Helpless but Hopefully Not Hopeless
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Life in the Third Degree.
Sometimes, some very rare times, I get visions. Theyâ€™ve become stronger and more frequent since my ex left. My intuition is stronger, too, but itâ€™s the psychic flashes that still freak me out a bit.
Sometimes theyâ€™re meant as warnings, like the one of my grandfather when his heart medication got out of whack and I called my mom to ask her to check on him because I knew he was dying. She found him in time and got him to the emergency room. He lived another three years after that, finally dying on his own terms at the age of 90.
Sometimes the visions are meant as reassurance, like the one of me on a grassy, green hilltop with my staff and barefoot and content. That flash came during a terrifying storm on I-10 several years when I was quite unsure my kids and I would make it out of the storm without driving off the interstate and plunging into a full ditch or a construction wall. Or even the vision of The Treat, wakeboarding and happy, his longish bangs ruffled on his forehead and sunshine on his face. I knew then that heâ€™d be all right…eventually.
But now thereâ€™s a new vision in town. Itâ€™s the kind that gives insight, and itâ€™s more metaphor than reality. Itâ€™s The Treat I see in this vision, and itâ€™s after wondering why I havenâ€™t heard from him since a text message in the small hours of Sunday morning. Heâ€™s missing in action and I miss talking to him. I miss our conversations. I miss the way he makes me think. I miss the way he makes me laugh. I miss him.
Iâ€™m bothered almost as much by his absence as I am by the fact that Iâ€™m missing him and starting to have withdrawal from lack of contact. So thatâ€™s what the vision is for.
Heâ€™s lying on the ground, his elbows and palms flat under him. Itâ€™s rough terrainâ€”sticks, dry clods, jagged rocksâ€”and heâ€™s naked. Heâ€™s covered to his shoulders with a gate or a fence or a wall. Itâ€™s five to eight feet across and at least eight feet long.
On top of the wall are huge chunks of concrete, like demolition debris. It looks like a building imploded in one spot, but I know itâ€™s his ex-wife and his job and all the expectations piled on him now. It towers high and heavy, so harsh that it weighs down crushingly on this man on the ground, and the best he can do is use all his strength to lift his chest and shoulders off the ground. With agonizing breaths and his hair plastered with sweat to his brow, he pulls himself forward, using his elbows and hands to drag himselfâ€”and his burdenâ€”along.
In front of him is a Goddess. She stands a few feet away in front of him, just out of his reach. I look closer and see that sheâ€™s….me! An idealized version of me. On the astral plane, Iâ€™m taller and thinner, and Iâ€™m usually wearing something long and white with a flowing tattered skirt that wisps about my knees in some strange unearthly breeze. Iâ€™m barefoot and my legs are fresh-shaven because She is, after all, an idealized version of me. So I recognize Her right away, and Iâ€™m surprised to see the scrapes on Her skin where She once lay beneath a similar wall of burdens.
But the man on the ground, lifting the burden with all his strength only as high as his shoulders and elbows will take him, looks up at me. He looks at my outstretched arm but does not take it. He canâ€™t. If he dares to lift one elbow off the ground and reach for me, the burdens will shift and come crushing down on top of him.
The best he can do is to look up at me every once in a while and continue to pull himself forward a little at a time on his elbows, dragging his burdens with him.
And the best that I can do is watch. Iâ€™m not allowed to throw off his burdens or exorcise his past. I can do nothing until he reaches for me.