By Eric Beach
So this morning and the past couple of days, I’ve been having a hard time with my PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). This morning was very dark for me. When It gets dark and I remember to, I write. This is what I wrote this morning. I don’t know if its a poem, a short story, or something else! All I know is its an expression of my heart. Read this through your own lens. The best part about art is you get to take what you need to take out of it! Also, don't be afraid to explore outlets like creative writing when you face your own darkness. Paint a picture with no clue what your trying to paint. Just connect to your emotion and paint. Write. Don't worry about fitting into a genre or classification. Just connect with your emotion, and write. For me, creative writing in these low moments has helped navigate me and awaken me to truths on this journey of healing that I would have never found otherwise.
I’m in the woods, bleak December.
Life forces slowed leaving shells of past remembered.
Remnants reminding me of this reality,
Fossils of hope.
Take a step.
New ice cracks, not strong enough yet.
But strong enough to make me slip.
To much pressure and I fall through.
No signs of life here, but if I close me eyes,
I see it.
Moments of darkness bring a strange peace.
Can I stay asleep?
Wind swept trees, the rustle of fallen leaves,
Twigs fight branches on neighboring limbs.
Its all for me to see.
Maybe theres a sunrise.
Sleepy eyes show me ugliness
Is all there is to see, obscuring reality.
Pin point experiences deny greater awareness.
Whats above the trees?
Looking up, searching, I stumble.
Thats what you get for looking up it seems.
Since I’m here again, Better I go to sleep,
Chasing peace in false reverie.
Awake, in pain, again.
Staring at the sky that put me here.
Curse you hope, sower of regret! It’s your fault!
This wasteland, desolate and cold! Alone!
I want to leave, But I live here not by choice.
Who would choose this?
I fought the hardest I’ve fought for anything to get here.
A bird chirps. I wish it would shut up.
Silence strangles me yet noise enrages me.
I walk the line between life and death
With a broken compass.
I weave in and out, side to side.
Emotions my guide
The sky brightens, and the pain lessens.
I miss the green leaves.
I understood purpose then.
Now purpose seems dead.
Come back to life I scream
Hoping the trees hear me.
I know these things can’t be forced, but I try.
Desperate for change.
Sun leaks through the branches and blinds me.
Eyes blurred, the once twisted branches blend together.
One branch ends, another begins.
Once gnarled now straight, once broken now graceful.
The darkness flooded with light.
I close my eyes and fight it and hide.
Once opened, the ugliness returns.
I am justified.
I am right.
This land is barren.
This is Hell.
Better to sleep.
I lay under a tree. I see it.
Ugly, alone. Trunk twisted from years of struggle.
Branches scattered around on the ground,
Winds of trial knocking them down.
They weren’t strong.
The top of the tree a thicket of confusion.
A maze of desperation.
Each limb fighting against itself searching for survival.
Independently reaching for the sky.
Climb the tree a small voice says to me.
Lower branches make sturdy steps.
My feet giving them purpose long since dead.
The bark on my hands, rough, strong.
Protected, we are connected.
I feel it.
Pushing through the branches
I’m scratched, slapped, scrapped by thin wooden fingers.
Stinging pain, surging rage.
Climb down! Go back to sleep!What do you hope to see?
Take the pain.
I don’t know why, but I must find the purpose for which the branches fight.
I burst through the canopy, gasping for air.
Eyes closed, chest heaving, making room for breathing.
The crisp air is refreshing.
I open my eyes.
The tops of the trees join together.
Like frozen waves in a storm ruled sea.
A storm if thawed, would surely kill me.
The Ugly fades.
The lone tree amongst the broken becomes whole.
The ugly, a piece of a collective beauty
Tells me there is no beauty apart from community.
I see a lone green bud atop the once ugly tree.
No longer asleep.
No longer missing things. I see.
The sting of the struggle lead me to peace.
I broke free from the chains,
the desire, the prison
The numbing need to stay, asleep.