Be calm. Be still. Time for your soul, and for the spirit that resides within. Be solemn. Your heart remembers. You are saved.
My heart is hurting. My soul is sick. My spirit is gone. I have been labouring with indescribable pain for some months now, but more so in the past three weeks. Somehow, the aches and pains in my body—due perhaps to deep-seated stress and physical abuse and exhaustion—have literally crippled me and unreservedly confined me to the invisible but lonely shackles of my bed.
I have not experienced profound sadness for such a long time that it took me by surprise one morning when I woke up to a gloomy, stormy morning. Over and over again, for the past two weeks or so, I would wake up to the loneliness that seems to paint over the sky with more rain than one could possibly want.
The tears have not come, until now, as I write this down half-heartedly. Tears without sobs, without the forewarned restricting of the throat, without the contortions of the shoulders and the arms and the muscles and the face. Just streaming down my rugged cheeks, slow as the trickling of the last remnants of raindrops on the surface outlines of a leaf.
I cry because I am lonely for something that has been missing in my life. I cry because I miss my mother. I cry because I wish to be different, but could not for the life of me do anything worthwhile to achieve that goal. I cry because of the emptiness in me that no one, not even myself, could explain. I cry because of the isolation I have put myself in. I cry because I feel insecure about myself. I cry because I have lost my self-worth, forever elusive in a world full of ambiguity. I cry because I feel abandoned. I cry because of the lack of respect and redemption in my line of work. I cry because of Christmas.
I cry because there is nothing I could think of that would change the way I feel right now. I cry because I cannot do all the things I have planned to do. I cry because I am tired. I cry because I am sick. I cry because my spirit for new things and new places and new people and new dreams has gone. I cry for the nondescript future that awaits not just me but everyone. I cry because… just because.
For a long time, and more often than I can remember, people have always judged me and continue to do so. It is not a pleasant situation and certainly not a comfortable place to be in. But the social norms and traditions that police my behaviour—the traditional forms of civility and etiquette severely lacking among a lot of people these days—prevent me from hollering and making a big fuss. As a result, the pent-up feelings of frustration and resentment have perhaps pushed my spirit deeper. The will to react, act, feel, assimilate, adopt, adapt, empathise, give, receive, love and live, has been pushed further back down, deeper into the recesses of the soul.
I like to give. I like to say yes all the time. Yes, to everything. Here, take this. Here, this is for you. There, from me to you. It has been a constant, never-ending, unstoppable ritual of giving and giving. Over and over. Boundless. Flattering. Unwavering.
It has been like that for as long as I can remember. But, now, I have reached the point where I am suddenly empty to begin with. I find that I have run out of anything else to give. I have tried to scrape the last remaining grains from the seemingly bottomless well of my heart and soul, but all I could find is the empty feeling of air and the smell of dried-up earth. Then the crying begins again.
I cry because I cannot give anything anymore. I cry because I have run out of good graces and soft kisses. I cry because I could not find a compassionate touch that would make me feel better. I cry because I am barren. I cry because I am spiritually impotent. I cry because I have become a lone weed in a desert of eternal summer. I cry because winter has stayed too long. I cry because I have nothing else to give. I cry because I cannot give anything anymore. I cry because I have nothing else to give. I cry because… just because.
So what is the cure for this profundity? I am down. I am not all right. But I know I will be. In time. I just need time. Time to seek the answers. Time to seek reassurance that I am not alone. Time to think. Time to sleep. Time to rest. Time to cry. Time to then dry my eyes. Time to find smile. Time to smile again. Time to seek serenity. Time to refresh. Time to replenish. So I can start giving again. Time to heal. Time to heal. Time to heal.
Artwork © 2014 Ramon Loyola