Bracing For A Punch: Or Why I’ve Been a Bad Blogger Lately

Never Not Losing, Never Not Gaining

My body is sore from bracing punches. The near-constant rush of dark waves has left me shrill, wordless and unsure. It seems this year has reduced me to a perpetual defensive position, making any agency seem out of reach.

It isn’t just me, although losing my grandfather and my job in the same month took/takes a toll. The Planet feels off kilter, weathering storm after storm, each time losing elasticity. Ebola, Robin Williams, plane crashes, Gaza, Ray Rice, the amount of terrible mounts, hardens and allows for more terrible.

Like the elephant chained to a memory of being chained, I’ve forgotten I’m an elephant, become oblivious that I am no longer bound. Helplessness as destructive as cruelty.

For the first time in almost twenty years, panic is stalking me. People who know me well can testify that I’m annoyingly optimistic, almost always ready to quickly transform disappointment into an exciting new opportunity. But, these last few months are turning my pixie dust to coal ash. Sure, this is what grief and depression do. And Lord knows, the amount of advice given to thousands over the years should mean that I am at least intellectually aware of how this works…but. But.

There is a chasm between what is known in words and what is unknown beyond them.

And it seeks to swallow me in one, greedy gulp.

I want to apologize. To myself, to readers and friends and family. I want to say,

“Extend infinite grace toward me and I will always bounce it back in your direction. Don’t be afraid to bolster me, you are scaffolding, meant for a delicate and clumsy resistance. We are still here! Not yet deprived of breath and voice! Be my mirror, even when I’m ugly. Don’t become blank. And if you see me fading, play me a tune. I always mean to love you better.”

I took this picture of my grandfather, Rev. James "Shadow" Ellenburg -- We say "shadow" like this: shadder. A mountain of a man.

I took this picture of my grandfather, Rev. James “Shadow” Ellenburg — We say “shadow” like this: shadder. A mountain of a man.

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About Kristen Chapman Gibbons

Loosely connected facts: Storyteller. Curator of a Better Internet. Lifelong Politico. Social Media Maven. Creativity and Empathy Evangelist. Performer. Creator of Content Worth Sharing. Digital Strategist. Former Social Worker. Decade teaching in Higher Ed. Master's Degree in Theology. Married to an Irishman. 3 darling kiddos. Preacher's kid. Appalachian. Music maker. Music devour-er. ENTP. Bohemian. Geeky. Obsessed with thrift stores and all things vintage. Lover of species.

View all posts by Kristen Chapman Gibbons

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