When It’s Just Too Much

It’s no wonder we reach for supernatural explanations, incantations and spells. Feeling as I do now, so near to breaking, I can’t point to a single overwhelming event, fact, obstacle. Instead, small moments stretch out behind me like a long path of fallen dominoes, and ahead they stand precariously, vulnerable and threatening to fall so quickly one after the other that I won’t be able to keep up.

It is very hard to sit comfortably on the mat, breathe deeply and trust that things will change. My perceptions will change. My perspectives.

This morning the crows’ chatter was grating. It shouldn’t have been. But in the dark, in the drizzle, with my shoulders aching and my mind echoing conversations (that have and haven’t actually taken place), I wanted to shout back.

I’ve always found it easiest to shift my perspective when I shift it in the material world. Stand-up. Run. Leave town for a day. Leave the country for a week. For good. How big is the thing I need perspective on?

I wanted to rush through their gathering
the way the freight train does on most mornings,
so close to the grove you can feel the wind
rerouted by its intrusion.
The trees shake. The crows wait.

I can hear it now, actually – right on cue – passing behind the neighbor’s house, metal against metal in a high-pitched howl. I can feel a cry somewhere
behind my sternum. It presses
upward and is easy to mistake for heartburn,
though not acidic: rounder, fuller
like an over-ripe fruit.

Nothing like metal shavings of the railroad track, actually.
Nothing that can compete with the world’s ills and hurts and

No. This withheld cry will soften into rot
and something new will eventually
emerge. A new fruit – not better – but
a potential. Because
on it goes.

And catharsis? Well, that’s the stuff
of fiction.

On the other hand. Unlike yesterday, this morning I remembered to wash my hair while showering. I found my missing comb under the sideboard in the entrance hall. I remembered to take the pills that keep my blood from clenching into tight little balls of stop.

That’s my gratitude list for a Wednesday. How am I doing? For today: this is good enough.

7 Replies to “When It’s Just Too Much”

  1. The town near empty of footsteps this overcast drizzling sky. Meals in warm kitchens being cooked, including here. J. and me.

    Reading you. I trust what you say. More precisely, I trust you being you. That’s no mean way to be. The words you choose. The thoughts beneath that roam and linger like the branches bare of autumn leaves. The feelings.

    As you say, “this is good enough”. And I’m more than glad for good enough. I am finding, (allowing?), seeing more, in the simplicity of our leafless garden now.

    I used to think (judge) the garden was not the shape I’d plant if it were my realm. Yet (learning more) I’m not the center of any universe except my own. Less boundaries.

    Me, I think you’re doing fine.

    1. I know I am too slow to respond to your comments – too slow to remind you how much they mean to me – how they set off leaps in my own little head 🙂


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