Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘heal

from Medicine bag prompt

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            Things are better now, so I don’t keep one anymore.  Don’t feel the need for it these days.  But awhile back, it was a life-saver, literally.  I called it my “in-case-I-wanna-die” bag.

            I was going through some hard times, in deep therapy, not sure if anything good would ever happen to me again.  My therapist would end a session saying, “Hang on, kiddo,” and “Do something nice for yourself this week.”  Sometimes, when I was feeling suicidal, it took all my effort just to sit there on the bedroom floor and not do anything self-destructive.  So to distract myself, I created a special activity bag.  It kept me occupied until the black mood passed.

            I went through a couple different pretty gift bags over a couple of years.  I filled them up with favorite things – ink pens, journals, favorite perfumes, photos of people and animals I loved, postcards from museums I’d visited, books that made me smile again, like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Book of Weird”.  It was evidence I compiled that there had been some good days in my life, even if I wasn’t having a good day right then.  Remembering happier times helped me to hang on.  I’d sniff the Silver Rose scent and be reminded of a lovely bed and breakfast stay the year before, see the pictures of my kids, that I did not want to have to find me if I “did something drastic”, and be scarred for life…I’d re-read sweet thoughts in pretty cards friends had given me.  Often it was just empty journal pages I could bleed ink all over until the pressure subsided.

            I’ve had smaller versions since.  I used to carry a medicine bag, a petite version of my “In-case-I-wanna-die” bag.  It held an acorn from the ancient oak in my grandma’s yard, a symbol of her strength and perseverance, an ID badge from visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a lock of my partner’s hair, a souvenir coin my son and I made years ago, a sugar cube from Les Deux Magots in Paris…These things symbolized sources of power and strength for me…

            Like a toddler who relinquishes her security blanket strip by strip, I am down to carrying just one stone with me.  It is painted with my spirit animal, Coyote.  I am looking within and finding my own strength, and taking good care of myself.


kerry, (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

July 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

A Clean Sweep

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Trembling at my threshold,

I dare to discover what lies behind the door,

The tightly-shut, but unlocked door.

Opening it, I see

My psyche in shambles.

I sigh and say,

“Where do I begin?”


The floor is littered with

The dust of illusions,

Shattered shards of time,

Remnants of lost dreams,

Tufts of hair pulled out in battles,

The wood stained with tears and blood.

“I must clean up this mess, but how?”


I search shy corners

For a soul-sweeping broom,

Finding only a small whisk broom.

I use it to form a tiny dust pile,

Creating a bit of order out of chaos,

Already perspiring, though my work has just begun.


Soon I feel weak, worn, and weary,

Unable to fathom how I will dump

All the dirt I have gathered so far.

“I don’t need all the answers at once!”

I remind myself.

My job, for now, for today,

Is merely to sweep,

Evenly, carefully,

One short stroke at a time.

One small square at a time.


Eventually I make a clean sweep,

The floor looks great!

I smile, straighten my sore back,

Put my hand on my hip proudly, and boast,

“Look at what I accomplished!”

I step and glide and perform on my polished floor,

Then sit, and rest, a sip some tea, satisfied at last.


Until, naturally,

More dust and dirt appear.

I get my broom and begin again,

Sweeping, sweeping,

An ancient ritual against

An eternal enemy.


By Kerry Vincent

© 1993

Written by kvwordsmith

May 7, 2008 at 5:58 pm