Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Too Close

It starts when you slip too far into the shoes of the other man's grief, frustration, fear, and rage. You see things a tad too closely, imagine yourself in those situations. You know, the father taking a strap, the hot sidewalks of homelessness, the getting jumped, but mostly the hardening to a world that gives you no quarter. What happens then is you start to dream about days when it was all lost. And you start to lose it. You sit there in your car outside the gates and weep for the relief of being outside, knowing that men are still in there, always in there, tonight, tomorrow, the next day, the next week, the next years. Then it starts to squirm and coil inside you, to tap your energy, take over, like a parasite gone viral. It is then that you have to claw your way back to someplace far enough distant that you can fight back, breathe. You still have to believe, to stand, and to act. Yes, you still have to act. You will be tempted to quit, but that means you have lost. You learn that you cannot save anyone, but that you can marshal the strength to show up, pull from inside yourself the gifts someone might need. You give up hope that anything might change, but find the will to act anyway, and do so with a heart that you don't give away.

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