I am finding it difficult to walk.
There is a weight that pulls at me;
it slows my every step
and I am surprised by the pain
that I’m experiencing,
as if shards of glass are caught in my skin.
Tired of moving forward
at such a slow pace,
I look back at where I’ve come from
and I can see the path that I’ve walked on
but there is something else behind me
other than my footsteps.
There are chains that stretch from me
and they fill the path like snakes,
shining in the sunlight.
I try to pull one chain towards me
but it seems to stretch on forever.
There is no end the it and I wonder
how long I’ve been carrying them.
I keep trying to pull the chain towards me,
their weight heavy and dull,
hoping that I will find an ending,
but there are so many links and the chains are so long.
Soon, the chains form a wall around me
and there is an overwhelming panic that fills my skin
along with the shards of glass.
I keep pulling them towards me,
sweat breaking out on my brow,
when a voice stops me.
“Now why would you do that?”
I turn and see a woman.
She stands in front of me and I wonder
how long she has been there.
“I am trying to find out what’s at the end of them.”
I tell her.
She offers me a kind smile.
“If you did find out, would it change anything?”
I shake my head.
“I don’t know. But I have to do something.”
She extends a hand and her skin
is covered in the stars themselves.
I can see galaxies and moon
Intermingling with the stars
twinkle like fireflies.
“You can choose to let them go.”
I feel a moment of panic.
“But I’ve forged these links, one by one.”
I tell her.
“Why would I want to let go of something that I’ve created? These are my memories.”
She looks sad for a moment.
I know that she is trying
to find the right words.
When she speaks,
her voice is gentle and sincere.
“These aren’t your creations. These chains were made when you experienced pain or torment.”
I look at the mass of chains in front of me,
remembered how they sneaked back along the sand,
almost as if they had carved the path I’m on.
I take in the kindness in her eyes and take a deep breath,
the length of the chains worrisome.
“But I’ve dealt with all of this.”
I tell her.
“I’ve let this all go. How can I still be carrying this?”
She reaches out and places a hand on my own.
I watch as a comet shoots from her hand to mine.
“Sometimes, trauma leaves traces that we don’t see.”
I look at the chains and feel overwhelmed.
A panic is rising in me and it clouds my vision for a moment
until she places a hand on my own again.
I watch as a shower of stars fall onto my skin from hers
and I feel calmer already.
“You can choose to let go.”
She tells me.
Reaching out with a gentle hand,
she gently unhooks one of the chains,
letting it fall to the ground.
I follow suit and unhook another chain.
Soon, the ground it littered with chains,
the metal gleaming brightly under the hot sun.
I look down at my chest.
There is still a small chain or two there.
I wonder if they will grow longer once more.
She notices me looking at the chains that remain.
“Those will fall away in time. Learn what you can from the pain and let them go.”
I nod, her words ringing softly in my head.
“So what happens now?”
I ask her, unsure of what to do.
“That’s simple. You walk forwards one step at a time.”
I do so and while I feel a moment of fear,
what I really feel is the light of hope
as I leave the chains behind.
Along my skin,
the stars and the comet