She twirls

Twirling, whirling, spinning

Turning, twisting, pivoting

Swiveling, revolving, rotating

That is what it feels like

As opposed to

Sinking, falling, dropping

Submerging, plunging, descending

No one is

Losing, missing, wasting

Failing, eluding, leaving

She is just going around in circles

Twirling and pivoting like a dancer

While the world is

Swiveling and revolving beyond her

The only way to get to her

Is to break into her

Spin around with her

Feel the vertigo that is her

Grasp the rhythm together

Perceive the cadence

And flow with her

She composes

She formulates

She devises

She choreographs

She plans

Contrary to what they think

She is not

Ignorant, oblivious, unaware

She is simply taken

Captured into a different world

Away from what is

Normal, ordinary, conventional

She is remarkable

She is exceptional

She is special

But she still needs you

Author’s Note:

I wrote this after watching the music video of ‘Dig’ by Incubus. It hit quite close to home. As I watched the ballerina twirl around, I realised that someone trapped in desolation does not ‘sink’ into their condition that is too often mistakenly called depression. They do not fall into desolation. I believe they are caught in it and they go around in circles within it.

Do you remember that feeling of spinning around giddily when you were little? It took you away from the world. But you loved that feeling. For a moment there, you did not want to come out of it. You wanted to watch the sky rotate above you. You wanted to feel the shadows in your closed eye swirl.

Coming out of melancholia is like stopping that twirl, being smacked with the fact that you’re getting off-balanced and finally hitting the ground really hard. No one wants that painful experience.

Brandon Boyd tells us how we could help someone in desolation:

If I turn into another

Dig me up from under what is covering

The better part of me

[Sing this song]

Remind me that we’ll always have each other

When everything else is gone

And I say, all this person needs is you by his/her side.


On the night before he died…

How are you feeling? I ask.
Scared, he says.
We are silent for awhile.
It used to be always about me and never about him.
Every single day of the year, I’d tell him about me, my family, the people around me and all the issues of the world we’re living in.
It used to be always about me and never about him.
But not today.
Today, it’s all about him.
I wait for him to speak again.
From the corner of my eye, I catch one of his friends stirring in his sleep.
All of them must be really tired.
Or maybe they have no idea what he is going through.
Every once in a while, he shivers a bit.
I reckon this happens whenever the thought of what would befall him the next day crosses his mind.
He knows – for a long time, now – what is going to happen to him.
He tried to tell his friends, but they refused to believe him.
Or maybe they believed in him too much to think anything horrible could ever happen to him.
I remember how my mother used to sing me to sleep, he says, a small smile on his face.
I could never sleep until I heard her sing her favourite song.
And he starts to sing the lullaby he used to listen to.
He stops, however, after the second line as he finds himself choking back the tears.
At this moment, I sense his fear is more for his mother rather than himself.
What son wouldn’t feel a little worried knowing that he would be leaving his mother alone soon… for a very long time?
And then, he tells me about his father who died some years back.
About how, when he was still a little boy, he would wait every day for his father to return home after a few days’ journey of getting wood for carpentry.
The minute he saw his father a distance away from the house, he would run to meet him.
He recalled how, when he tripped and fell to the ground, his father would immediately come down from his colt and run towards him to pick him up and make sure he was alright.
Again, he keeps silent after that, probably thinking about more memories of his parents and him together.
John…, he suddenly speaks again.
He was the closest thing to me after my parents.
I only heard about him before I saw him at the river.
And when I got to know him personally, I knew exactly why my Father chose him to go ahead of me.
He was an amazing man, brother and friend, righteous and true.
He goes on to talk about the Twelve: the thunderous voice, the fearful one, the one who always tries really hard to please him, the doubtful one, the quiet one, the stubborn one, the one who never fails to bring life to the party and the money bag.
They are all his friends whom he considers family.
They are all very dear to him.
As clueless as most of them are at the moment, he has already commissioned them to his Father and the Third Person.
He doesn’t want to lose any of them but he also knows that they are of this world.
Do you know why I come to this world? he asks.
Of course, I say No.
Not only do I suspect that I’m not too sure of the answer, I also want him to continue talking to me.
I needed to be a part of this world.
I needed to be a part of the human community.
To know the human mind.
To know the human emotions.
To know the human pain.
So that you will believe, not just in me as my divine self but also in me as my human self.
That I know exactly what it’s like to be you.
That I know exactly what it’s like to be of the flesh.
That I know exactly what it’s like to live in this world and experience joy, sorrow, contentment and hardship.
So that you will not feel alone whenever you experience any of these.
So that you will always know that I know… and that I will always be by your side.
Because I’ve personally walked on the face of this earth and experienced all that any human would.
I sometimes feel I may not be ready to leave just yet.
That there’s something I have not done.
But my time here is up.
And the Third Person is ready to take my place.
When I go, I will be able to do so much more… not just here, but throughout the whole world.
Sitting beside this man in this very cold night and hearing him say all those words breaks my heart.
Here is this Almighty Person, stripped off of his divine self on the last night of his life on earth, totally human, worried for his mother and his friends, hurt that he is going to be betrayed by a dear brother and drenched with his human emotions that he is going to suffer torturous pain and death before the day is done.
Take this cup from me, Father, he exclaims with tears and sweat of blood flowing from his face.
I watch him, so human, not how I had come to know him.
Today, he is just a man who happens to know that after living in this world for 33 years, he only has a few hours before he leaves all the memories behind.
And those few hours are certainly not going to be memorable ones.
It used to be always about me and never about him.
But not today.
Today, it’s all about him.
And yet, he is dealing with today because of me.
Because of us.
Because of the whole world.
After a time of silent pleading, he finally says,
Not my will, Father, but yours.
And then, comes the traitor…