Brush Yourself Off

A friend told me it “happens and then you get back up”.

“How?” I asked.

“How with two broken legs, sprained ankles and messed up knees?”

Let go, move on, pick yourself up, power through, move forward, get over it, be stronger, stay positive, get better, try harder, gotta do it, don’t give up, carry on, hold on, it’ll be better soon.

Fun sings, “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.

And I do want that. My feet, their step, resounding sound, eyes straight ahead. walking forward.

But for now, I’m stuck in this hole.  The sides go up above my head.

How did I get in this mess? Was it my fault? Someone else’s? Fate or destiny? God’s punishment or His gift?  I don’t know. Could I even remember with my memory slipping away? And does it matter anyway?

Because all I can see are these walls all around me.  Surrounded by the dirt on every side with only a glimmer of light at the top of my world.

Am I strong enough? With all these broken bones?  With this debilitating fear?

I feel weak. I feel pain. I have wounds. I wake from nightmares to this nightmarish world.

I am just sitting on the dirt ground for now.  I know that I must have fell down here.  How? I don’t have the memory. It seems like it has been this way a long time. Maybe always.

Given a little time, I am going to get up.  Going to climb my way to the top.  It is going to take sweat, dirt on me, smeared all over me body.  Muddy dirt during the rain isn’t going to hold my weight. I will slide down even as I try to get higher.  But I can’t give up.  I don’t remember what is up there, but there is absolutely nothing down here.  Not even food or water.  So what will my life be here and how long will my life be?

And when I am up there, I am going to leave everything behind.  All those feelings and all those things I saw before are going to be gone.  No people from the past, just people in the future.  No memories because even if I clung on, my brain won’t go along with that.

Even down here, I don’t want to remember anything. I don’t want to dream of anyone I used to know. I don’t need anything that before I used to love or use.  I don’t have room enough in this hole to care about anything else, but where next I will place my hand or foot.  There will be new songs on my lips and I will give up the words from before.

I will do more than brush off. I will become clean. I will use the rain or a lake or a river or even the ocean if that is what I find.  Because I won’t let fear win. I will leave it behind in that dark hole.  I will know I am the strongest after climbing up those dirt walls. And already now, that fire of a belief swells up, feeding on the oxygen of my breath.

To live, I will give up everything. Everything I have known. Everything I remember.  Everything I believed. Everything in my past.  Because I want to see the future become the present.

There is nothing back there. Nothing of my past is coming up with me. I don’t want or need it anymore.

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