At birth

they dipped you in vinegar and lemon juice and

left you to dry in the bitter cold.

Shrivelled,

soaked, sore, soon

so still.

Almost spiritual it seemed

as darkness fell.

Soundlessly.

Fierce frightening.

Living, while little,

life’s darker flavours.

So, around you,

stepping carefully,

circumspect and cautious,

when my eyes could not yet breathe,

I felt inside, like yours,

my Faith, at such an early age, already

forsworn, dusty, splintered, disheartened,

finally, unused and abandoned,

expire.

As if to enter this world

for the first time
the first time.

World of others where
danger spread
her invisible wings
bright and brilliant
and veined with possibility
to delight or dare.

Where passion deep deep
poured from wells lined
with souls
and silence
crying cries of cries of those
who came before.

I hesitated. Stumbled.
Unsure and afraid.
Concealed.
From all those who
ran laughing.

Now,
after all of it,
all that hiding
in sight of soaring splendid moons
and rising suns
over and over
that which is not me,
I realise this dream
an inconsequential man.

Lessons

This water in which
my body
shaped by the same,
makes space,
welcome anchorage where
I was unaware
I had died,
gave me, at
last, breath.

So silent
peaceful disturbance,
melted ‘round
my head,
so I could face
my own face.

Only then could I clearly see,
through blinded reason
and thoughts of many kings
and valleys where the water
having taken breath of its own
has spoken.

Wise words from
wise eyes.

Becoming

Living begins with awareness. Even if that means just becoming aware that I am not aware. That I don’t know what I don’t know. And that’s OK.
One of the profound damages of addiction (and life in general if we allow it to be that way) is that it arrests our emotional and intuitive development.
Life leaves us behind. This is one of the reasons why we often experience such a profound sense of not fitting in.
Recovery is less about change than it is about returning to the journey of becoming who I can be. It’s about unlocking and expressing what is already inside.
And that is why it’s futile to try and find yourself.
You know where you are. ‘Trying to find myself’ is just a euphemism for the emptiness of profound lack of meaning. It’s an expression of unawareness.
Unawareness that, in reality, every moment in life has meaning. Merely for the fact that it irrevocably changes the very next moment.
So what do I need to become aware of? My thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensation, motivations; that little voice in my head; my values, my principles; my place in the world. Although this might sound difficult, it is far easier than it may seem.

It all starts with a little hope. The acknowledgement that there is something different. That there is a different path. When we take that first step towards something new, hope turns to faith. I don’t need to know how it will turn out; it doesn’t matter. I just need to do it – to turn away from the path I have been travelling and, with awareness, take a new path. See where it leads.
When that path repeatedly turns out for the better, then I begin to trust that this path of my choosing is the right one for me. Trust is earned – it may take years to develop that trust. No matter. It will come. And later, I will learn, also, to trust myself.
Right now, I just need to start with a little bit of hope. That’s enough.

 

Becoming

Things cannot go on as they are.

I have made my days too dark, she said.
A deep, deep dark,
too dark to clearly see myself inside the night.
And though in darkness wakefulness evades me,
I am locked outside the heavy gates of sleep.

But Hope listens from inside her shell
to the noisy life beyond the walls
Unseen, not yet known. But imagined.

There must be more she says.
If I try, I can hear it
seeping through the cracks and tiny pores of reality
that surround me.
But here, inside, it is dark
and humid with despair.

And with the next beat of her heart
she conceives a tiny breath of Faith.
Faith born from Hope.
A pirouette of expectation,
skipping between moments
with the abandon of one who is about to leave.

She learns quickly now.
Making friends with ground.
And air surrounds her.
And she can breathe.
And on her pale skin
the light,
with the excitement of a child in a new place,
dances.

Now she knows.

Now she can be sure
that while she unfolds with the happy scent of accomplishment
tomorrow will wait in compassionate contentment.
In that she trusts.

Trust born from Faith.

In this place.
As a gift, she closes her eyes,
and feels the breath inside of her,
so,
for the first time,
like an infant baptism,
she can set her soul free.

 

From: The Saint Of Travellers. © 2018 David Webb

Dancing

My mother danced in the kitchen.
Her and I, tiny.

Toes tripping over uneven tiles,
air around us thick with fervent fragrance, affection,

banana bread baking and
wisteria blown in through an open window.

It’s terrible to have rhythm, she said.

Quickstep and spinning and
her apron at right angles to the floor.

Sometimes the radio was on.

Anyway, her own ruminations so mellifluous,
music emanated from her mind.

And she sang.

At four when she swapped wisteria for juniper
it soaked her soul and sapped her spirit, sinking into shadows
sulking silently in the settling sun

and she swayed for secret reasons.
Dismantled movements,
dancing partners separate.

Grace gone
and she lost her voice
and the sweet lyrics became laments
and tears
and now
she didn’t know me.

 

From: The Saint Of Travellers © 2018 David Webb