I stand in the middle of the dirt road that runs from the house to the shop. I stare at the Gabilan Range and try to see the face of God. I look up into the blue, too bright sky and sense only satellites spying down upon me. I scream into the wind of the storm approaching from the west as loud and for as long as I can bear; until my throat is raw and my chest collapses a bit from the lack of air in my lungs.

“Help me! I need help, I need help, I need help.” I’m on my knees and sobbing in desperation. My eyes scan the horizon like a rabid beast, searching for my savior; someone or something to fill up this vacuous shell of a body. “Please, God, PLEASE. Just show me your face. I need to feel you. I need to know there is more to this life than emptiness and pain. I need to know there is magic. Please, please.”

I sit and snuggle down into the blanket I have wrapped around my shoulders. The sky is gray and getting grayer. The Gabilan Range is deep green with oak trees and brushes, but the hills are still camel. The dirt is still dusty and warm.

I speak in telepathy, “please, show me you are here. Show me I’m not alone – show me your face.”

“My face exists in everything you perceive. I am the hills and the storm. I am the atoms that fabricate the thing you perceive as life. There is no place I’m not,” another voice replies.

“But I need a face. I need someone, something real and tangible to make me believe. Who are you?”

“I am everything and nothing. I am the alpha and omega. I am this world and all of its fractals. I am you. You need to save yourself because nobody is coming to save you. You are the only one who can do it.”

I start sobbing because I instantly recognize this to be the truth and it seems impossible. “But I can’t. I can’t do anything. I’m a failure. I need help.”

“It is already done. All you have to do is accept it.”

 

 

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Ms PTSD

(Ms Pissed)

Trish Graves is a creative nonfiction writer and a US Navy veteran who lives on a grass fed cattle ranch with her husband and daughter, and dreams of becoming the salty Martha Stewart of the ranching world. She writes about her ranch and more on her blog, thelazy8ranch.com. She is currently working on a memoir which provides perspective on military sexual assault, living with post-traumatic stress disorder, dealing with the Veterans Administration, and the impact these experiences have on every aspect of her life.