Hide and Seek

Like water, the brothers uncles cousins now slip through my fingers.  And where they fall is someplace dark.

I cannot quite see to the bottom of them.  I try to peer through all of their existence at my feet, to grasp at understanding, but my gazing comes up dry.  To really understand them, the dead men pooling at my feet, I must dive in.  I must enter.

This I do in phases.  In meditations from the bath I close my eyes and step into their hurt.  I am immediately there.  It is murky, frigid, even, to the touch.  Like water in the gutter, gray and cold and streaming with stray pieces of the landscape.

My therapist tells me to be cautious of my meditations in the water, because the water brings me someplace dark.  She warns me, knowing it is in the water that the traumas lie.  But there are also answers there, and so I am eager to step forth.

The place is always the same.  A stone and flooded cavern, void of light.  The only sound the water lapping up against the siding of the bedrock.  Deceptively gentle.  Alarmingly calm.

I rest my hand against the wall, and guide myself down steps into the brackish pool.  Easing myself in, I press my toes against the bottom step push out submerge and enter in the belly of the curse.

Here is where I find them, all the fallen men now swimming inside air.  They are there, their wordless, waif-like forms and how they hover all around me.  The essence of them.  I recognize them in the smells and feelings carried on the rippled surface of the pool.  I wait, unsure of what I’m looking for.

But there is something wicked in these waters.  Something slithering and snakelike.  I can see the dull reflection of its rolling scales ease up and back beneath the surface.  I can hear the lapping of its gliding through the tides, feel its current brushing up against my legs.

It is not safe here, in this dark place that they’ve gone.  And every lapsing moment brings me closer to the knowledge that I, for now, do not belong.

Something haunts us.  Something I am not prepared to fight.

Arm yourself, my child.  The waters here are deep.

30 thoughts on “Hide and Seek

  1. Shaylene,
    You and your therapist are both correct. You do not belong in those dark, cold waters.
    Did you know that water is often used as a metaphor in the bible, especially in the Old Testament? A friend of mine once told me that when you encounter water in a bible story, watch out. Something is going to happen, and it usually is not good.
    All the best to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hmmm. Interesting. They say the same with water in dreams–how it is so often a representation of being overwhelmed by something. I appreciate your words and your concern. I’ve brought my lifevest along for these processing adventures 🙂 . Best to you and big love ❤


  2. It’s called patriatchy, honey, and it destroys both women and men remorselessly. All you can do is find your own strength to resist its insidiousness. Live your life so others can see you, but only when it is safe for you to do so, because the last five (or ten, depending on whose numbers you source) thousand years are littered with the shattered bodies of women who have chosen to become visible. These are not the times to become shattered. We need you strong and whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really resisted your words here at first because I was struggling with this idea of blaming the people who promoted patriarchy. I don’t want to do that–I’d rather use the energy for moving on and healing. But it is important to recognize the fault in patriarchy, and I think that can be done without searching for fault in the people who have been absorbed into it. I have thought about your words here a hundred times over the last day, and I think I am comfortable with how I’ve processed them. And I am really grateful you gave me that opportunity to do so. You have such a way with using your words pointedly–thank you as always.


  3. That’s one of the most puzzling things about traumatic experiences, isn’t it? They’re terrifying, and we go to great lengths to forget about them. But they’re also addictive, and we sometimes go out of our ways to re-experience them, perhaps in vain attempts at mastery. We also can’t digest traumatic experiences without re-visiting them in small doses.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You just gave me chills. I felt this Yours is water and mine is shadows . I find myself writing about night and shadows. hmm this is where my mind takes me when I randomly write and in those shadows I am looking for answers but do not find them. correct me if I am wrong is that how you feel about water?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh absolutely. I think we tend to tie some imagery to the vagueness around our lives–and to pick something to represent that. It represents the things we don’t understand. A lot of dream symbology there (which is a suepr interesting science to get into).

      Liked by 1 person

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