Hope For Survival, an essay by Eric E. Cane at Spillwords.com
Mahdi Dastmard

Hope For Survival

Hope For Survival

written by: Eric E. Cane



All of it is texture. Mind texture. I can feel my thoughts as if they are something I can touch. That’s what makes them pervasive. Intrusive. They are a powerful presence because they are so readily real.

That’s my brain. The recording device decades-long and unrelenting. It is too easy to replay experiences. As is the misfortune of humanity, we tend to remember painful experiences with greater strength than pleasant and beautiful ones. That is our addiction to survival. Our need to recognize the dangers and avoid them makes for a world that contrasts the sublime nature in which we wish to immerse. The pathway is pockmarked with pain.

There is the solemnity of peace. It is a pause, an evasion around disturbing imagery and impacts on the body and mind—those traumas that seem ever-present waypoints on the path to my birth. We are made for the experiences, surely. Some of us are gifted with the immediate presence of it all. It catches our breath and makes us forget the here and now that tries for its own presence in our lives.

How to get beyond me…

The times I do pray, it is with that heading. I need only to get beyond myself. That which drags me back to the unresolved abuse of a mind trying to survive moments that become my past, and then stay with me because they are unresolved. Undignified. At times…unimaginable.

It is not only because the abuse was so powerful in its grossness and subtlety, but more so because this brain can remember the deep smell of grass from childhood and the rich earth beneath it. The sound of earthworms moving soil and robins bounding happily above them, ready for their determined pluck.

So, how to get beyond that?

I would not give up the starling feeding little, chirping mouths for the absence of screaming in my ear that damaged my hearing. To lose memory is not specific, and to wish for such a thing might only leave the worst behind. They abused me because I would not fight back. And now I fight back the memories for years.

But somewhere…tucked away as deep, are birdsong and breeze. I need to focus on those. Try to get beyond the screaming, hitting, knife-wielding threat and find the earth beneath my feet once again. The sky above my remembering brain and the childhood that had yet to encounter such threats. The day-to-day small moments of happiness like kitten-purring and the bruised, roiling sky bringing awash powerful summer storms. The memories are there. They are.

I think, now more than ever, they are my greatest hope for survival.

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