Tuesday, September 16, 2014

blackest night

The railing is more substantial than expected. I'd driven across the bridge a thousand times, but this night for the first time I walk it. I am close enough to the railing to touch the smooth, round metal. The circumference is more than twice the distance measured palm to fingertip; my two hands together look too small to fully grasp it. 

Walking the 4½ miles from a friend's spare bedroom in Camino Park to the bridge on South Hastings Way did not alleviate my desperation. Step followed step. Seconds gathered into minutes. An hour passed without memory as though a dense fog had swallowed up the visual and visceral cues that life exists. I experience myself without dimension from somewhere deep within, a heart beat slows and grows loud, pulses a primal accompaniment, intensifying my need for escape. 

The air is cool. Its breeze delivers a hint of fall. The river below is still and soundless, lifeless and black. Day has turned to evening. 

The night is swallowing the sun. 

My hands move toward the railing. Headlamps on a passing car illuminate a large black spider, the builder of an intricate web anchored in the smooth, round metal. I am startled and fearful, eyes alert and intent on this unexpected adversary, hands now motionless in midair, heart and soul moving as though in meditation: behold the delicate web. 

The bridge had been my destination, the inky black river my intended tomb. 

Behold the delicate web: intricate and anchored, woven and unwavering. 

Blackest night cannot devour the sun. 

Spiderweb in Sunlight by Nicko Margolies

When you beg the Lord for help, he will answer, “Here I am!” Isaiah 58:9 CEV


it was 1985. a brutal battle for custody in the midst of shattered dreams. the isolation of divorce. economic poverty. an overwhelming sense of failure as a parent and a person. 

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