The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing


I ask the Children your question. At first they pretend at first they don't understand and ask for the question to be repeated. I ask it more directly: did anyone become sexual with you? Nearly instantly they all move back away, get very small, and the weather changes to the color of deep red wine. Then it turns to blackness, a cold night where the snow has conspired to keep things quiet and the moon has disappeared. My stomach registers  something painful. It is that grief I’ve been telling you about, my stomach is crying. I am about  to be shown something but all of a sudden things get very noisy. A dog appears, a German shepherd, his mouth frothing, his teeth bared. He is really strong but you are there and you have him on a lead and you are holding him back. You are not easily controlling him but you are winning. The boy also appears at the same time-he is semi frantic, bringing in images, sexual images. I tell the boy NO, to stop, to quiet down, to let this happen. And he does.


It becomes quiet again. We are all there to bear witness, to protect the moment, to finally let truth appear. I am allowed to ask questions of The Children as it is very hard to see or hear anything. We are all under a blanket of secrets, of quiet, of snow, of dark. There is a very small child at the center. I ask how old and I am told young like a dog. I ask what  this means and they say so young that you can do things to it like you  would a dog and it cannot speak and the person who does it wisely or  unwisely hopes nothing will be remembered. The shepherd lunges here  and there, a reflex to stop the unfolding and you hold him back, telling him it’s okay, we can proceed. 


The moment is holy and there is a universal feeling in the circle that a spirit is dying in the middle, that a life barely begun is ending, that what could have been for this person will not be. There is this sinking feeling of a normal life, what it would be like, a flicker, a fast forward trajectory, a tease of what could have been never being. It is all so deceptively fast. For a moment or less it somehow deserves more, more respect. A lifetime of pain will follow this less-than-moment.


It is cold and you go and get some wood and make a fire, a great fire, and we all continue to stand around and watch the fire burn. It is silent. The hours pass and the fire continues to burn until it is dawn. And the sky streaks with purple bruises and it is light again. I realize I have witnessed a funeral. And it is mine.


I see if the children are still there. I wonder if they will be and they are but they are drained, they are tired, they hurt. They say they were trying to tell me the other day about the baby and I had begun the transcription but abandoned it so to please believe them and have faith. I tell them I fear they will go away on me and they say don't you understand, we are you? I ask them, I ask myself, what to do with what I learn. I am told that discovering such things yields much grief and to be kind to myself as this is a lot to take in. I am reminded that much was lost in one moment or in many. But that I am still here and that while I must grieve and accept all that was lost, the spirit that died, that I must also acknowledge what lived and lives. 


You say so many sad stories and I feel like I cannot tell any other type right now. I want to say it wasn't so bad, it wasn't all that bad but right now I cannot say that nor may I ever be able to.


A lot to take in, to question. But mostly I believe in it and it seems to fit. I feel bad right now like I want to kill myself but I won't, I promise, but I want to just say it to be real about it and you asked me to tell you. It just fucking hurts. I take a deep breath and try and view me, my life, from the outside and take some pride in somehow getting out, in not hurting anyone in the process and not being a mean  

person. The toll taken has been on me, not someone else. The toll taken has been living a life inside that is depressed, soaked so often in anxiety, horrible physical fears, a gratitude for moments of peace but an acceptance of things mostly being a big struggle. A longing for peace but only a longing. The thought that the discomfort inside will only end when I do.


This is all very, very intense and I have no idea how this settles onto your landscape. I somehow feel badly for doing this to you but I also know that I shouldn't feel this way and that it is okay and that  you are listening with all senses.


Pete is awake. I will hit send now. As always, with gratitude.