Stand Up Eight

Written last March, but relevant more times than I needed throughout this year and now as I continue to recover.

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Fall down seven times, stand up eight, they say.

It is many many more than that for me…

but the tally doesn’t matter, only that you stand up

that one more time, that inconceivable millionth

moment of utter desperation, to crawl out of the dark,

to grasp onto something, the smallest speck of hope

just enough to hand-over-hand yourself out of the hole.

Today was another eight, another “she should be down,

but isn’t” day, a “what will it take to destroy her”  day.

An all-out, “I’m not going to be taken down by anything!”

day, an “I forgot how it feels” to be me day, but

“damn it, I’m going to fight back, whatever it takes!” day.

The old stories in my head, of destruction and rebirth,

lows and highs, and that ever-evasive middle ground,

which I’m beginning to cede may never exist,

all the while desperately wanting to believe it does.

They look at you…people…and they think they know.

They don’t. They don’t have a clue what you’ve been through.

They see a face, maybe a pretty face, and they think they’ve

got you figured out, pinned down in a frame, stored neatly

in a square box, that you’ve never had to fight, to struggle,

that you have it all, that nothing comes as a challenge.

If they only had a backstage pass, could see what I’ve

been through, they would truly “see,” their judgment would

cease, they would keep to themselves and mind their own shit.

Truth is, we are all human, we are all here to fight for something.

Nobody is immune, we are all related, of blood, of the same

wondrous existence, one humanity, despite our attempts

to implode it, and our planet from our own selfish faulty behavior.

What a world we would live in if we supported each other,

that when someone fell for that seventh time, that a hand

would reach out to guide us back for the eighth time.

In reality, we must rely on our own strength first, dig into

deep parts of our soul, go through the dark, always go through

the dark…so you can find the light. There is no other way.

~ Em C.

3.28.16

“Stand Up Eight” ~ AUDIO voice recording on SoundCloud

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