A Cry in the Darkness
~ six months into living in a new place ~
In this swirling maze of darkness and blind pain,
How can I reach for the light?
You say to reach but I am trapped within!
In my heart, I weep.
My tears spill endlessly down my cheeks and stain the dark glass around me.
Yet, even as I cry on the inside,
Not a tear can fight its way to the outside.
Instead, it is all thin smiles and fake love
While I tremble in my soul.
Please, someone hear my cries in the dark and help!
Reach down and embrace me.
Tell me that I am safe and I am loved.
But wait… Don’t tell me that.
For now the embrace feels burdensome.
I am not alright, that is the problem;
You don’t know that it is okay and however this place feels,
It doesn’t feel safe.
The love that I know should be here isn’t there when I reach for it.
There is only the shattered reflection of a stranger’s life.
This was written when I felt lost and alone. I knew what I was doing wrong; I was trying to escape into myself and by doing so, lost sight of the door out.
I suddenly saw the world in a different light when I moved. All of the colors of the Earth were richer, sharper, deeper. There was more beauty in the world than I had ever realized; but for the time, all I could see was grief.
In that sudden flood of new emotion and life, I lost myself. The grief of others suddenly became my grief, since I could no longer remember what my grief was. So I wept for children torn from their mothers, for sons with no fathers, for daughters whose families turned away, for prisoners chained under false justice. I grieved for everyone, and though I did not know truly know them, I knew them better than I knew myself.
One day I picked up a story. It was not a book of fiction or nonfiction, it was a story told through music—and it felt real. It was the story of the singer, but this story was different from the others I had heard. This story wasn’t of the past, it was of the present. It was of struggles and joys, mistakes and successes, but the ones that the singer was experiencing in their current life. In the music, the singer poured out their soul and allowed themselves to be vulnerable. They showed the world who they were, even as they struggled to find it themselves and help others along the way.
A single moment can change your identity.
I listened in wonder and understanding. Then I saw myself in a mirror: not someone to laugh at, scorn, or pity, but my own beautiful self. This wasn’t someone dead, this was someone alive. I reached out, touched my reflection, and smiled.
Maybe the world isn’t ready for me yet, but it never will be. I am wonderfully and beautifully made, and if I can accept that, then the impossible is possible again.
Hannah Wilder is a 14 year old eighth grade student in Oregon. She recently moved with her parents and two brothers from Phoenix, Az. She has a passion for justice and also enjoys art, reading, and writing. Her mom, Joanna Wilder, has been following and writing for Red Tent Living the past couple of years and attended the Brave On gathering in September. After hearing how her mom has explored her story and found more of her voice through Red Tent Living Hannah decided that she would like to write for Red Tent as well and start to find her place in all of this.