circling

The thing that I didn’t understand about grief, for forever, is that it was never reserved for the obvious gaping losses of life. An ever-present thing called grief lives in your house, walks with you as you move, layers on your skin like the sweat of summer. In your sleep, it learns to leave, melting into the folds of unwashed blankets as your resting body grieves the day. You wake with the smell of yesterday’s grief dull on the air and, blinded by familiarity, you rarely realize it for what it is. The bulk of it will soak through the walls by noon, spread through the dirt of the backyard, eat at the roots of perennials and the remains of things that grieved only in gray shades of hunger and fear and hawks circling the sky. I am beginning to wonder if the first thing Eve felt, in the scared breath of her new disobedience, was grief—a shallow, childish grief mingled with the slow understanding of what she had done. A breath later came crippling pity for herself and for her children who would tear into life with her grief as a canvas for their own. Her old self folded away into some inaccessible place, was buried and gone, and for a moment, she saw herself as God might have seen her—a living, terrified, dying thing. Maybe, in the bright desperation of her remaining days, she murmured a prayer of thanks for the unfaltering surety of her mortal grief. Without its loyal weight, why would she teach her children to run towards the father that she had disobeyed? Why would she ever care again for anything that lived or died under the burning sun?

11 thoughts on “circling

  1. Oh my. Wow, just wow. Very deep. A lot to unpack. Love it!

    I sense your own pain in the piece though, and I hope things are ok. Praying for you tonight. After all no one can have too many prayers said for them, right? :)

    Liked by 2 people

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