The ghost has came calling…
It’s been the nature of my personality, the haunting apparition always hanging off of my back. She holds me down and begs for solitude. “Climb inside your mind and rest,” she’ll say. Take one day off. Take two. Take a week down. When I realize I need to surface from her grave, it’s been weeks. People will ask, “You okay?” “How are you?” “Where have you been?”
Truth is: I’m here. I’ve been around, but It happens; my habitual disappearing act. Labeled as a flake and unreliable, because I am.
I will not call it depression, or anxiety, or any kind of illness. It’s my beast. The one saying to hide. There is a part calling me to crawl away, to burrow into the deepest hole I can dig for myself.
Two weeks without real words. Two weeks without writing.
Two weeks and there is no urge to surface.
No desire to continue the work I’ve painstakingly built letter by letter, word by word…
What is happening?
It’s an abstract home built around “I can’t.” Therein those two words are impregnated one of my greatest fears.
What if I can’t anymore?
What if it was all a fluke?
What if my only gift is gone?
Gasping, terrified breaths come weighing down on my chest.
No. Not allowed. Can’t happen. Won’t let it. This is MINE. MINE. MINE!
Because it’s not a reason of can’t. I can. It’s the suffocation from writing. From grandstanding too long on a pedestal I’m not worthy to stand upon. It’s the eyes full of judgment. The copycats clawing at my door. The never-ending late night stewing and birthing more thoughts, more stories dug out from my past. All of them trying to satisfy an unquenchable thirst.
The requests to do more… be more… become more. Then there is an ocean my mind retreats to, a place where I can float alone and free and not be any person’s expectation.
The ghost on my back is my constant desire for a reclusive refuge. I don’t understand a time where we are allowed to walk into airports and kill innocent men, women and children. In my raising, we were taught children are the closest to God. And cowards killed them.
I can’t understand politics spewing foul, schoolyard insults.
I can’t rationalize discrimination as legal.
The exhaustion in trying to understand a world I live in delivers too many blows to my heart and I walk away. I seek the refuge of my own spirit. I spend time living in a bubble surrounded by old rolling hills and grass running as green as far as your eyes can see. I spend time driving across bridges into Ohio and Kentucky, all the while keeping my eyes fixed upon the muddy Ohio River. I walk into my backyard barefoot and let the earth take my sorrows, my pain, and my confusion.
For now, these are the only things my body wants to do.
The man says, “Take another day off. You need rest.”
Perhaps he is right, this husband of mine.
Perhaps he sees something I don’t.
Perhaps he understands… the world is too much.
No amount of my writing is going to change it.
For if I push until the gas tank is empty,
I will end up sitting by the side of the road collecting rust.
It’s been two weeks.
These are the only words I’ve let spill out.
I ain’t going to tell you I’m walking away,
I’m too stubborn and hard-headed to do that.
I am going to tell you,
“This gift is MINE. MINE. MINE!
I’ll write again when I’m damn well and ready.”