The darkness is not always there. But the mask slips at times. #journal

I’ve been trying to write a post for days.  And those that know me know that it’s unusual for me to have to pause in the process.  But I have become stuck.


There’s a pain in the chest that reminds me to pay attention, to try to figure it out.  My journal- usually filled with clutter and profusion- has stopped.  There are only some scrawled words…

June 10 11 12/ 2013 

Darkness behind the smile

Turning away

The abyss

The mess

I’ve wanted to write about the darkness behind my smiles.  The darkness is not always there.  But the mask slips at times.   I will be in situations at work or over dinner with family or friends and chirp and converse and dialogue and laugh, but as I say goodbye and I turn away, a darkness slips underneath me and I stand on the precipice and I crawl back to the car and my grey, threadbare worn-out clothes droop around me.  My ashen old face with its sunken eyes is unveiled.  I get back in the car and slump.

But I look over and see my dog looking at me with love in his eyes and I feel the simplicity of love heal me.  I can turn the key again and drive into my future- whatever lies ahead, however long or short it may be.

I suppose it’s fatigue.  It’s all the projects on the brink of success (“we just need to get there”); it’s the usuals.  But I know there has been something else to it.

Driving home today, my mind lingered on my mother.  At the red light, I grabbed my phone and searched YouTube for mom’s favorite song, Cohen’s Halleluja.

Ah- there we go.  The floodgates opened.  I played it about 8 times through before entering the garage and knew those words could be about her, could have been hers.  Could be mine to her.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

– Leonard Cohen

I could feel my mother’s angel wings envelop me and allow me to miss her.  For what daughter, so loved by mother [a mother I knew who lived with a broken and fragile soul but who loved me so completely] would not miss a mom like mine.  And it’s OK to miss her.  It’s OK.


Mourning is not forgetting . . . It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the dust.

~ Margery Allingham




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