This Too Shall Pass

October 12, 2017

 

[Originally written 6/4/2007]

 

I can remember being about sixteen years old, sitting on the living room couch (the one no one ever sat in because it was in the "living room", rather than the "family room") and crying rivers over some boy who had broken my heart. Although science says one cannot physically recall pain, making it impossible for child-bearing mothers to recant the actual pain of childbirth, I can almost certainly remember that same gnawing feeling of pain, deep in the center of my chest. My mother came to me, and sat with me, stroked my tear-soaked hair, and told me it would "all work out in the end, it always does". I can also most certainly remember the terrible feeling of not believing her. 

As I sobbed, I remember saying, "I thought this kind of thing would get easier as you got older..." and she quietly chuckled to herself. Composed, she then whispered, "No...no it doesn't get easier. As a matter of fact it probably gets more difficult, because as you grow, you start to love even deeper, and the deeper you love, the more deeply it hurts." I'm quite certain I wasn't able to see the irony of her words at the time, and probably didn't possess the capability of understanding that she, too, had loved deeply, and therefore had hurt just as deeply. 

It's amazing how certain smells, songs, phrases, TV shows, or even trinkets laying on a coffee table have the ability to bring some of that pain right back. No matter how many safeguards you take, no matter how many times you shut off the radio, change the channel, or stash away those physical memories, dammit there's always something that makes it's way back in to remind you of exactly what you were running from. Years can go by, and just hearing the name of that boy who first broke my heart can still somehow manufacture that that deep, gaping, empty chasm in my chest...even more so now that it has a head-start with the current situation. 

Someone else told me once that "God answers every prayer...but sometimes his answer is 'No'." Whether you (or I) believe in a conventional, organized religion's God, or some other higher power to whom you deliver the inevitable "Please God, let _____ happen" message to, I guess the inevitable disappointment remains. Invariably, when we do make the call, we are usually asking to be "granted" something.

 

"Please make him/her call."

 

"Please let me get this job."

 

"Please let them be okay."

 

Whatever the case is, it's almost always something we are wholeheartedly hoping to get a positive "Yes" answer from.  We always want to "get" something. That's why we "ask", right? A strange paradox...how often do we ask for something to be taken away?

Today the rain pours down in almost perfectly symmetrical vertical lines, as though it was created by some cosmic Hollywood rain machine miles and miles above the earth, developed specifically for poignant, deliberate, dramatic moment. Irony abounds, as in recent "better days", the sun has brilliantly shined, almost annoyingly. And each pounding drop hammers another dent into the surface.  One that will quickly becoming the chasm to which my mother spoke of; the one that would inevitably return, and with greater depth.

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October 12, 2017

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