Wednesday, July 28, 2010

out of the shadows

it is safe to say, you probably would not have noticed me, huddled there beneath the stain glassed window, the words "i saw the light" trickling through to drip down the windowsill upon my head. the white washed boards bit into my back, hands crucified by the nails of their rejection.

i did not belong there. i was not the type, is what they told me.

so i sat in the shadows, mocked by their light, that would so easy leave me in foreboding dark. but the shadows, they embraced me fully in consoling arms.

rejection was nothing new, just weeks before she had slid the knife between my ribs finding the tender flesh of my heart with its prick. if only the silver blade had not been my good friend that she had just roused from between her sheets, i might have found hope once more.

all i had to trust, were these two hands. no, you would not have noticed me. only the shadows.

the shadows whispered sultrily of things that could be mine, if only i allowed them, things that would take away the pain. they promised much, so i signed the contract in crimson.

for a time the shadows renewed my strength with confidence beyond which i had never known, though some might have called me mad if they had noticed. none could resist the wiles they taught me. names were not important, that would be too intimate and intimacy was limited to what they could do for me. to let anyone get closer would have compromised the shadows that concealed me.

spirits dulled the pain, unless of course a stronger medication was required, of which i was a ready participant to stop the bleeding within. you may have noticed then, but it was not me, only a means to an end, of me.

for a time, the world was mine, until the illusion shattered within my grip, its sharp edges driving deep into the hands i trusted. then even the shadows abandoned me, writhing on the carpeted floor of my room. breath would not fill my lungs enough even to call for help and that is where they found me.

it was snowing the night i left the hospital, and i could hear the darkness howl as the pure white curtain was drawn across the landscape. streetlights formed halos and i started to whistle as i ambled toward the light, one step at a time.

the shadows still visit me on occassion, but i have only to light a candle to see through them.

"whenever you see darkness, there is an extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter." ~Bono

This is a Theme Thursday post.

97 comments:

Titanium said...

Fierce. Absolutely fierce, Brian. The words cascade like heavy-falling rain.

Monkey Man said...

Almost a film noir feel to this one. Love this death narative.

Brian Miller said...

i had a couple questions about my life prior to T after the poem the other day...this would actually be the few years leading up to that...

Meeko Fabulous said...

This one left me very pensive. The light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

Katherine said...

A breathtaking piece of writing Brian. You certainly know how to evoke emotion with your beautiful heartfelt words. Your memories coupled with your extraordinarily gifted pen make a truly wonderful read. Thanks for sharing this snippet of yourself with us.

Daniel said...

I can relate. Nice quote to conclude. It kind of resonated with me.

TechnoBabe said...

We all try different ways to not feel. Drugs come in all forms don't they. My drug of choice was usually the drug of deception.

Sam Liu said...

Your words, as ever, have the sharpest and most acute poignancy. You always create such a powerful atmosphere, building the tension, layering the narrative with every resounding line. This was a joy to read, you drew me in completely.

McGillicutty said...

Exactly.. smiles..

Maggie said...

As the years pass by you do start to think about what shadows that await us and if there is something beyond that.

Tina said...

Powerful, poignant, and rich in symbolism. Amazing. Thank you.

Just Be Real said...

I can see myself here. Thanks Brian.

CM said...

So deep and honest, I'm tempted to quote scripture to encourage the light, but you know who the true light is, so I will just say...God Bless you for being so real. We all have our demons.

steveroni said...

Well, Brian, you have certainly "been there"...but we knew that. And you made me to recall that place to where I never wish to find myself again.

Your skills at communicating these human events are sometimes beyond belief--and I do not even have to buy a book. Just to read your blog regularly literally satisfies me literarily.

5thsister said...

sometimes the shadows are necessary to bare before we are truly able to embrace the light. Well done and a very poignant piece for me to read.

Me said...

Your honesty and willingness to share all sides of yourself is a generous gift. Too often in "real life", everyone spends too much time putting on masks...all the while, each of us are wandering around thinking that we're the only ones that have ever been lost. One of the best things I've found in this lovely online community is the reality behind the masks...

Tom said...

hey hey, fantastic writing here. #1 vote this thursday...so far

She Writes said...

Brian you nailed this one. Among my favorites of what you have written. Nice and dark with only a hint of light. Naturally, I like it.

Nanc Twop said...

`
great - good Bono quote too.

:)

g-man said...

You've certainly stepped into the light Son...Fantastic little journey here...G

Pauline said...

out of the darkness into the light - not everyone who makes this journey is so lucky...

