hey, Primrose – what’s in your sack?
this? oh, this is my sack of rocks. I’ve been collecting them for years.
oh. ok. what sort of rocks do you have?
the same as most people, I expect. some of them were given to me. some I inherited from my family. some of them I picked up myself. some were of my own making, collected deliberately – others appeared seemingly of their own accord.
that sack looks heavy.
yes, it is. but it’s ok. I’ve been walking with it for a long time, now. I’m used to it. and if it ever gets too much I can always take a break from the tiredness and the sadness – using alcohol, or food, or numbing myself in other ways.
does that make the sack lighter, afterwards?
no. I always hope it will, but in fact it makes it heavier.
still walking on here, with my sack. rocks are funny things.
some of them you know, or at least you hope, you could put down and walk away from. and when you put down that type of rock the relief is enormous.
some you know you should walk away from, but can’t.
some of them, like grief, or old sorrows, worm their way into your heart like shrapnel and make a little place for themselves, never entirely forgotten, but surrounded by scar tissue. best left where they are.
on my long run last week I was doing some deep thinking about my sobriety. how this thing that began as such a weight, such an impossible task, has transformed itself into a strength of my very own. a strength and shield, as I referred to it in an earlier post. in the same way as that when I began running it was a struggle, and now it is something I can rely upon to support and uplift me.
and I began to wonder how many of my other rocks could be looked at with fresh eyes, to reveal another, unsuspected side.
when I was little a relative had an amethyst geode. I was fascinated by it – how an externally unprepossessing grey rock could harbour such sparkling, perfect crystals.
so the other things I struggle with – being a human, and all – which of those, if investigated, could prove to be a source of strength and comfort, too, rather than an inevitable, unescapable burden?
there’s only one way to find out – by cracking the rock. tackling it with whatever tools I have. applying courage and wisdom and persistence and support from others. splitting open that damn rock and finding out whether what is inside has been an unsuspected treasure all along, if I could only have seen it.
off to look for my hammer. because there are more amusing things to do with sacks than carry rocks in them…
72 days to go to one year.