I had been traveling toward the mountains more quickly and efficiently than most. There I would build a small town and help all those people. And I had recently found a partner, a beautiful bride and she was going there with me to make our home there.
But now we were on a desolate mountain side, on a narrow path. I quickly turned and pushed her backward down the path. She fell and whipped her head back over her pack. I criticized her, "You always make things harder than they should be!"
She gathered her legs beneath her and looked up at me, holding her neck with tears in her eyes.
I was appalled at myself. Where had this come from? Was there something in me that had something in mind other than helping people?
She spoke, "This way you want to go leads to the desolate mountain peaks. Only the Great Lizards like living there. The valley of abundance where people can thrive and grow crops is that way." She pointed to a steep, narrow crevice straight up the mountain.
I swallowed and slowly knelt by her. I could barely even look at her as I said, "I am so sorry, my love." She put her hand on me. She was scared but still loved me.
Again I wondered, where had this impulse come from inside of me?! It was like something was battling the good in me and only now had been revealed. It was like the words that had come out of my mouth and my impulse to push her were in contrast to what I thought I lived by.
I turned my head to the left almost as if it felt like something foreign had been speaking to me. Something tugged on my ear as I turned and I felt a shiver go through me. A tiny lizard's jaws were clamped onto my ear. And then I recognized the feeling of its body inside my shirt, against my skin. The lizard had been living against my skin whispering in my ear for so long, I forgot it was there. And when someone who rivaled this lizard's place in my heart suggested we go a direction it didn't want, it had bitten my ear. And from that pain I had pushed her and spoken venom to her.
I took off my pack and my shirt and lay prostrate before her. My love, I need your help. "There is a beast in me that I have been battling." Over the next half hour my bride helped me pluck each of its claws out of my skin, all the while taking her own share of scratches and bites from the flailing lizard. She spoke kindness and hope into my ear over the hissing of the lizard.
Together we flung it over the edge and headed up the narrow path. But all along the way we had to be very careful that the lizard, or another one, did not find its way onto me again.
Do you find yourself battling something in you because it is in opposition to how you want to live? Does it hurt the ones you love? Maybe do you need to tell your loved one that you are battling something inside you and together you can wage battle against it?
Raw Spoon 4/2021