Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014 - The Tiny Black Box


It can happen this easily.  One day you decide you are very tired and you don’t know why.  You slept a reasonable amount.  You haven’t done that much physical labor, but you’re exhausted nevertheless.  In addition, you’re very sad and you feel you may never laugh again.  You don’t realize it yet, but that’s actually a good sign.  That’s when you look inside to find out why you’re so tired and sad.  You search and search, and if you’re honest with yourself, you find a tiny black box stuffed way down inside your heart underneath a lot of things.  It doesn’t seem like much at first.  In fact, you overlook it and you keep on searching, but you don’t find anything of consequence.  So you give up.

Or maybe you don’t give up.  Maybe you’re tired of being tired.  Maybe, just maybe, you return to the tiny black box.  You reach down to grab it but discover that it’s extremely heavy.  It’s excruciatingly heavy, in fact.  It takes both hands on it with a foot braced against a rib to pull it out, but you keep at it and you do pull it out.  You set it on the table before you when no one else is around because you don’t want anyone to see your tiny black box.  And you just stare at it.  As you suspect, it is locked, and no amount of banging it around will open it.  So you give up.

Or maybe you don’t give up.  Maybe you just stare at the box and ask it to open, and when one teardrop--just one teardrop--falls upon it, the lock gives way and the box opens.  It looks empty.  You put a finger inside, then your hand, then your arm.  And suddenly, all of you goes into the box!  But everything is black inside.  Still, you’ve come this far so you keep on.  Even though you can’t see, you can touch and when you do touch, a memory rises in your mind or an old feeling surfaces in your heart.  They’re difficult memories and feelings.  It hurts to bring them up, but somehow you know you must do it if you’re ever going to laugh or feel good again.

Leaving the tiny black box.

So you touch as many as you can until you feel you can go no further that day.  Then you grasp one and you bring it with you.  It’s reluctant.  It doesn’t want to go, but you don’t yell at it and you don’t force it.  You simply say, “Please, it’s time.”  And it goes with you.  You put your arm around it and bring it to the box opening.  Hand in hand, you walk out together.  You give it a hug and a little kiss on the head and you reassure it that everything’s okay now and it can relax and go home.  So it does, and you wave goodbye and let it go.

Somehow you don’t feel quite as tired anymore, and the box isn’t quite as heavy either.  You carefully put the box away--this time unlocked--as there is more work to be done.  You promise the box you’ll be back--a promise you keep.  And this is how the sun rises.

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