One word (ponder). 5 minutes (write).
Years ago, ten years to be exact, I left a life I was comfortable with, a life I knew full well. It wasn’t a good life. It wasn’t safe inside or out. I could leave. I had half a dozen times. The problem was that I wouldn’t stay gone. I couldn’t. Familiarity drew me back every time, that place of knowing and being known. But, one day things got out of hand, went way too far and something inside me gave way.
For the next few days I very subtly packed a few things. Very softly, very slowly I stashed important things in small boxes that I hid in the back of closets, the attic, under our bed. Soon my son arrived from two states away. While the man was still at work, we quickly stacked my things in the back of a truck, a friend of his standing by for good measure. And just that quick we left, my dog a diminishing figure in the rearview mirror.
My first year alone was excruciating. I loved him and wanted to go back. My heart did. My head knew better, what little rationale I’d managed to bring along. Still, the majority of me longed to be in a familiar place, to be settled in a life known and understood, a life comfortable for my own skin.
I craved the place I was “loved”, no matter how tumultuously.
A new friend came by, tucked my bent and broken body into her car and took me to a local Christian concert. In the midst of thousands of people, I’d never felt so alone and alienated in my life. I was the odd man out, the black sheep, the square in a sea of circles. As the drums beat and the singer belted out passionate notes of Godly love, I began to cry slow and stinging tears, an island unto myself.
In the lull of the harmony, I thought to myself, “Now I am alone. There’s no one to love me. Who will ever know me again?”
Soft tears turned to weeping when a wave of warmth filled me from the inside out. It was like the embrace of a lover sneaking up behind you, their hands softly brushing across your back, around your sides, then clasping across your tummy as they tenderly draw you in.
In that moment my spirit filled with breath not my own, a single utterance,
(Post edited for grammar, clarity and flow. Read more Five Minute Friday entries here.)