Precipice to the Abyss.

Dsc02480by Michelle Seyner27 Sep 2019

The precipice, this steep, small,
unstable slab of stone, wobbling
above a sarlacc-pit-shaped
abyss, is one of my most
familiar places. Like the
house I grew up in.
And while the precipice is always
the same, the abyss isn't.
As a young child, the abyss
represented the warm, dark,
oblivious embrace of death.
The mercy of not knowing,
not suffering - not existing.
But, as time progressed,
and the comfort of death
kept being denied me
- like a soap bubble that
pops in the warmth
of your hand -
I began to second-guess
exactly hów comforting
death would be. Maybe it
would be worse than living!
And THEN fucking what?!
I'd leave one miserable
existence, just to be
irrevocably tied to a worse one!
And yet, at certain times,
the thought that I could jump
- or be shoved - into the bottomless
maw of the abyss brought me
a certain amount of peace.
Like a really BAD plan B
when plan A sucked to begin with,
and you had so few options
your entire emotional alphabet
consisted of just the two letters.
Some days I just made camp
on the precipice, stewed the
skeletons I found in my closet,
and sucked the marrow
out of my own bones,
while wistfully studying
the ever-red, ominous sky
over my dearly beloathed abyss.
The fact I COULD end it,
made sure I didn't.
And life progressed, as it always
does, whether I wanted to or not.
I learned how to use
my breathing as a crutch,
and my humor as a lifeline.
I learned to map my course
by the stars in my children's eyes,
by learning to remember
my husband's voice became home.
And now, when I stand on the
all-too-familiar precipice,
sometimes the abyss changes
into a mirage of unutterable
beauty. It promises LIFE then,
not death. It holds up for me
the unspoiled glitter of joy
and the beckoning shore of
And it's just glimpses,
really. Blink, and it's gone.
But it's promise lingers in my
mind, slowly changing how
I look at myself, at my life.
Sometimes I sit at the precipice,
making a soup of happy things
and gratitude, waiting for
my Fata Morgana to reappear.
One day I'll be able to hold that
image stable, and it will be
THAT abyss I'll step into.
Not dive, or fall, or jump.
I'll just wálk off of the precipice,
into the RIGHT sort of abyss.
That day I will no longer
be afraid of happiness.

27 September 2019.
Michelle Seyner.