Trauma Litany

I have swaddled my hands, wrapping the knuckles and the wrists, the wrists, palms, and knuckles again until they are bound.  Then I have pushed these bound, mummified fists into gloves curved, padded, slightly weighted.

I don’t swing at people.  I have, I can, but when I do I hold back, talk too much through my mouthguard, obsess about trauma.

Agent-causing-trauma.  I-am-the-agent-causing-trauma.

On the bag I do not hold back.  I aim for speed then alternate with power punches, slugging at the heavy, impassive face of a leather bag filled with sand or rags.  Its resolute, anthropomorphized gut, its impassive reserve.

I do not worry unduly about traumatizing the bag.  I can–am allowed to–wail on it in repeated, staccato acts of catharsis.

Because of trauma.

Because when you live long enough you have stories.

Stories linked to the pain of a very broken world.

The puzzle of trauma is the why and the injustice.

So I will call the why the jab and I will call the injustice the cross.

You see where I am going with this–the cross.  The strong-right-arm move of a superhero God.

Whose go-to power punch so far was allowing the trauma to wash over him.

The trauma of the trial.

The trauma of the desertion.

The trauma of the betrayal.

The trauma of the kangaroo court.

The trauma of the beating.

The trauma of the spitting, the mocking, the shame.

The trauma of power in the hands of bad men.

The trauma of the broken-hearted God.

The trauma of the family.

The trauma of the thorns.

The trauma of the nakedness.

The trauma of the carried weight.

The trauma of the pierced extremities.

The trauma of the hours.

The trauma of each breath.

The trauma of blood loss.

The trauma of being forsaken.

The trauma of out-poured wrath.

The trauma of the grave.

The trauma of hell entire.

The prophet Zechariah gives us a picture of how we will respond to this trauma–

They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child

This litany of blows.  This way that we must walk through the swaddling, the trauma, the raw lonely pain.

Because when He said it is finished, He meant it.  In the oddest k-o win ever, the victor takes the blows, both jab and cross and appears to lose it all only to give each of us the power to 

Fight trauma



War Paint/Girlchild

I have a friend who punctuates correspondence with the lovely benediction–know you are loved.

Elegant, but a bit abstract for some of us.

I love you–more direct, but can you believe me?

Sometimes celebrity can be a strong drug.  Knocking out some of our healthy need for solitude, privacy, anonymity, and humility.

When you lost the fight with Holms I grieved with you.  Her win was methodical and clearly well-thought out.  But some of us love you for your slugger’s heart.

You did not need to hide your scars on the way home.  We all have them.

Glory in the well-earned blows.

But watch out for the body paint. SI has been treating legit female athletes like sex doll pin-ups for years.  Playing to the testosterone of their average-joe readers is not good enough anymore.

Women like you deserve to have the paint of your fame be in each well-fought achievement.

Not your sex appeal.

Keep your clothes on and fight girl. Know you are loved.