And then a version of calm sets in. You remember how you told your mother on the phone last night what you’ve been up to and how low you’ve sunk. And the shaming tone in her voice– the shaming rhythm of disapproval causes you to stutter and nod silently standing there frozen over a full sink of dishes. She’s hurt at how you’ve hurt yourself. She’s disappointed that you had so little self respect. She asks and she asks and she asks and only softens when all you can feign is more stuttering and wavering sentences of self explanation. She’s right. You know she’s right, but still you quiver with, “Mom, please don’t shame me… I just need you to listen”. And she softens just a little more. And you’re glad and you’re glad that she’s reminded you what it feels like to have pain met with anger and how you never want to do it to anyone ever again. And you remember your own anger and the list and wish for a vessel to climb in and shuttle you back…
But God grant me strength to accept the things I cannot change…. And grace for whatever comes next. And the day is settling down now and the sun-lit hours bend into evening now as you remember. With the certain song of summer locust chorus all around and residual warmth from the people who aren’t all that together but show up… Day after day after day of another day of life cracked open. And you have hope and you have calm and you have courage in the people who listen and admit to the things on their own list without striving to deflect or accuse, only to accept that they are human and so are you

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