“A voice still and gentle says, ‘You’re beginning to understand.’
‘Am I? Am I to live as a cynic?’
I detect a hint of laughter as the answer comes. ‘You’re to live as one who sees beyond the here and now. Sees as I see. Bodies grow from tender and helpless into strength and then fade away. Mountains rise and fall. And yes, great nations and governments, even brilliant ideas, have their days, and those days sweep into the past.’
‘Is nothing forever then? Nothing reliable, worthy of trust?’
‘I am forever and so are you. The people you see around you are too. But those arms, legs, and faces you recognize, they fade and go away. I give them better ones. You’ll have better ones too.’
‘So it has been you all along.’
‘All along. Trust me.’” – Leanna Glenn Markham
to love and hold,
from this day forward,
and in health.
I now pronounce
loved.” – Gracie
A River and a Bridge
Fiction. Based on a true enlightenment.
By Bry LeBerthon
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
Ever since that night,
that ghoulish night where the moon glowed brighter and strangers’ eyes glinted knowingly,
when you had learned what it truly meant to be alone,
you have had to choose yourself.
over and over again, choose yourself,
because nobody else will ever choose you.
And isn’t that a good thing?
Isn’t this a miracle?
The loneliness, abandonment, they fostered a great love,
the greatest love you’ve ever known will ever know,
which you can never truly risk or lose.
you are there to fall back on, always, undoubtedly,
your first and last line of defense,
just as you are.
you are still standing despite it all,
and you are by your side,
and that is all you need
and she is not perfect
but she is right beside you
and that’s more than enough.
when the stars gleam harshly and the fog melts lower and lower towards the ground
you wonder when it will be your time again
when you will step away into the sky you always leave behind.
you stand grounded here.
Alone but with company
and you finally take a breath and look around yourself.
and there is everyone else,
staring up with longing at the galaxy,
seeing shining moons and stars and eyes
feeling fog descend upon the earth
and you are not alone
and you never once were
but as you look upon the sea of people,
making eye contact only with the fellow enlightened
you decide to be a companion
and remain among the waves.
This is destiny,
what you’ve always wanted and have known to be true
and you notice that
you are back at square one.
you are healed,
returned home from a perilous journey
stronger and smarter than ever before
when you can step back out into the fray once more.
and you can feel it coming,
as the basement floods and fills with sewage one more time,
as the kitchen fills with rats with fleas and mites,
and the support beams sag and windows melt
and it is almost time
as you lose yourself among the work and all the drugs
and the feeling once again of what’s unknown
and you know you’re not alone
but you’re almost feeling lost and lonely once again.