It was as though she had been born under some condemning, unforgiving shadow. So much of her life had been colored by pain, suffering, illness, and unkindness that she often cried out to God asking what she had done to deserve such cruelty. But the only answer that ever came from God or people was, “Nothing.” But if she had really done nothing surely this had to stop, and it never seemed to. She tried constantly to remember, to find that place in her life where she had done, or said, or thought that one thing that had made everything go wrong from that point thereon so she could try to go back and correct it, but she could never find it. Yet, she seemed the dupe and victim of all who cared to make her so, all who looked for some human vessel to unleash and dump their hatred, intolerance, and meanness upon. The power-plays and vicious deeds so deliberately rendered were willfully brutal and callously outrageous. Coupled with the day-to-day discord and misery of her constant endeavors for existence they were often overwhelming. Eventually all the pain, strife, and struggle in her life began to overtake her even as she continued fighting to get past it. There was so much negativity that, despite all her efforts to keep going and to think positively, it began to compact itself into a shadowy, spiny spot that converged inside of her like some dense, dark, rough pit. It sat there growing, gathering, and forcing itself to her very center A pit, she realized one day, that was very much like one finds inside an olive.
More and more she began to feel like the olive of her musings, with that heavy, caliginous, and adamantine kernel growing inside of her. As the pit grew, so ripened her sense of utter hopelessness and despair. The darkness cast upon her by it all made even breathing difficult. After a while every time she tried to do something in her life, in her pursuit of deed or satisfaction - - to function, survive, to find some enjoyment or accomplishment, or even to just think, some sinew, some piece of her mind, heart, or her soul would catch on its’ roughness and tug painfully at her. It would pull and hold her back until she was locked mid-step - - mid-dream - - by it, semi-aloft and sinking painfully into a new, but familiar, desperation. More and more she felt the desire to just give up in frustrated disheartenment. This scratchy, insistent impediment was exhausting, filling her days and nights with laments of anguish, discouragement, and dread. Somehow it snagged and tore at her every attempt to move past it. Eventually its’ heavy essence seeped throughout her so fully and completely that its’ burden weakened her, sapping her strength and emotions and leaving her bereft and in tears.
Crying became second nature to her until her eyes were permanently puffed and red-rimmed and her face was always blotchy, peaked and swollen. Her eyes themselves became deep wells of sorrow that flashed past her smiles, trumpeting their agony to all who truly looked into them. Attempts at pleasure were short-lived, knowing that they would be dashed at the whim of an unforgiving cosmos, entity, or person. Her nights were spent sleepless and in great, mounting despair. When she did sleep she was plagued by horrific nightmares that she awoke from screaming, weeping, and further traumatized, while her waking moments were increasingly filled with formidable gloom. It became ever harder for her to find reasons to try to continue in this bramble of a life, as her struggles only seemed to bring her further damage, injury, insult, and strife. She fought desperately to find some rational, logical way out, all to no avail, and yet she pondered it constantly. Slowly her mind began to grasp the anatomical physiology of it all, articulating it to her bit by bit so that she could understand some of what was happening to her in all of this and showing her at last the burgeoning craggy hub in the depths of her being. As the reality seeped into her exhausted mind, she sought to comprehend it on a practical level. And then one night she began to realize, since evicting it was not a possibility because she had no supports for the massive void it would crush upon her, that she had to find a way to change it, to smooth it out, or she would never get anything done in her life. Intrigued, she pondered the solution to this, turning ideas over and over in her mind as she contemplated some way to accomplish her task. And then she hit upon an idea that she knew she had to at least try.
Ever so slowly she began to meditate, each time envisioning that pit more and more like a smooth striated marble. Three times a day she sunk down into a warm corner in her living room, pulled a blanket about her, leaned her head back into the dark softness, and fixed her mind upon the pit. She first began by learning its’ every nuance, point, and cranny, letting her mind linger over it as she took in the texture, weight, color, and depth of it. She began to let herself anticipate her fingers moving over it, roughly, but gingerly at first, and then working carefully to smooth it into a silken dark orb. She put a golden cloth into her hands to protect them from the harshness, and to give the pit a radiant sheen as she hewed, polished, burnished and refined its character. When she grew tired, she cupped it gently in her arms as she rested. As new hindrances challenged her, she worked to burnish them into the sculpture she was refining so deeply inside of her until it all began to take on the aura and shape of a round, gleaming, color-chambered, crystal sphere. As the color of the orb inside of her became lighter, so did its weight and it began more and more to feel like a sturdy and solid, but buoyant jewel. This gem became a beautiful adornment that gave her balance and grounding while giving ornament and permission to her thoughts and ideas. She began to thrive on its very brilliance until after a while, whenever some part of her moved over it, those parts became smoother, more elastic, even as they polished the marble to a gleaming jewel-like gloss. The unison of it all only made her glow more and more luminous like the stars in the cosmos until one day she looked up to realize that she had become part of all of the universe, coursing easily about all the craggy din of her life with silken ease. She could put out her fingers and feel them trail about the very esprit of the atmosphere, leisurely reach to the sunny warmth, let it soak into her like energy seeping and racing through a rich and brilliantly gleaming copper conduit. Her nights were emblazoned with the light, love, and community of a million stars, comets, and shimmering novas that cradled her in their celestial auras. She had found a home with the thousands of other frail, delicate, and vivid beings whose ethereal blessings had been coaxed, coruscated, and refined in their own jagged and dusty journeys. If only . . . . .
Olive/Coloring the Moon ~ © 2001 JM Shephard ~ JOY in the arts!