STARS – by Jeff Foster

You are tired, friend.
Your body aches to rest.
Give in.
You have wanted to fall apart for so long.
To let go of your defenses.
To be transparent and authentic.

Your cynicism has protected you.
Your fear has served you well.
Your dreams of enlightenment were beautiful dreams.
But there is no need to hold your ’self’ together any longer.

Or simply stop pretending that you don’t know ‘how’.
The vastness will hold you.
Only illusions can disappear.

The deeper the heart breaks
The more love it can hold.

Don’t tell me you are not worthy.
Don’t tell me you are not made of stars.

- by Jeff Foster

Life is short, life is shit, and soon it will be over  (Kids in the hall - Brain Candy movie)

Once upon a time, a girl was at the end of her rope.  She was tied to the end of a dead weight, a heavy rock.   If she untied herself, she’d find herself attached to guilt.  Tied to it, she was attached to despair.  She dragged this rock around with her wherever she went.  The rock screamed and cried and flailed hysterically.  At times it seemed it wanted more out of life, but the trouble was, as he got bigger, it was more difficult to provide the movement he so enjoyed.   The more attempts she made for her own safety resulted in more upset from him, with him screaming and crying to the point of passing out.    She was the rock’s mother.

She had read a story about a dog named Faith, born with 2 hind legs and 1 front leg that ultimately had to be amputated.  The puppy’s mother didn’t want it and the owner had been contemplating euthanasia as they felt it would not survive anyway.  But a friend stepped in and was determined to teach this dog to walk.  So she took it.   She did teach it to walk and she and the dog have had quite an impact on many.  This story sent the girl into uncontrollable weeping.  She knew she was like the puppy’s mother who didn’t want this “puppy”.  At least, she thought bitterly, the dog was motivated by treats to persevere and try.  Her rock was not.  Nothing motivated him.  He was just a dead weight that hated anything that helped the girl, usually because it meant strapping the rock down even more.

Others told her, well at least he can move about, at least he can do this or that.  This was no consolation.  Things would be so much easier if he couldn’t move like he did, because his movements were so uncoordinated, unbalanced, resisting, strong.  He fought everything she tried to do for him.  He didn’t realize he was killing her.   Everything she did to try to help the rock help itself was only met with anger and screaming.  It was like living in a nightmare, one that never ended, that had no escape, and when there were moments of peace, something picked her up and threw her violently back into despair, where she had to claw her way out over and over and over and over and over again.

Her husband spoke of his job dissatisfaction, about feeling like he was only ever putting out fires, and never had the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of his labor.  She understood that.   He dealt with it by applying for new jobs.  And having responsibilities lessened.  Lucky bastard.  She guessed she could take that wisdom and apply it somehow, but she didn’t know how to.  She felt like why would she ever expect anyone to carry this rock as well.  It was so dreary at times.  It bit, it hit, it kicked.  Not maliciously, but in fun.  He liked to explore life with his teeth.  He waved his arms and legs about happily, but as he got bigger, one had to steer clear of those flying limbs.  They hurt.   The mother had a new bruise every day.

Of course any bruises on the rock might be cause to remove him from her life, and her to be labeled as being an abusive caregiver.  But no one understood the abuse she took every day.  Loving punches and bites came out of nowhere.  But he had the most beautiful eyes, the most beautiful smile.  It lit up her heart to see them both.  She tried to do fun things with him, but it was becoming more difficult to play.  She did so much for him, to try to make both their lives more enjoyable, but consistently, anything done for her sake was met with screaming.

They had a wheelchair van graciously donated to them.  He hated it.  He screamed going up the lift, screamed all the way in the van, screamed going down the lift.  He fought and resisted everything that would improve the quality of his life.  She was tired.  If medicine could not have intervened in his birth, they both would have died, and sometimes she had wished that had happened.  And sometimes, when she thought of throwing her rock off a cliff, she knew she’d have to jump after him.

She had never hated life before.  When she did get reprieves, it seemed to make things worse once back immersed in life with this rock.  Everything she had once enjoyed in life stopped existing.  She watched families play together. She watched children wrap their arms around their mom or dad, and be comforted. She watched children born after her son grow and develop around her, surpassing the rock in leaps and bounds.  It killed her.  She was still playing the same games with her rock that she’d been playing since he was born.  It was like having to fake orgasms all day every day.  She wanted to kill herself, but didn’t.  She used to be such a happy go lucky person.  Life used to shine in her.  Now life had disappeared, made itself scarce.  At least life as she knew it.  Stepping back into reality bit the big one.  It was  as if she gave any energy to what her identity needed, it didn’t want to let it go.  And the longer her respite, the worse reentry to reality was.  What was the point of giving the life and enjoyments she knew any airtime if they could not have life?  What was the point in stepping into the past?  These things no longer existed for her.  She looked at things in her home that were part of her past hopes and dreams.  She wanted to get rid of them all.  Anything that hinted at something she used to enjoy she wanted to throw out….

… But Truth told her everything was ok, not to fear this process, that she’d been a tough nut to crack, like the outer shell of a coconut.  She felt very much like a once magnificent and free horse that was now caught and tethered to a very heavy rock for the purpose of breaking her will.  She’d been so happy before.  Not at this time now.  As much as she was frustrated…

…..deeeeeeeeeeeep inhale…….sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….comin’ johnjohn……

Next:  Losing track of time