The Black-Eyed Boy In The Cave…
Note: I think this is some kind of attempt at putting into words a thing I experience frequently during counselling, while doing self-analysis, or while meditating. Fuck knows, if I’m honest…
Black sky; rain-slicked, slate-sheet cliffs. A damning, judgemental storm, more intense than recent, oppressive. Heavy, thick, suffocating. I stand on rock, soaked-through and whip-flayed by rain, gripped and shoved by wind; still, strong, I struggle against the storm.
Up amongst the blades of cliff a light, a fire. A cave. I see the entrance now. A deep cliff-top serves as a well-worn pathway. The entrance to the cave. Aglow with a welcoming warmth in this wicked wind, it beckons but I still. I hesitate. This path is well worn. By whom? Inside, I know, is The Black-Eyed Boy. Sat, cross-legged, in the ash of long-dead warmth; a driftwood refugee from who knows where, huddled, shaking, knees-under-chin, braced against the cold even within reach of the fire’s embrace. He is not cold. The boy is angry.
In the cave, across the fire from him, I stand. He stares. Black, seething eyes. Teeth tight, blackened but still strong enough. Foam, fist clenched. I wait. I speak little here. I stare at flames, occasional glances at the boy. He’s trying, I know. It’s hard to find a foothold of coherence when the rage is so thick in your mind you could choke from the inside. It must be hell, constantly castrated by anger. Unmanned by impotent, self-important rage. Silenced by that to which you would most give voice.
I wait. Sometimes he speaks. Sometimes just snarls, growls, spittle. Sometimes filthy nails claw, to tear my skin, my face, my eyes. He hates me, of course. Hates everything himself included. He doesn’t speak often, just growls, swears or curses. An exorcism. I don’t know if I’m the priest.
When he speaks it’s to blame, to accuse. Nothing else. All of our ills he piles at my porch and demands I account and atone for every single one. I refuse, often. I have no help to give. I simply am. Past is done.
He has no power. Demon, abuser, accuser, victim; bully, spineless, rotten, taught with hate and blame. I listen. I listen long, I really listen. With compassion, I listen. With understanding, I listen. With forgiveness, I listen, and with love, I listen. Tears. Rage. Lashing out. Such pain. Such pain! I listen. I cry. I sit and I cry real tears and I listen. Soon, I will hold, and comfort, and affirm and explain. I will love and listen and confess and learn.
Soon, I will leave, and face the storm once more. Maybe with peace, for a time.
I will soon forget. I will soon return…