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This is where I use a cliche phrase
to describe a hard experience
that calls for all my learned and
developed resources.

This cliche phrase points to this place
Here – where rhythm and flow
and all sense of normalcy has vanished.
Where there’s swirling and stirring and whirring
below. A chaos of unknown order,
unperceived on the surface of things
but felt; a scrambling woman drowning, kind of.

Hands and arms floating
Above my head
my hair swirls
Bubbles float out my mouth and nose
making their squiggly way upwards, somewhere
(Where?)
My eyes open, blinking a blank stare
My body
Sinking, sinking, sinking, low.

I lean back and twist and turn
Caving in and kicking out
as I’m punched and dragged
by unseen, unpredictable currents
that carry the force of a tsunami.
Never knowing which way it will go;
I, will go.

I reach out here and there as though
as though…
And then I’m here, then there, then over here
And did I actually ask for this? I wonder.

My body recalls motions, contracting
and capturing what once was
but pushed, touched, twisted, and blown
out of remembrance within mere seconds,
collapsing into
into… 

This.
Whatever this is.
Unknown.
Unhappy.

Realizing now as I say that word
how I’ve chained myself
to a written reality defined
by the limitation of positivity.

Perhaps not outwardly perceivable
but inwardly felt. Inner expectations
secretly keep my writer in check
squeezing out inspiration
in an attempt to be
a way that is pleasing for all but me.

Do I write about the difficulty of the day
when I could write about something
something…
else? So as not to evoke concern
and to perhaps spread smiles instead?

But I’m not smiling.
I would rather be honest
and in integrity with you,
with myself.

My life feels like a muddy torrent.
Miraculously, despite being submerged
for hours, days, weeks on end
I am breathing.
I’m still alive.

But I don’t know which way is up.
Am I looking down?
I can’t feel the bottom
but I sense it’s here somewhere.
As though I’ll one day
decide to place my feet flat on the ground
and stand, emerging like a mountain
from the ocean depths.

I do search for it. All sideways
and wonky. Twirling in
circles, spinning on a horizontal axis
looking like a dog running in circles
but underwater, muddy, muddy water.

Is it the bottom I sense, or
the tightness of the confined space
I find myself in? Watery walls
creeping in, in, in.

Needing only ever to put on a show
to get something.
Wanting something from you I
give you what I think you want.
Smiles, laughter, happiness
But what about real? raw? Rage?

What about the truth of my
experience; here, now.
A never-ending journey of
Heartbreak, tears, difficult feelings.
Gloom. Glum. Melancholy.

Sprinkled with mere moments of
joy. Aching for the day my baseline
returns.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash