The song had been left on repeat for hours and she sang along with it each time as if it was new. The little things that needed to be done, had gotten done. The preparing for the next day’s schedule of nothings had all been cleaned and laid out, gently set in a pile having double and triple checked all she needed. It didn’t matter how busy she kept, the tears continued down her face. Everything was fine, truly. Sometimes one just needs to cry. There was no sadness, not that she knew of or could feel within her self. The song continued to play and she sang along. Sometimes she’d hum, sometimes she’d stop and drop that which was in her hands and cover her face firmly letting out the sighs and letting the air fill her lungs. They begged for air, those lungs. Whatever was going on in her heart or mind was causing a block of willingness to let air in. It was a constant decision to take in air and exhale it. Air was work. Even though she thought the breathing had been getting better, the last couple days she found herself sinking to old thoughts of worth. Worth was such a tricky word to her, she’d sit for hours and contemplate the different kinds of worth and how to weigh or measure it. This did not make her sad, she genuinely had been curious as to how she could be measured, how she measured others, whether it was a good or bad thing to do, and who decided what was good or bad? Her mind had been rarely centered as of late, her lack of focus had been chalked up to not having many responsibilities. She was thankful for the break, but could clearly see she was better off with a bit more discipline. Making lists helped, setting timers or limits, then rewarding herself with goodies like cake or cookies. It was the little things.
And the song played on. She sang and sang, quietly, then loudly. She sang out loud as if she was singing it to someone though she didn’t know who it could possibly be about. Music and songs were like mini-time machines, able to bring memories of different times and place to the present. She’d find herself standing still staring, then she’d laugh or cry, or both. The song reminded her of feelings, not people. Even though she knew she was singing to someone, she couldn’t see his/her face. Not wishing to spend too much time analyzing the reason behind setting the song on repeat, she just honored the need to let it echo in her ears and mind–for hours. At times she’d close her eyes and they would sting. She was so tired, and the tears didn’t help, or did they? The dancer she used to be would occasionally stretch her arms out and feel a spot light. She’d point her foot and place her leg out then realize what she was doing and open her eyes, ashamed almost. Her body language apologized to no one as she gathered herself and continued her mindless cleaning and organizing. And the song played.
The bed had been made, the food was eaten, the black bag was packed, the clean clothes were put away, the homework had been set aside on the cold tile in her room and the book laid open and face down on the blueish grey sheets, saving her place. She stood and reached for the door knob when something in the song sounded different. She closed her eyes and listened. Flashes of people raced through her mind, all smiling. She smiled back, and the smile brought a flood of tears. They were all so encouraging with their embraces and the joy glowing on their faces, and she held the tightly until the disappeared, leaving her alone. It was a happy and terribly sad feeling. How did both exist? Then more flashes crossed her mind. Faces of doubt; unfamiliar faces. She felt the sadness pulling at her chest and struggled to reach for anyone left smiling, to no avail. Eyes still tightly closed she held her breath trying to push the darkness out. It pulled at her, with it’s own kind of gravity. It was gentle and easy to slip into the sadness, though she struggled to not let it consume her. She sang with the song and the words began to take more focus. She was directing them to the image in front of her. But this image knew everything about her, strengths and weaknesses, and every time she pulled away from it, it would pull her back–reminding her of her actual weakness. Like a coward she let it begin to consume her and her head began to drop and she sang “set me free, leave me be, I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity…” The darkness was something she could always curl up to, it blanketed all the wrongs and mistakes it was her excuse for giving up on anything. It was what justified her failures. It knew every dirty little secret, weakness or ache. It was not mean to her, it was as if it was trying to remind her–that she was nothing, and would never be anything. And she believed it. “Something always brings me back to you, it never takes too long”
She opened her eyes, slowly and her vision was blurry “no matter what I say or do, I still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone…you hold me without touching, you keep me without chains” Was it possible that she actually did know who she was singing too. That the busy work was a way of waiting for the realization? A few steps forward “you loved me ’cause I’m fragile, but I thought that I was strong” and she was standing before that which was constantly holding her back. That which never gave her permission to be truly strong or truly vulnerable without feeling fake or weak. Would she ever break free of the comfort that doubt and failure constantly covered her in, like a baby blanket? Would she ever let the joyous glow on everyone else’s faces reflect on her own? Could the darkness release her, and give her permission to try and escape again?
And she sang. And she cried. And then, she stopped.