I) Do you ever feel physical manifestations of your guilt? First is the lightning crack straight through my head- leaving a fiery hole from the crown of my head to my spinal cord. My forehead and ears burn like crazy. Like a flame is being brought so close to my skin. My cheeks warm up and my jaw is locked into into its tensest position, though it is always a long time before I notice it and try to calm it down. And there is this weight? Pressing down on top of my head and shoulders, lightly burning, too. I feel cemented in a cage of worthlessness and shame. Agony. The despair is mine.
II) Listen. Listen to the dandelions and listen to the pink burning out of the sky. Listen to the golden yellow finch (I know you would like to see) brush its wings up and down. Listen to the gravel-- dirt and rocks under your old, black, rubber tires. Listen to the brakes of your car. Listen to jazz- moving like a wave of neon purple light in and out and around gleaming brass pipes. Listen to the strings buzzing and feathers falling. Listen to my breathing-- it is gentle. Listen to the kids laughing so hard that I want to cry; it's beautiful. It really is. Even if it is about the stupidest thing. The stupidest joke on the whole planet-- completely redeemed by the chortling music notes scampering out of their goofiest grins. Listen to the bug fiddling with your ear. Listen to the shhhcrunch of sheets, pillows, and blanets. Listen to an overture of summer rain showers. Listen to the thunder and the windows shutting and the turquoise breeze, straight off the top of Lake Huron. Listen to bells. Little bells.