he's taking the life from you, she said.
| She wrote her words with the love in her heart on her mind; to me they came on thin, light blue, delicate paper. Reference she made to the life in which I find myself these days and in response to a missive I had sent her a few days earlier. "He's taking the life from you', she wrote. Pondering her words and thoughts for many hours this mind scrambled about itself. Fear was the first entry and I wondered if she could be correct. Did the trouble, the late night battles, the pain, the anger, the loss of who I once was, mean that my lifeblood was gone, or going? Did these days of unhappiness, forlorn meanderings of mind and spirit, raging hatred, and loss of hopeful innocence foretell of a future that meant nothing and would, in fact, mean so little that it wasn't worth the trip at all? Should my window be closed, my shop abandoned? Should cobwebs be welcomed and dust be allowed to dwell on the shelves that were once me?
Seeing myself on the sidelines did I, like a player that never sees the action, the game. But no, a player I had not been for those years. I was not a part of the team or the group; no, just a person, hiding, living there in abject isolation allowing the days and nights, years and years to pass. And they did, those years, faster each one went until only few remained. Despite more importance than is given those that do their work, not even a waterboy had I been. A spectator was I and infrequent at best was my attentiveness to any but my own folly and desires, even though the latter was often sadness, angst, and yearning for what I disavowed. The question came to me then; was it better, more lively, to be who I was or what I was, doing what I was, or wasn't, and being where I had been?
Today, sugar or bitter, sweet or tasteless, I begin each day on the field, amidst the action. Sometimes poor are my 'moves', missed tackles my forte', and bruising, crushing blows make contact to this old and slow one all too often. Yes, those comfortable, though then they seemed not so, days of the past are missed. Sometimes the yearning for the fairy tale thoughts brings desire to return there, hidden and safe, cloistered in confusion and want. But, but, how am I to run for yardage, thread my way through the line of what is this life we live, learn to avoid being taken down when I want to stand; without playing? Can I? The answer seems simple enough. So, is he taking the life from me? Is what has transpired here, in my life, stealing what is the best of me? My answer-no, oh no. For to get to the goal, to that line that we all yearn to pass over, I must play, play I must.
Running fast, like the mustang on plains he has conquered am I. Strides longer, better, each time I face the adversaries before me, with the cool wind rushing across my face, the face of champion. Closer now than before, better and stronger I be, and the touchdown is waiting there for me. The crowd stands, pump their collective fists, raise their voices for me, and hold many breaths. Closer.... each step, no matter how difficult, I take. I see the blades of grass on hallowed ground, green, bright, cool, and for me. Wait, and see.