Friday, February 27, 2009

The Old Bag

The Old Bag

It used to be that I was like someone carrying a big old bag wherever he went. All sorts of noisy, uncomfortable objects were in there. Strange moaning sounds would emerge from it at inopportune moments.

I felt awkward in public because of this bag. It couldn’t be completely hidden – over the shoulder or dangling in front, it was always cumbersome, forever in the way.

Its contents were all the unresolved issues of my life, energetic entities trying to burst out into the light of day. Horrible unclean things knocked continually against the flimsy fabric, skeletons grinning maliciously and threatening to clatter their dead, stinky bones with glee into the sophisticated arena of my self-assurance and control.

But now I am learning what to do with these intruders: let them intrude!

Welcome them. Open the bag voluntarily and invite them to emerge.

“Come out, you horrid things of me,” I say. “Come introduce yourselves.”

Then they act like hermit crabs, suddenly hesitant and reluctant. Gradually the shell quivers and a trembling claw stretches forth into the field of my consciousness.

“It is good to see you,” I say, remembering the Godfather’s advice to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

This is not to suggest the subsequent encounter is fun. Pain hurts, after all. And these creatures consist of hurts I haven’t wanted to know about. Pain that goes deep, way deep, beyond thinking, into some realm of searing sensations beneath the skin like the undying fires of hell.

Finally confident, the creatures pounce with wicked ferocity while I writhe in agony over their ancient wounds. Bit by bit, the inner anguish transfers from the hidden to the manifest realm. I feel it – finally – and the field of awareness gradually becomes more populated and clear. What was formerly invisible grows distinct.

Thus, the old bag airs out, and tugs less and less upon my awareness. Sometimes a knife still darts out from some yet unexamined recess and plunges into my back, or a grisly fist wraps its vengeful fingers around my heart with a ghastly squeeze.

Then I realize another wound is ready to emerge.

And the more I see where all those wounds are . . . the more at peace I feel.


  1. Yes, " what was formerly invisible grows distinct." So true. I have used that same Godfather quote many times :-)

  2. I put down and let fall open that bag last night. I am still here a little bruised but still here;-)