Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.
― David Mitchell
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
― Graham Greene
Lately, I’ve been very aware of the mythic Greek Fate, Atropos. She is the Fate who cuts the threads of life. Even Zeus did not have the power to stop her once she’d determined it was time to cut.
We all recently witnessed her blades sever the hopes and dreams of hundreds of women who expected Justice to bring balance back into personal, social and political life.
Atropos also doesn’t hesitate to slash at jobs, relationships and homes when she believes it is time, demanding that we let go.
But the hardest of her cuts to deal with, regardless of the flood of tears at her feet, are those she makes to the life threads of those we love, no matter how we plead with her not to.
Sometimes—often—the only way to deal with her actions is to escape, even for a little while, the disappointment, loss and hurt that seem too big, too powerful, too painful to be born.
Escape is absolutely necessary in order to return to wholeness. It allows us to re-gather the strength to stand upright again, to continue on in our lives, to even hope and dream again. We need it when Atropos casts her shadow over us.
Escape into a movie or book, into art or music, into a quiet walk or a wild dance to a bass-bold rock song.
Escape into play on the floor with grandchildren or making love with the beloved.
Escape into wave-watching, cookie baking, or travel to new lands.
Escape into sleep.
Not for the rest of life. But like someone laid up after a broken limb, just long enough for the bone to knit together again, for the soul and heart to re-weave torn threads of fabric.
Escape is life-savingly necessary. Not a bad thing. Not a sign of weakness. But a recourse of the sane.
In the sadness of these times and events, personal and otherwise, give yourself permission to get away–in your mind or to the beach.
To momentarily close the door on Atropos and her relentless blades.
Then return. And create.