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A Subway Sprite

There's been a change of plans, but for a very good reason. In my previous post, I mentioned I would speak to the point of why it's easier to remember the bad than the good. I will write about that, but I will do so next week. I tend to hold my plans with a gentle grasp rather than a death grip to keep me flexible and receptive to life's interventions.

In my ABOUT ME page I mention my journey through psychosomatic issues that recently culminated in the chief thoracic surgeon at an esteemed hospital telling me my thyroid needed to be removed. I took a different course of action, and my efforts have paid off! In the time since that diagnosis, I have plunged into understanding my habits and behaviors with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. I have worked with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and continued my insight meditation practices on weeklong, silent retreats and at home. I've made a commitment to stream-of-conscious journaling and have demanded that I actually write when a burst of creativity catches me off-guard. Last but certainly not least...I finally set out to achieve my dream of being a writer by carving out time to write the book that's been swirling around in my mind for several years. At the center of all my practices has been this commitment to nurturing my voice, my life.

I finished "A Subway Sprite" in the early hours of this morning. A handful of hours later, I received the results of my blood work. My doctor told me my thyroid is in great shape, and I can stop taking my medication. I will, of course, be retested in 3-4 months but to go from where I was to where I am has been quite the affirming adventure! I believe we each have an inner wisdom that glows within us all. I'd like to think it was she who guided my hand as I wrote the last stanza. I have a sneaking suspicion she already knew what the results would be.

A Subway Sprite

by Lauren Taub Cohen

The dank and dreary

subway station

offers a temporary

reprieve from the

rapacious wind.

A woman at the far end

of the station is stroking

her guitar and singing

unabashedly without

concern for perfection.

Her voice is trampled upon

by the oppressive roar

of express trains charging

and the stretched screech of

an uptown, local train

lugging itself into the station.

But still she sings

entirely unperturbed.

I’ve had nightmares

where my life depends

on my ability to

scream, “HELP!”

But I’m incapable of

screaming or murmuring

the slightest of sounds.

Terror bleeds from

inside out and

panic punches me awake.

I am seized by a gasp

and seared by a revelation -

I never knew my voice

was lost

until it was

too late.

The downtown, local train

drags it scraggly self

into the station and

I step into the crowded space.

The foul-tempered,

sliding doors slam

with an aggressive thump,

and the train lurches forward

into the motion of my day.

The haunting honesty

of her voice recedes

and a heartfelt prayer

is whispered into

my scarf’s reassuring hug –

“May this be the year

I find my voice

and claim my right

to be.”

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