Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Traveling Directions

There ought to be a word
for the way you know how to get some place
but don't remember the names of streets
the number of turns and blinking yellow lights
so that if someone asked
you really couldn't say
except you know the road starts out straight
and when it's sunny the branches blink across
the windshield making you want to rub your eyes
then the road turns sharply uphill past a red barn
where a black dog jumps out to race you for a quarter mile
and finally recedes in the mirror like a disappointment
and you remember the road dips downhill
into the shadows of the morning
where you hear Bach's unaccompanied 'cello
and understand what a good fit the 'cello makes
in the hollow of the body
where grief begins and for an indeterminate time
the road winds vaguely past
houses people road signs
while time hums in your ear and you remember
the dream you left behind that morning
which had nothing
to do with where
you are going

"Travel Directions" by Joan I. Siegel, from Hyacinth for the Soul.

On Monday, my therapist asked me to come up with a word or words that describes how I felt during the attack. Not before when I knew things were about to go to shit, not after when I could look back on what happened to Daphne or all the other consequences. But during. What did I feel?

And I know I know. I live next to those feelings every day. They often pass through my head, unbidden. Or sometimes, when I want to punish myself or wallow in guilt or self pity, I take myself there. I know the way by heart.

But now that someone has asked, I really can’t say. I have yet to come up with words. It’s really hard to describe. Or, more honestly, maybe I don’t want to. Maybe its just too private a space to share.

What would it mean to take someone else there? I don’t know. Today I have more questions than answers.


  1. I wish I could give you your answers but unfortunately, this is something you have to do yourself. I'll always be here though... right beside you. Waiting for you to find the right words.

  2. Isn't the point to take that dark and private place out into the light of day and air it out?

    Be patient with yourself. You will get there.

  3. Yeah, what ren said. Not that you need to share it with anyone but your therapist if you don't want to...and I'd want to know why it's so important too. Awestruck at what you are attempting. Wish we could all hold your hand while you think. A virtual support...hmm.

  4. What would it mean to take someone else there? What did you once tell me about being in the closet? It can be a very lonely place.

    You are in my prayers, always.

  5. I am absolutely amazed at your strength and courage. To open this compartment, shake out the contents and examine them takes such resolve. Wow.


  6. When you're ready, you'll know. We'll be here. (((you)))