I saw a bag at the top of a tall tree. Full of air, the wind pushing it; it rocked back and forth, held by the stub of a branch. It is so beautiful, so lucky, so blessed.
My sponsor frowns. “Beautiful, yes,” she says. “Lucky and blessed? Convince me.”
“The bag is lucky; it could be on my doorknob, holding garbage. Blessed? It’s free, not a care in the world, supported aloft by the strength of the tree.
“Inside your house, it’s warm. Holding garbage is useful. Lucky to be out in the cold, no purpose, no one needing your help? Blessed? Caught on a tree, trapped, sharp twigs everywhere ready to shred you, beaten by the wind?”
“You’re playing devil’s advocate.”
“ I do it well. What are you playing? You want to be free. What is free? You want to know for sure you’re on the right path. You think the bag knows?”
“If I were the bag, I might be mad. I might condemn the forces filling me so full I can only feel the force itself. I might be exhilarated, overtaken, free from responsibility. I might feel isolated, unstable 40 feet in the air. I might feel punished, abandoned, dismissed. I could feel a thousand different things.”
“And on the days the wind doesn’t blow?”
Imitate all the animal calls you know
Bubbling tides of white water,
time roils past me and my protests go unheard.
Physic feedback loops revisits raw moments
to me with inopportune exactitude.
The beautiful droplets of dawn rain down
then evaporate leaving another day’s timeline
to fan out before me.
The alternating fury and jubilation
of passing intervals leaves a challenge,
first a question of bend or break,
second a call to forecast.
Can I flex or will I live in pieces?
Shall I look at patterns
and strive for harmonious waltz
or turn my face from the calendar dreading each trice?
Bully or benefactor time rolls.
I can go with it or be under it that choice is mine.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault