Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Write

They are arguing again. 

They are arguing again, and it's over nothing important.  Something stupidly inane enough to make me want to claw at my chest with irritation.  What is it about bickering that makes me so crazy?

I step out of my body in those moments and see a second Sarah.  One who is trapped in a dark, bricked box.  She pounds her fists and elbows against the walls, scratching at the corners.  Sparks fly from her fingers and toes, finding no tinder, dying on the floor.  She screams with her head thrown back and rips at her scalp with torn and bloodied fingers.  There is simply no escape, though, and nobody to hear her. 

She sinks to the floor, leans into a corner, and takes a shaky breath.  Whispers a threatening curse.

When I step back into my body, I feel better.  The steam is evaporating and all I am left with are two little girls, irritated girls, and I wonder:

are they trapped and clawing and yelling within their own boxes?

And relying on me to unhinge their walls? 

But no, the box for me is my patience.  It is where I keep my outbursts.  It is my secret place, where nobody can see me as I fall apart and apart and apart, swirling sand in a leftover tidepool. 

So the sisters aren't in boxes at all.  They are spinning wildly in free air, throwing scowls instead of disguising them.  Stomping on sibling toes instead of kicking against unmoving walls. 

For a minute, I envy them that freedom. 

And then I feel my throat, tight from a held-in scream, burning from a not-released cry, and it grounds me.  Like a lightning rod grounds a bolt of electric fire: it takes the heat and current, and moves it along to somewhere it cannot cause harm.

I bury the lightning in my belly, and move forward. 

They are sisters, and this is normal, and I carry the lightning so we don't all burn the house down with our feelings.

I'm linking up today with Heather for Just Write.  Because I just needed to write.  Sometimes it's my lightning pole...

Go check out all the people who are Just Writing at The Extraordinary Ordinary!  It's a veritable party of thought.  Good stuff.


  1. Beautiful! I love your writing! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. That's crazy that we each have Oct '11 Landons and girls with the middle name "Jade." Love it! We must be destined to be friends. :-)

  2. My brother and I grew up so proud of the fact that we never fought...until we entered adult relationships and had kids and realized that we came from a very repressed, politeness obsessed environment. My kids squabbles and such shocked me at first...and made me horribly uncomfortable. But I, too, held onto myself and let them 'have at it' (within reason!)so they'd learn not to be afraid of all their feelings. And learn how to express themselves. And build a genuinely close relationship with each other...before they turned 40 ;-) You've expressed this so well! My two (now 25 and 22) are so close. I really believe that letting them find their way towards each other is so important!

  3. Powerful, Sarah!

    I had a moment of humbling frustrated anger today. I knew it. It burned inside me. Better than burning outside.

  4. Oh, man, how did you so perfectly express something that I feel so often? I've never ever been able to put this into words, but yes. Exactly.

  5. I have often felt this way. Ah, but this is motherhood.

  6. Sarah, this is SO powerful ... and I can relate to not wanting to burn down the house.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?