i am a bystander in the crowd of my own life

i’m not here today

i must be in hiding

surviving with the proverbial covers over my head

yet walking and talking and living-my-life

these days there is no talking myself out of it

no amount of count-your-many-blessings does the trick

no prayers for deliverance fit the bill


i’ve lived in the in-between worlds today

unable to take much in or give much out

i detest this place of seeming nothingness

my soul seems to get lost in the middle of the battle

i can’t discern north, south, east, or west

can’t see where i’ve come from or where i’m headed

blind to even know where i stand in the present


colors are faded

heart is flat

the world is fuzzy

it’s as though i am down a long, long hallway from myself

i cannot reach me

i cannot connect to the emotion of what is real

going through the motions

doing what needs to be done

seems there is so much to process that today i cannot process anything at all

living in the gray zone

it’s torturous at best

obliged to keep my chin up

pull myself up from my boot straps

pat myself on the back

tell myself to focus on the blessings

if only it were that easy

if only it took some magic words


maybe my heart is telling me it’s on overload

that something has to give

yet what can give when i’m tightly hanging on?

there is no keeping-up-with-the-jones-es

i can’t keep up with me

with them, with him


i am gentler with myself when the gray zone descends

i’m learning it’s okay to be here even though it feels like a terrible nothingness

i’m learning to keep putting one foot in front of the other

i’m learning that this too really will pass

i wish i could say it won’t come again

but i am learning to accept that it is a frequent visitor

and i will not give in to the pull of condemning myself for this unwanted guest

it does not define me

it does not entirely control me

but i am learning it does have to run its course

finish its business before it leaves again


i struggle in wondering how it affects my little ones

fake-it-till-you-make-it only goes so far

most days i am able to skirt around the edges of it

living in its shadow

dancing the dance of motherhood to a tune i recall yet don’t hear well in this place


i am convinced that beauty is still here although not felt today

real beauty doesn’t fade with the atmosphere or change with the tides of emotion

it is not dependent on the viewer’s perspective

it just is no matter what

so i cling to what i know is true today

to the realities that are still real no matter the fault lines i am navigating

i fear the next earthquake yet i press in and love anyway

i may know myself even less today than i usually do these days

but i am still me

i cling to what i know

i am what i am today

{Hope Wood Ā© 2014}