What next?

by Elouise

Standing alone
Holding what’s left
Of a lovely old body
Weary and dependent
She now begs for mercy
And justice from me
Her semi-absent keeper
Of too many years

What now?
Where now?
What next?
I haven’t a clue.
Have you?

The dilemma of each day. I don’t feel sorry; I feel sad. Last night I had a plan. Then I woke up this morning and my body begged for mercy and justice. My plan changed.

I want to save the world. Or at least what’s left of it. Now. Not later. My body stands there staring at me in the mirror. And what about me? Don’t I count for something?

The responsibility to take care of myself, not the rest of the world, weighs heavy. Not because I don’t know what to do, but because I’d rather be out there fighting for justice and mercy!

How ironic. Looking back, I see patterns that drove me. I also see the high cost my body is paying. Then I think of all the students and friends I’ve exhorted over the years to ‘take care of themselves.’

The title of a book I read in the last year or so comes back to haunt me: The Body Keeps the Score. Indeed it does keep the score. Mercilessly, yet mercifully when I’m willing to pay attention. This is now. Not then. I have choices.

So this morning I cancelled my plan and am listening to my body. Keenly aware that my new baby doll stand-in for me, 10-month old Marie, knows exactly what it means to be abused and taken for granted by someone who claims to love her. Sadly, I have sometimes been my complicit enemy, especially as an adult driven by ghosts from my past.

The sun is out; fall is almost in the air; it looks like a good day for a walk in the neighborhood! And a long look at that lovely photo at the top–a dock that reminds me of my favorite childhood getaway.

Happy Thursday!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 October 2018
Photo found at pinterest
Dock on the Skidaway River, Isle of Hope, Georgia