CANNOT UNSEE.

I was drowning last week.  I've been drowning for a while, actually.  It's incredibly hard to articulate, especially being surrounded by so much modern convenience, plenty and loving family.  So I haven't, just tried to muddle forward.  It's like walking through oatmeal, and I can't explain what I'm trying to do.

But mommies know.  So I call my mom.  Or she calls me.  And last Tuesday she listened while I tried to talk.  Gave encouragement the way a mom knows how to do.  And then called me back an hour later and told me she'd booked a flight for THAT NIGHT and would be staying with me for the rest of the week.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't explain how close I came to really losing it, and how she helped.  But I will say my head feels above the water today. I feel like I can make it to tomorrow, which is more hope than I've had in a while.  So there's that.

When mom was here, she told me about a painting that she'd seen in the Louvre that had stuck with her.  She described in such a way that I had to look it up and see what she was talking about.

It was Scene from a Deluge by Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson and it WILL give you nightmares. So read on at your own risk.




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Yeah. This family is clinging to the last bit of stable high ground, the man is trying to save the older man, the woman and the children - and this is the moment the branch breaks and they are about to fall into the water.  The terror in the man's face hits you in the gut, the feels, and the nightmare center of your brain. The detail of even his toes trying to cling to the rock.  And after taking that in, you see where his eyes are - on the woman and children he is about to lose.  The children are holding onto anything they can, her hair, her arm, but her muscles show no sign of tension.  She's given up completely, given in to what she saw as inevitable.  And who is to say they couldn't have held on a little longer if she had tried to climb?

The painter said that this wasn't to depict that Great Flood, but to show the futility of trying to hold onto something with rotten roots - in his mind, France throwing out the monarchy for Napoleon, only to find the roots of that were weak, rotten.  What do you see? 

 It is a vivid reminder to me that I can't give up. The look in the man's face haunts me.  I can't give in.  I matter.  

Comments

Jane said…
Does it make me flighty and sacrilegious to think that if this scene were a movie the guy holding everyone up would be able to switch his grasp to below the break in the branch and the old guy would let go (because he's Bruce Willis and willing to sacrifice himself so the rest could live) and then the guy could haul up each of the others one at a time?
The Atomic Mom said…
Oh man!

Truthfully, I saw the old man and the kid at the bottom as the devil and his angels trying to pull this couple down. Sometimes, and a lot over the last 3 or so years, I have felt literally like the gates of hell have opened up and Satan himself has reached up trying to grab at me and my family.

Wouldn't it have been great, if the artist would have painted Jesus riding in on His chariot of fire with a sword and shield to protect them?
kimbo said…
I've been there. Hang on.
Pisceanchick said…
Hang in there girlie. I think you are a hero. If you ever want to visit Canada or come with Jared we can visit Niagara Falls and have Indian food.

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