Monday, May 26, 2008

House of Cards


I held my breath, fearing that if I lived life any harder or took more than a shallow breath, my entire world would fall to pieces. My stomach wouldn't stop climbing up my ribs, or stop taking suicidal leaps that always ended with the same nervous thud. I weighed the air in my hand and counted slowly, easing my breath out like an asthmatic flutist. Easy does it. Slow. Those butterflies get out and they'll swarm your house of cards and knock it down. It still came out rough and ragged; I hiccuped and watched a card shudder at the top of the tower.

I shivered along with it, as a breeze tickled my neck, standing my hair at attention. I sucked in my breath for fear that the breeze would topple the tower, and leaned forward, a futile gesture and desire to keep my world from collapsing.

And then it did. It folded silently and like a movie. The black and red cards sliding into each other like a flimsy embrace, a kiss, the red like lipstick and the black like a wound.

And my world lay in cards at my feet. I stood and stared, letting my breath out with a heave that whistled. I slowly dropped to the floor, mimicking the fall of the deck, until I sat there on the tile, the slippery feel of the cards beneath my hands.

The world was still, too still for the screaming colors of the cards, the quiet chaos of the scattered spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. I sat for a long time, staring at the rubble.

Finally, I took one last breath and drew myself up. Then, one by one, I picked up the cards and began again.

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.
Micah 7:8


written summer 2007, revised April 2008

1 comments:

Rebecca May 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

LOVE that scripture!

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