Kat_RN said...

Very good Brian, I liked the ending.
Kat

CherylK said...

Oh,my goodness, Brian. I am without words.

Betsy said...

You should write an auto-biography. Really!

The Urban Cowboy said...

Wow...such a sad story. Broken heart, spirit, and will. Really sad one, this is.

The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street said...

"For a time, the world was mine..."

Thwarted by darkness.
Saved by the light.
It's a constant battle.

This is a riveting post!
Oooh, I need a drink!
:-)

Brian Miller said...

the good news is that there is a happy ending...he finds the love of his life, has 2 boys...smiles

Jill said...

OH, and I AM a sucker for a happy ending.

Most excellent Brian.

SuziCate said...

Powerful! And brilliant! You are a word master!

Mama Zen said...

"you may have noticed then, but it was not me, only a means to an end, of me."

That is amazing.

Janice said...

I suspect the shadows revisit us all on occasion. And hooray for your happy ending.

Tony Single said...

Potent. You told this intensely personal experience in a way that I think most of us can relate to. Yup, life in the shadowlands really is no life at all.

Sophia said...

You have an amazing ability to put emotions to paper. Something many of us struggle to do. This writing really brought forth some emotions for me that I had tucked away deep inside...

moondustwriter said...

The shadows are this guy's only friend. Sad and powerful Bri

Thanks for being a crusader in the Light

moon smiles

mouse (aka kimy) said...

heavy, very heavy

Tracy said...

I can't believe you are the same man who uses the word "dreamy". :-)

Life@Cee said...

Achingly poignant. A beautiful story of redemption.
Cee

Magpie said...

You've paid your dues, Brian. You have an awesome ability to draw on those experiences and walk us through them with you. So glad you've come out the other side of your dark of night to the "light" that is your world now.

Francisca said...

Touching, Brian.

sagirl said...

Wonderful imagery, Brian. Defeat of Darkness!

LadyFi said...

Passionately written: betrayal yet hope at the end.

sagirl said...

BTW, for the last few days I haven't been able to leave a comment using my WPress ID (adeeyoyo) as I get the following error message: bX-ywtyjz

tony said...

We All Visit That Place For A Time......

Pseudo said...

This one is one of my favorites Brian.

anthonynorth said...

Your shadows are hard hitting and atmospheric. And great use of the quote.

Susan Deborah said...

I always feel happy happy when I read your narratives. They always relate to the core of the being :)

Smiles and butterflies,
Susan :)

Mr. Stupid said...

Your writing is breathtaking. Nicely done, Brian. This was a powerful journey and was a joy to read. I'm glad it has a happy ending...:)

Austin said...

The nails, the knife, love how you brought it together. Darkness makes us more thankful for the Light!

natalee said...

wow.. i started tearing up...

CrazyasaCoolFox said...

This is a very familiar feeling to me. Thanks for sharing.

sarah said...

all I can say is....WOW! This is amazing

Cheryl said...

I've been here before. Don't ever want to go back. This was sheer brilliance.

Birdie said...

amazing Brian, what a post! I have touched the bottom in the darkness as well and only after that I could finally to see a tiny light ... I love this sentence "the shadows still visit me on occassion, but i have only to light a candle to see through them" - I relate ... have a lovely day :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Another good one, Brian. Are you working on something for publication?

sakhii•• said...

didi not read this :(
but loved the previous one 'in memory'!

Luisa Doraz said...

This wonderful poem of yours has got me thinking about life and thinking about death and just thinking about everything. Now I need more coffee. lol :) Hope all is well. Love this one.

Gabriela Abalo said...

A very touching post Brian. Powerful, tender and full of emotions.
Thanks for sharing.

william said...

another winning post mate, very well narrated :)

TALON said...

"...but it was not me, only a means to an end, of me." - that is such a heartbreaking realization.

Learning to live with the shadows and the light - the tricky life balance.

Cinner said...

Brian, this was wonderful, so glad for the happy ending, your wonderful wife and two boys. amazing strength.
you had me at every word. take care.

AmyLK said...

TechnoBabe is so right. We all try different ways to keep from feeling. And staying in the dark is one way. This is a great story.

Dreamhaven said...

Wonderful yet frightening. Incredible imagery

slommler said...

I see the images in black and white and the blood is crimson red. It is stark and cold with the illusion of peace surrounding him. The whistle is hollow and lifeless...no joy in the sound. Just filling the space with noise.
Definitely film noir and I loved it!
Such a gritty sensation to it!!
Hugs
SueAnn

blueviolet said...

