Guest Artist~ Dana Stenholtz

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Senseless

I could not see the quaking air in my desert heart.
The mirage was lost on my blinded inward gaze.
Without even so much as that false hope,
I was in utter darkness.
My soul was bloody and bruised,
a prize fighter past her prime,
and all I could do was wobble on my feet and
try not to fall.
Don’t fall;
don’t let them count above your dazed head.
Breathe, Champ.

I could not hear the music of the spring.
I was too worried about the soon-coming heat of summer
to notice the beauty of the air around me.
Birds and butterflies and blooming things
only mocked my dour outlook.
My heart was boiling with the diseased blood of
self-pity and overindulgence,
and all I could do was sweat and
grow thirstier by the moment.
If only it would rain and cool off my overheated skin
so I could breathe again.

I could not taste the joy of all the goodness in my life;
too much bitter hides the sweet.
I thought that, by depriving myself,
I would find myself happier and more content,
but my brain was constantly gurgling,
in need of the nourishment only the Joy-Giver feeds,
and I was starving to death while sitting at the feast.
Anorexic yet full-to-bursting,
I couldn’t bear the thought of one more bite of
such mocking joy.
I had gorged so much that I couldn’t even breathe.

I could not touch the spot in my spirit
that needed to be healed.
Nothing I tried tended those wounds.
Nothing worked; nothing mended.
I hurt, and I bled, and I cursed those who had
left me those scars,
unaware that I had already healed.
Phantom pain left me moaning in agony,
and all I could feel was the suffering I’d felt all my life.
Refusing to see that the Healer was holding me,
I wept and I wept until I had no more breath.

I could not say “I’m sorry” to myself for a very long time.
I could not say “I love you” to myself, either.
I could not say “It’s okay” or “Don’t worry” or “Relax”
because I thought I deserved to be unforgiven,
deserved to be unloved,
unwell… anxious… tense.
I could not say “Why, God?” because I thought I knew why.
I thought I was destined to be miserable;
it was my lot in life to struggle and court chaos.
I knew no peace.
I forgot to breathe.

~Dana Stenholtz

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