It’s been a tough few weeks. I wrote this to acknowledge and help process. Sometimes it’s no picnic, and sometimes there is no rainbow. There have been losses and that’s painful. Apologies if you find the F word offensive, it is contained below. I defended the use of swearing at the Inhabit conference recently. It isn’t because it’s hip or cool, it’s because we need to learn to verbalise outrage, horror and anger at what has been done to people. If you’ve been abused, what words can express the horror of that?
Helping people express and acknowledge trauma and pain, making a space for that truth to be spoken, is one of the things the drop-in has been about over the years, and a journey towards healing that pain and betrayal can’t begin until the truth is told – and it is strongly stated that this was wrong and not the fault of the victim. And the people who hear and witness this need to be able to express pain and horror too. If we don’t, unwittingly we hold it, and eventually it solidifies and concretes our hearts over. Lord have mercy.
I wonder if sometimes people feel it’s blasphemous to address God directly and strongly, yelling or telling of pain. It’s not! It’s treating him like God, broad enough in the shoulders to hear and bear our pain and truth, our confusion and horror stories. He’s been there, with his son at the cross, amidst the betrayal and the stench of death. And he is there with us as pain unfolds or violence erupts. God doesn’t shy away, or only attend polite soirees. He shows up and stays and so we can be truthful and free to tell it to him as one who inhabits the places of pain and death.
RAM full up
All out of processing space
Hit the buffers
Ran out of steam
Caused by information overload
There are weights I would like to discard
But I don’t really know how to unsee
what it is I’ve witnessed,
Unsmell the putrefaction of poverty and despair,
How to unclench my guts when children are hungry and afraid?
Or unload the lies of the desperate and poor from my ears and send them up to Heaven,
With a banner shouting “What are we supposed to do with these?”
Trying to reconcile the idea of the ‘now and the not yet’
with the rupturing shriek from within:
“Well, for fuck’s sake, if not now, when?”
How to be there, in solidarity and care,
Then come back to a guilty and reproachful home,
Where the loved ones breathe in the unspoken misery,
flowing beneath you like a deep underground stream.
The usual suspects no longer penetrate the depths of the struggle,
Which begins to set, like a foundation of damp Blue Circle bags left out in the rain.
And anyway, where is the exit sign, it doesn’t seem to be illuminated here?
Ah but but of course, the exit strategy – point 13, left undone on last week’s to do list;
Ah well, have an early night and try again tomorrow.