It has to be comforting to know that's all behind you now. :)

Goofball said...

wow you've been deep. but there's a happy ending and a powerful little candle if needed. Yeay

Steven Anthony said...

Brian, once again your words inspire images....both dark and light.....painful, yet beautiful....

Claudia said...

..forgot to breathe while reading this..such tense writing with such depths - allowing us to see a bit deeper..reminded me of a few of my shadows and leaves me with a bit of a feeling of heart surgery (on my heart..) Thanks Brian

JStar said...

Glad there was a happy ending Brian :)

heartspell said...

Shadow-strong, gripping story, very real...I am so glad you stepped out of the shadows and into the light, so
we could see your means to a beautiful beginning...keep those candles burning. :) Heartspell

izzy said...

Great ! I will have to think on it-
( light) Thanks for visiting !
I have a really hard time catching up with all these 'writing' days,
and themes. This morning I was surfing and landed on a
blog (about) horses that set me off...

Barbara said...

Thanks for posting the memorial to our mutual friend Richard. I'm sorry to hear you have lost yet one more blogging friend.
Another blog friend of mine disappeared last March with no explanation and that worries me.

Arnab Majumdar said...

I was reading another blog post, and the only word that came to my mind there was "Harsh." After reading this, I know I shouldn't have judged it all so soon. That wasn't harsh - this is.

Jessie said...

*AMN!


smiles,

Grand Pooba said...

Wow. Only you can make the description of someone being stabbed poetic!

Unknown Mami said...

"only a means to an end, of me"...I read that line and wondered why I didn't have the brilliance to come up with it.

RA said...

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And the end quote by none other than Bono made my heart sing a notch louder! Thanks. :)

drybottomgirl said...

Thank you for always sharing your gift, of writing and your heart. May we all remember that traveling in darkness leads to light, and may your blessings be many......

California Girl said...

I kept picturing Christ on the cross which, I'm guessing, was part of your symbolism: the nails, the wood, the knife, the spirits, even the shadows.

secret agent woman said...

"Don't you tell me, what you think is right,
When you're living in the shadows.
Close your eyes and you will lose the fight,
When you're living in the shadows.
Don't you tell me, what you think is right,
When you're living in the shadows.
I can tell that you have lost your sight,
When you're living in the shadows."

(Billy Talent)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Wow!

Brian, I have goosebumps. Wow!

Powerful words for this post. I'm curious about your comment and I will have to go back and read what inspired you for this post.

Whoa...you really should be getting paid for your works of "art."

otin said...

T must be one of those lanterns with a Halo. Seems she has really guided you to a better place!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Powerful words. Brilliant writing.

jj

Emmanuel Ibok said...

This was deep and touching...Nice one as always.

Cheers!

finallygettingtoeven.com said...

Heart wrenching with a nice twist to the end. Thanks!

Calli said...

I am stunned by the eloquence with which you write, Brian. I truly mean that.

This is amazing writing!

Hilary said...

Wow.. powerful. You never cease to amaze.. though I should be used to it by now.

The Retired One said...

So gripping,so dark...I feel the pain too in reading it.
Sooooo glad you found light again and a happy, fulfilling life out of this deep despair.

Baino said...

I don't think depression chooses a 'type' quite heartfelt Brian. Glad you found some light outside the shadows

Candie Bracci said...

Great post Brian:)

artist60164 said...

Your last line threw me. I was expecting you to walk into the light and never see the shadows again.

transparentnow? said...

It's so tempting to lock ourselves away in the shadows as a defense mechanism but it doesn't work...as you obviously know. Seeing others in the light is tempting but it's so hard to take that step of trust...out of the safety of the shadow. I didn't know this side of you-This is an inspiration for me to stay in the light (and maybe dance in it at times;)

Greyscale Territory said...

Stunning sense of determined hope symbolised by the power of light to break the shadows!

Syd said...

I think one can move towards the light as long as the light can be seen and felt. Some lose hope sadly enough.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site www.blogger.com
Is this possible?

mama-face said...

oh gosh. There are so many layers here I can hardly take it all in-your ability with working with subtle imagery is spectacular.

Okie said...

A very nicely composed intricate work. I love the contrasts of light and dark, strength and weakness, hope and fear.

Awesome piece.

Marla said...

Great recall, Brian. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. It touches a nerve in a good way. Well, except that scary stuff...
:-)