My favorite quote is from actress, alcholic, drug addict, clinically depressed, bipolar Carrie Fisher, who said. "Losing your mind is a terrible thing but once it's gone it's fine. Completely fine, because there is no longer a part of you that knows the rest of you is missing" I kept waiting for the part of me that KNEW the rest of me was missing to die off so I could embrace the coma and find peace in my mind.
What I figured out is the part that would give up, that knew there was indeed something missing was my spirit. My mind gave up long ago but the spirit just wouldn't freaking relent. I have no human reason to come up with that explains how I found the nerve and strength to try to salvage this trip of mine, in this body on the third rock from the sun but it happened.
My gambling friend Kay was terribly terribly ill for a good period and the doctors couldn't find out what was wrong with her. She said she made a promise that if she ever felt well enough to return to the land of living she would go and not stop, that is what she vowed to do. She got better and she is a crazy ,cyclonic force of life to be reckoned with today. I think the biggest perk of coming back for the edge of darkest dark, is this overwhelming gratitude just to be here at the party- Invited, honored, grateful guests. I can't imagine what the story , my story, would have been had I got the thing i prayed for countless times, literally in hot water up to my neck in a garden tub so large you could have misplaced a Volvo in it. My desperate nekkid prayer was to let me out of the mess or let me surrender the part that knew the rest of me was missing.
I see people, displaced, disenfranchised, discombobulated and detached. They have no part of them left that knows the other part is missing and it does NOT look like the respite I sought.They, these men without homes or attachment, wander in the NA hall which is down from the Rescue Mission, for a free cup of coffee. Skin so beaten by the cruel rays of sun it's like thick untreated cheap South American leather. Fingers, darkened to the point of looking like old cigars, hair untended, unkempt and defiant. They walk in and make eye contact with no one, Sometimes they consciously or unconsciously run their ruddy fingers across their wild hair as if there might still be a thread of a person inside that once knew a social grace. Some mutter or sometimes shout at the voices in their own heads but mostly, they just remind me that sometimes there is the most beautiful grace of all is unanswered prayer.
I talked to a homeless man in the hall a couple of years ago, it was springtime and the storms had been occurring regularly we get in April and May here. I don't know how he got from Texarkana to Longview but he came for Mother's Day. His mother was buried in the cemetery behind Krogers and he had slept the night before our conversation, on what he called his mother's land- which was just big enough for the box she was buried in, underneath him in the cemetery behind the Kroger. The meeting started , he got one more cup of coffee and then he returned to wherever people go when they disappear. It rained again that night and I thought about him looking to make a connection with something, anything, even it was a plot of dirt and a headstone marking the life and death of his mother. Perhaps all he was sure of was he was once this woman's son.
He told his story with out emotion, it was just matter of fact, he was completely removed and unaware of the tragedy and depth of his accounting. He showed me, and people all around show me exactly what it looks like when " there is no longer a part of you left that knows the rest of you is missing" really looks like. It didn't and doesn't seem like a solution to me today, the killing of the "kwowing" of my "being". Frankly, I don't think I even ever really came close to it. There was always this crazy tiny voice, perhaps the voice of God, perhaps the voice of Mrs. Butterworth, who knows, but something kept whispering, and though I wasn't aware I was listening it kept stating " the story need not end today,the story need not end here."
The author of my favorite quote is still here too. She speaks and she writes in a voice I understand, a wisdom I too have earned from my dance with the "darkest dark". She writes in gratitude and with a humor that all can appreciate but only those who have tried repeatedly to disappear within ourselves forever truly can breath in fully.
I say a prayer for the people so locked up in themselves, that fail to recognize any part of themselves any longer. It's so easy to get lost and so very hard to fight your way back. It's a fight worth fighting. I haven't been trapped in my own thoughts in a long time. I know longer try to "think" myself to sleep at night, but most miraculous is, I know who I am today and I know the sound of my own voice and I like the sound of it. I LIKE the truth as i have unearthed it for myself, to blaze a streak across my computer screen and hopefully shine the light from it into the God awful "Darkest of Darks" in some other poor son of a bitches life who surrendered to the wrong thing.
'Do NOT SURRENDER DOROTHY!"
As my dear kindred likes to say, "That is all, carry on"! You know i don't have the ability to see my typos and errors hope it still reads ok. I'm a writer that prefers content over the crossing of the T's and the dotting of the I's. But that's just me.