He told me he could tell the minute I walked onto the gym floor; I was calm.  He was right.

The long run saved me.

Coach’s face-reading skills are impressive.  I left my worries and my upset out there on the trail, and today I feel like I can face the world again.  Nothing has changed, of course, as Coach reminded me, but certainly my thoughts have.  For today, I am dependent on no person or event or thing outside of myself to provide my happiness – it’s an inside job, and it’s completely within my control.  My joy waits for nothing but my command.

Coach seemed to identify a pattern – is it hormonal, I wonder?  I dip into that ugly world for a couple of days every so often, and then I snap out of it again.  At least I don’t live there anymore.  God, it sucked so much when I lived there.  Every single fucking day was filled with tears and despair and misery.  My children kept me alive.

Today is a different story.  Today I am not that pitiful girl.  Today I am a strong, determined, badass ultra-runner and weight-lifter, and no one can hold me back from that which I was born to do.  Today, I feel my heart beating and the dust has settled from the storm. 

When I was little, I was terrified of thunderstorms – maybe they reminded me too much of my emotions.  It was the only time I remember going into my parents’ bedroom and asking to sleep with them, as if they could protect me.  I can feel the anxiety that passed through me like an electric current, and I remember lying there, in my yellow room, thinking I would die before the storm would finally pass. 

After one such night that seemed to last forever, I was outside admiring our tulips, and the only trace of the horror I had experienced just hours before was a drop of water on a tulip leaf.  The sun was shining brightly and the world was safe again.  I went inside, sat in my yellow bean-bag chair, and wrote this poem about that experience – I was about 12 or 13 years old. 

The Master General

A single bead of water sits
Upon a tiny leaf
The sole reminder of the blitz 
That disembarked last eve. 
It all began when from my sleep
I woke to sounds of war
Hushed, stealthily the troops did creep
Still at a distance far.
Not hesitating, they marched on
Close, then still closer yet
So silently, I wished them gone
To me, they were a threat.
They did not leave; they fired their guns
Strange lights flashed ‘cross the sky.
I heard rumbling booms from cannons
Which seemed to say, “You’ll die!”
I was frightened, needless to say,
But I knew what to do.
I knelt down and began to pray
Said God, “I’ll rescue you.”
He ordered the ranks to retreat.
They followed His command.
He did the job so nice and neat,
Just stood and waved His hand.
Whom is He who has such power
To end that awful blitz?
The same who made that lovely flower
Upon which one bead sits.

1 Comment on “Eye of the Hurricane

  1. This made me smile Lisa!! What a fantastic post. I am so happy for you! See what one good run can do? I'm so glad u are feeling better and your confidence is back!!! Just like the thunderstorm, sad times will fade and the sun and better times will prevail!!!

    I am so impressed also with your poem! 12 or 13? You were blessed with talent Lisa!! You are so amazing!

    Like

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