Tunnels, flashlights, and faith.


When I was fourteen, a friend of mine committed suicide.  As a result I lost faith.  I fell into a deep, dark well of grief because I loved him as much as a fourteen year old could.

Despite the dark, I found a flashlight which showed me it wasn’t a hole but a tunnel.  Though I suppose it is better to say that it was handed to me.  I had a friend who stayed by my side despite all my attempts to chase her away, but it was the flashlight that gave me a mediocre level of sanity.  The light came in the form of writing.  Back then it was dialog.  All I did every day was write scripts of dialog usually Star Trek Next Generation with Picard or Data or Riker.  Some how I was transported onto the Starship Enterprise and they became my friends.

I got pretty good at writing the dialog, my anger and grief came out in those words.  In time I graduated to adding details about the ship.  The look of the sickbay or engineering.  Had tons of fun with the holodecks and ten forward.  Probably one of the reasons why role-playing was so much fun for me in the Star Trek universe because it was taking me back to that time.

At eighteen I started pulling free of that tunnel to find myself as a person, by twenty I was walking toward something better.  Faith found me, granted it was a completely different one than what I had lost in the beginning, but I had it back.  Yet, I never stopped writing.  It’s my flashlight, and it always shows me the tunnel is nothing more than concrete, dirt, or steel.  Whatever the material, it’s just a tunnel and not a hole.

Life is not meant to be easy.  I’ve learned this many times over the years.  Things come up that throw you for a tail-spin that doesn’t feel like it is meant to do more than twist and turn you until you’re sick on the floor screaming.  It’s almost like someone has a sick sense of humor and you’re the butt of the joke.  I call it a blender at times as well.  When the blender grabs you often times we’re stuck with a fact:  Looking forward makes you dizzy and looking backwards causes you to feel sick.

All you can do is exist in the moment, to be in the moment and realize that you have to wait until the blender stops long enough to get a breath.  When that happens, the lights will be off and it’ll feel like you’re in a dark hole.  That’s where the flashlight comes in handy because you can flip the switch, look around and see that while it feels like you’re stuck in the deepest, darkest pit of hell…

It’s just a tunnel.

Last week while I was in the grocery store I saw a picture where it said:  “No one said life was easy, only that it was worth it.”  

Right now I am in the blender, I can feel myself being whipped around and the blades are on pulverize.  I’m being shredded by forces beyond my control (I think the technical term for them is emotions).  They are powerful and I am reminded of a time when I used to box them up and stick them inside a brick wall until it was all over.  I did it back then because it was easier.  Professionals call it shutting down, but I called it safety.

But another thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t do that, it doesn’t help anyone because eventually, when you pull that box back out… you still have to deal with the emotions.  So now I’m going to deal with the blender as it happens.  I’ll cry when I need to, smile when I can, laugh when I can’t.

One step at a time, one day after the other.  When the blender stops I’ll flip on my flashlight to check out the terrain, to see what material it is built out of so I can figure out how long it’ll take me to dig out of it this time.

Life and living, well it’s worth this pain.  I have to believe that, I have faith that I’ll be alright.  Faith and my flashlight.

In the meantime I may not be writing much in my blog on a daily basis, it’ll be sporadic and for that I’m sorry.  When the mood hits me or when time allows it I’ll try to post something – anything I can.  Currently I’m working on something with a fellow blogger and friend (as soon as she sends me the reply to the e-mail that is) and when that comes through we’ll post it.  Writing has slowed because I’m having trouble thinking and soaring through my imagination.  I have to stay grounded to reality at the moment.  It’s actually comforting not to run away from this crap.

That, alone, shows how much I’ve grown since I was 14.  Hell, it shows how much I’ve grown in the last ten years where running away was easier and faster than dealing.  Still, I have my mantra, I have my faith, and I have the flashlight on standby.

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