While unfamiliar hands pat you on the back, congratulating you with the strength and courage shown amidst your storm, you do all that you can not to crumble underneath that touch. As the sympathetic clicking of tongues and whispered adulations fall on your ears, you try your very best not to drown in the quirk mire of grief and loss. Shouts of admiration break around you as your head break the surface and you gasp for air. “You can do this, you know you can!” they cheer you on as you once again sink below the dark waves of despair.  Briefly you notice the curious bystanders, unceremoniously gawking as your tragedy unfolds eager to retell the tale.

And you, you are trapped in an eerie world, wholly unfamiliar and unknown to you, where strange sounds and smells assault your senses, where the rules of engagement are foreign to you and control is   located in a galaxy far from you. Abandoned to rules of conduct and procedures not of your choosing but binding and enforced by powers outside of you, your compliance is demanded and your co-operation called for.

You raise your hands, not in surrender but to ward off those around you, trying to push them back, to make room for you to breathe, to gather yourself. You even take a step back to get a better view and understanding of what is taking place, but things are happening so fast that the gap you left is immediately filled with new frantic activity. Your hands grapple for the universal remote so that you can pause time, rewind and reset. If only you can reset.

Reset to that sweet moment of lying in the warm embrace of a lover. Reset to a nurturing moment cradling your darling child in your arms. Cheerful days spend under clear skies and radiant suns, meals shared around communal tables. If only…if only there was one more chance revisiting these precious moments that left their indelible marks on lives.

But it is not to be and you are swept away by a tide that leaves you exhausted, washed up on a foreign beach. You cease to exist. You become a problem to be resolved, an illness to be cured, a case to be closed. A reference number, a protocol, a date set for completion. “If everybody just play their part the matter can be finalized as quickly and efficiently as possible and all can return to normal,” you hear but you know that you will never be the same again, things will never be the same again, the world as you know it will never be the same again.

Everybody else wants to move on, insists on moving on but you are like an insect trapped in amber, forever suspended in that one defining moment. Peering through ochre resin you see others moving, breathing, living, talking. Laughing, loving, being…

Entrapped, you are forsaken as the token of all which nobody ever wants for themselves, a stark reminder of fate always lying in ambush. From behind the mucilage veil you long to be rescued, to be saved from the terrible lot that has befallen you. Some days you gesticulate to any and everybody that happens to come your way, trying to attract the attention of a potential savior. Other days you feel depleted from energy and even the merest of movements seems impossible but all the while your eyes keep on begging for reprieve. You long for a hand that will reach for yours, that will dare to break through the hard shell that encapsulates you. A compassionate ear that will hear with sincerity, not to judge or to reply but seeking to understand your new world and reality. You yearn for a heart that will be open to feel deeply and care profoundly for your bruised and broken heart. Above all you hunger for another spirit that will intuitively and without explanation truly understand the state of your being.

While days, weeks and months drag by you come to realize that there is only one hand that can shutter your amber wall, that there is only one that needs to understand your world and your reality and that is you. You recognize the heart that needs to be open and receiving is yours and that you have awakened to the truth of your being and that is enough.

As the light filters through the ochre veil and love and life returns to your heart, you can hold yourself tenderly with grace and compassion, making room for forgiveness and healing to find a home with you. When peace settles over your heart and mind you know that in difficult times you will always be held.

©Copyright Micelle Coetsee 2017




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