Colour runs fast when it's not sealed right.
Night blinds the eye from things that were once vibrant,
that now glare back with the gift of anxiety:
"bind him in breaths of grey until he finds light".
But verily, with every hardship comes ease.
Mother finds me in a room dimly-lit by a candle.
The strongest of four is broken; a sight that breaks her.
As though she hasn't enough piled on plates she couldn't handle,
here I am, the break in the back of the camel.
Every turn finds a wall, still being built.
There was once a ledge that the sun shone over
and a window that let the Summer breeze through,
yet brick by brick and hour by hour
does the dark hem in and the warm air cool.
Still, verily, with every hardship comes ease.
And what hurts the most is my dear mother
who's heartbreak cries for a son she knew.
How he used to smile and draw her laughter
with talk and love and things sons do.
Now, her eyes see a total stranger
while she breaks away with every tear.
Her lips, they pray from wake to slumber
as she pleads that I not fall to fear.
She pleads and prays - as do I;
a mercy she has had for years.
With her love, her motherly advice:
"With every hardship comes ease;
verily, with every hardship comes ease".
I keep going back to the first line. I've never heard anything remotely close to that and thinking what else sealing color, almost protecting it, could mean. Keeping the light secured, safe and sound so we can use it and lean on it later.
"The strongest of four is broken" made me think of the depth of sadness the mother must feel, witnessing her son's desperation.
The fourth stanza left me with chills, almost in a haunting way, knowing every turn can still stop you, because the wall is not finished yet. Being built, being secured, being made stable. Your thoughts keep running and waiting for you to collide then collapse.
There's such a heavy sense of loss in this, a mother feeling the darkness of what was once a light, buoyant child, now affected by the world and cruelty of the mind. Total stranger is accurate, especially those of us who seemed or saw ourselves as fully functioning before mental illness. Mental illness can then make us feel we are someone else, that sense of identity chipping away.
Such compassion and "mercy" in this from the mother, and such yearning to keep her son from losing all light. From believing all the fears and their lies.
You don't post too often, Maher, but trust me, I do read even if I don't always comment. Love hearing your voice, it stands out it in whatever you write and this is one of your most touching and powerful writes, at least in my opinion.
Thank you for leaving such an in-depth comment and of course, thank you for reading my other work, I'm glad you enjoy my posts. I really appreciate it and consider it an honour when people can relate. My apologies for not posting often, though. I usually write about circumstances as they happen. This happens to be happening and I happened to need an outlet, even if just a small one.