but skills that I can market. Eventually. When I remember all the blessings that surround me, and leave the tower behind.
- I have friends. Real ones, the kind that stick around and care and are kind and funny and smart and they call me when I least expect it (like today), and they love me enough to call my on my BS. They're my chosen family, the ones I've found along the way who help to raise me (and each other) up.
- I have family, blood family, who bicker and squabble and sometimes play mean, but they come together, in love, when it's needed most. They let me come home again, let me rant a while, tell me stupid jokes-- and then let me go when it's time. Until the next time (and they don't seem to care that there's always a next time).
- I have a son-- a brilliant and glorious son who is growing into a human being. Proud doesn't even come close to what I feel for him. Awed is much closer, tangled with annoyed (he is, after all, fifteen). Loved beyond belief. Staggered by the responsibility and the joy of walking with him for this short time, before he soars on his own.
I have been given grace and light and hope. I have been blessed beyond imagining. The tower? It's my illusion. All I need to do is take one step, one single step and I am free.
c Stacey Zisook Robinson
07 April 2014