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This Duress

this duress.jpg

For any of us truly paying attention, the world is inhospitable. We are too light, too sensitive for this place. We are coiled here, packed into blood and bone and doubt and fear, helplessly fated, it seems — no matter the effort — to watch as the world burns, as our bodies burn. 

It is the age-old tale. Youth dissolves before it can ever be truly felt; adulthood is more often than not an exercise in numbness. The two impinge upon one another in grievous ways, pock-marking us with the pain of existence.     

    And yet... 

                    ...we persist.

Out of the mud we rose, and though forever cast back into it — by our brothers no less! — we rise. Again, again, we rise. Limping, bloody, scarred and forsaken, we push off from bended-knee, defiant in the face of pain and tragedy, marching forever forward into the heart of the storm.

And how else did we get here? How else did we create the tremendous conditions within which we toil? We have hardened our wills against ourselves, taken up the axe to only that which can save us, all in the name of survival. It is too much, this duress, yet it is the only thing we have to fight for, and it consumes us, it consumes our children. Even as we do our best to both guard and demonstrate their place in this tremendous, tragic process that we are ceaselessly unfolding within, we can feel it taking them… 

        …before we are done…

                                                    …before we've had the chance to put it into words they'll understand.