The air around me has been thick, resistant to be sucked in.
The furrows in my brow have felt impossible to level.
The clump of all I have to lose has been growing and tightening in my chest.
And fear has been at my hip most moments on most days.
Anxiety wakes me in the night and speaks fright into my ears and I haven’t been able to refute it because it was telling me a kind of truth.
Spouses, children, friends die.
Houses burn down, car wrecks destroy, illness grows.
The evidence of it all is obvious.
I thought that the essence of this lump in my chest was fear of loss.
I thought the air was thick because if I experienced loss again- I would not be able to get on.
That if I lost that I, too, would surely die. But not a restful kind of death- The kind of death where you still have to live everyday and file taxes, shower, grocery shop and pay bills.
But then the full truth occured to me.
It cut in my chest with a knife and dug out that lump.
It brought me to the mountaintop where the air is thin and flows easily.
People have always got on, it said.
If all five of Horatio Spafford’s children can die yet he can still write a song titled “it is well with my soul” then I could get on, too.
If millions of ethical minority people can live under brutality and still create, love and build then I, too, could get on.
If a woman can live trapped in a closet for half a decade and wake up one day to decide she is going to make herself free then I, too, could get on.
And for a moment, my brow smooths out as I suck the air in deep,
straigten my posture,
elbow the hell out of the devil at my hip
and get on.