September 16, 2022

2 Words to Remember When Despair Creeps In.


A portal appeared on my living wall.

The one facing northeast.

Is it real? Which dimension of reality?

It appeared both intriguing, and frightening. Dare I enter?

I stepped through carefully, just my left foot first. Then my right. Darkness.

The ebony ether enclosed me. I reached an arm forward into the void and felt…nothing.

Then a slight breeze, cold enveloped my being.

Make the music stop. I can hear the shadows darting through the grooves in my grey matter. Their gloomy melody firing my neurons.

Make it stop. Please.

“Turkey-turkey-turkey,” I called. Finally, I could hear the shuffling of his heavy shoes across the filthy concrete floor. The jangle of keys in his burly hand. His tired face looked through the bars to me, tired puffy eyes questioning my call. “I need to use the bathroom, please.”

He nodded, never correcting me that turnkey was the correct way to get his attention. He fiddled with the hefty key ring, finally finding the right one to open the jail cell. Discretely he led me, then stood outside the doorless tiled room. Grungy, rusty, ugh. But nature calls.

I wanted to ask the time, but, why bother? It was past midnight. The evening events of the past several hours a haunting memory. Just breathe.

Yes, when faced with a situation with no current solution, why worry? Just breathe.

I returned to my cell, eager to be out of the questionable restroom, although the thought of sitting on that bench was not too appealing. Just breathe. The cell door clanged shut, a loud echoing sound to further warn me of my current lost freedom. I folded my legs up to a lotus position, inhaled to lengthen my spine.

Just breathe.

Is this a physical place? Are these metal bars real?

Make the music stop. Please.

Or are these shackles binding anxiety in the mind? Mental bars, and cuffs, trapping thoughts that need to release.

Could this be a cage encasing the heart? Shielding others from desired access—only to cause grief, torment, and despair. Causing one to keep the armor in place; in turn, trapping the hurt inside.

When faced with a deplorable situation that we cannot find an immediate solution to, we let it go, for now. Just breathe.

Eyes closed to shut out the graffiti-stained filthy walls, or eyes open to be aware of any danger.

Just breathe.

Deep inhales to alert the sympathetic, flight-fight-freeze nervous system? Or slow and light inhales with long, slow exhales, all through the nose, mouth closed; to shut it down and gently coax alive the rest—digest the parasympathetic nervous system?

Just breathe. 

Let the thoughts come and go, focus on the breath. Stay in the present. Tomorrow will bring clarity, for this, I must believe. Just breathe.

And then, I exited the portal.

If I could be but one element,

I’d have to be air.

To be free and full of motion

Giving breath and life to all.

To skip leaves down the sidewalk

To finger through silky hair

To just simply be.


Read 48 Comments and Reply

Read 48 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Janice Dolk  |  Contribution: 417,860

author: Janice Dolk

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Sukriti Chhopra