Doldrums

Today the carefully arranged mask of Zen which I discovered in my course last week and had actually started to believe could be my true and serene self spectacularly slipped aside to reveal a considerably less calm interior. Unsurprisingly this has led to an upsurge of those familiar feelings of failure and frustration I’d hitherto been doing an impressive job of burying somewhere in the back of my unconscious (along with jealousy, bitterness, anger, rage and all the other unwanted emotions that reside there – although those ones I have at least managed to batten down the hatches on again).

The most frustrating thing is that I know the way I’m feeling is in almost entirely self-inflicted. I spent the weekend over indulging, entirely neglecting my body and mind’s requirements for healthy food, sleep and nurturing (and, let’s face it, this body and mind aren’t getting any younger). As a result both body and mind became unbalanced, and it’s only now as I begin to recognise this and pay some recompense to both that the situation can begin to be resolved. It’s hardly rocket science – disrespect your body and it will disrespect you back (or something to that effect) – though it seems I’m failing in this most rudimentary of comprehensions.

But you know what? It may be how the day began but wallowing is most certainly not how I want this day to end. The plethora of ‘problems’ I perceive when I’m tired and emotional are First World problems; none have serious repercussions. Instead of letting my brain dwell on negative thoughts I shall, for the remainder of this day, embrace the positive ones – of which there are so many – and be glad. So what if I’m tired and a bit out of sorts? I had a great weekend with my friends – and it was worth every minute. Now if somebody could just pass the Berocca…

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His face

Jess took a step closer to the trolley and swallowed hard as the crisp blue sheet slid weightlessly across the still form beneath. As the face was revealed she nodded to confirm his identity. Death, she thought, had robbed him entirely of personality – or at least of his personality, the one she had known every harsh detail of for the past twenty years. In its place she saw serenity – an expression that had rarely, if ever, registered on his hard-edged features. His thick grey hair, flecked lightly with silver, was shaved on one side. A scar ran from the base of his neck right up to the crown of his head. Instinctively she reached out to touch it. She trailed a finger down the congealed wound, imagining his skin was warm to the touch, though she knew that was impossible. He had been dead for several days.

The news reports spoke of a five car pile-up which had robbed a family of their patriarch – brother, husband, father, grandfather. They would have people believe his death was something of a loss when in fact it had set them all free.

pa·tri·arch 

Noun

The male head of a family or tribe

  • An older man who is powerful within an organization
  • The male founder of something

He had been powerful all right, but the only thing he’d ever founded was borne of hatred and deceit.

This death mask may fool others but it could never fool her. He had been a monster in life and would remain a monster beyond it. No place in Heaven would be waiting for him.

Jess nodded and the sheet began its steady ascent, obscuring his face for the final time.

She felt nothing.

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This photo was taken on the boat to Lombok in Indonesia. I don’t know why but writing this story made me think of a boat man, carrying souls across the water to the ‘other side.’