Friday, April 9, 2010

Waiting to be Heard

I don't have much time tonight, so I'm posting an excerpt from a story I started a while back.


I have a story to tell. I want so desperately to tell it. Please don’t listen.

It is such a private story. I am so scared to tell it. But it needs to be told. It is about everyone. Individually and collectively. It is about pain.

It is a pain so intense that you don’t notice it. Doesn’t make sense? Then you haven’t experienced it.

When the pain first starts, it shocks you. You can’t believe it’s happening. Soon it is everywhere. How is it possible that no one else can see it? They must not see it or they would stop it. But they don’t act so you assume they don’t see it.

Guess what. You’re wrong. Sometimes people do see it. They see it and do nothing. They see it and turn away. They see it but it is your pain and they do not think it’s their place to do anything. Or they are scared so they lie to themselves about what they see. How do I know? Because I have turned away, too.

I don’t always turn away, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I get so focused on my own pain that I can’t look at yours or it will overwhelm me. But I am sorry for your pain and wish you well with it.

What is this pain? I don’t really know. Finding words for it is difficult. They all seem too shallow to be used. It would be offensive to try to define the pain and get it so wrong.

But still, I will try.

It is a pain of the spirit, of the soul. And since we are all connected, if my soul is injured then yours is, too. You may not know it or feel it, but you also are damaged. I promise.

But I am working on it. I am working on my pain, and therefore I am working on your pain.

I can talk of this pain because I know it personally. I know it intimately. I know it to the depths of my soul.

And sometimes, even though it hurts me to suffer with you, I feel and see your pain.

You think pain is invisible. But it isn’t. You think it is intangible. It’s not. I can see and carry your pain.

Throughout my life I’ve collected a lot of pain from others. Sometimes it was intentional; usually it was not. Sometimes it was voluntary; usually it was not. Sometimes I could choose whether to hold it or not; usually I couldn’t.

The pain I want to share is not my pain. But since we are all connected it is my pain. And it is yours. I am giving you the eyes to see it now. What you choose to do with it is up to you.

Why can’t you tell I am in pain? I can see your pain. You are like me. I hear stories. They all seem to be a part of my life. When you tell me your story I know exactly what you feel. I know what you fear. And I know what you wish for. In a way, I am you. I know you want someone to hear your story. You – like me – are waiting to be heard.


Luann said...

"Since we are all connected, if my soul is injured then yours is, too."

The alternative, a world void of empathy, is unthinkable.

Jessica Grosland said...