We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile…
-Paul Laurence Dunbar

They ask where I am going, what is coming next, am I excited??
I want to cry, and scream, and run. I want to pack all that I
own into the trunk of my Honda Accord and drive and drive
until the sunrise turns the hood orange and I am riding in
a blur beside endless fields of wheat. I want to fly to the other
side of the world and become a regular in a coffee shop with
a wooden bar and seashell-colored mugs, in a city brimming
with coastal visitors who sweep in and out beside the pastel
blues and pinks and greens of flowers and apartment buildings,
and no one will know me and I will almost forget who I was.

Why did you go, I had to stay…now I’m reaching for you.
Will you wait? Will you wait?
Will I see you again?

 -Hymn for the Missing, Red

The emptiness is closing in–the walls are tightening like
fingers digging in the sand for water that cannot be found.
The people around me are fading into memory. I am fading
into a shadow that smiles and makes good small talk but
within empty halls is breaking apart like pottery. I see the
places where I once was heartbroken, where I was happy,
and watch everything change and I can’t catch the minutes,
the memories that are flying past me. It will all turn to pain
and blood before the end. Life seems like a tease–a little
love, a little life–then watch the people you love die, your
dreams crack at the foundation and tumble, your health
growing grayer and grayer until you can only watch other
people live like you once did, dance like you once did,
love like you once did, hope like you once did.

 How do you pick up the threads of an old life?
How do you go on, when in your heart you begin
to understand…there is no going back.
-Return of the King (film)

The world seems empty and full of weariness to me
right now. But…

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;

my Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.
-Isaiah 49:14-16

There is hope in the place where I am, in this uncertainty.
There is something beautiful being created even in tears,
even in the gray times where nothing is realistically wrong
but nothing is right all the same. There is a spark out
there again, waiting to be re-ignited. There is a new life
out there, just a cup of tea and a few spoken words and
a few crocheted stitches away….

That time is past, and all its aching joys are now no more,
and all its dizzy raptures. Not for this faint I, nor mourn
nor murmur; other gifts have followed; for such loss I
would believe, abundant recompense.
-William Wordsworth

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