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Dread Has Lifted by Dulcie Witman

Thank you to the Stars.

And the Saints.

Thank you to the Brothers and the Sisters.

Thank you to Friends and Healers and Potions and Herbs and thank you to Spring and it’s promise of Summer.

To Flowers and Vegetables and Peepers and Baby Deer and The River.

Thank you to Unexpected Money and Plays about Old Women and New Visions and thank you even to Cigarettes for joining me when I asked you to but leaving when I ask you to also.

Thank you to my Partner in Life.

I didn’t know that Dread was ruling me.  I thought it was Pain.  And Loss.  And Grief and Anger.  I thought I was broken and I would not find Joy or Light until I was well again.  I thought I would not be able to write another thing, not be able to want to write another thing until I was mended.  And I did not know for sure if I would ever be mended.

But somewhere on the road from Middlebury to Topsham, Dread lifted.  

I still felt poorly.  My hip hurt and my neck hurt and my belly down where the scar is, that hurt too.  Same shit different day, I was prepared to think.  

But I didn’t think that.  

I thought about this art project I want to do where I map out a New Vision I have of what it’s like to be human, this human, at this time in my life.  And then I thought of my cabin and how I’d like to set up as an art space so I could go out there and paint and play with paper and glue.  I was glad that we’re putting an outdoor shower on the back side of it, the side that faces just trees and that we’ll have a place to plug in things if we want to.

I drove the speed limit, I stopped and saw a family friend on the way. I got home late and didn’t unpack but, instead, took a bath and went to bed.  

I slept well even though I still didn’t feel good.

And now it’s three days later and I feel a little bit better in my body but not well.  I’m writing this down and sending it out so as to make note to myself that I felt this way and thought these thoughts.  I feel better even though I am not all better.

And just in case you have ever had this kind of time in your life, just in case this is one of them, I want you to know that at least this one person who it turns out was taken up with Dread can now feel past it.

And it feels good.


Reasons I’m glad I didn’t die.

June 26, 2016.  Last year on this day I had a motorcycle wreck that almost killed me.  Now it’s a year later and it feels like a good time to take stock.  I don’t mean to say that I’ve not been giving this thought over this past year.  In fact, it may be what I have thought of more than anything else, a sort of what hurts and what next and how am I going to go on from here which is I guess, what taking stock is all about.  I just mean that today begins a new year, a “that was then and this is now” bracket, that I am relieved to come to.


So what hurts is less than it was.  I marvel at our design that includes it’s own repair kit.  I don’t mean there have not been new materials added to the inventory – I set off metal detectors at the airport now and, until recently, I would not have been able to pass a drug test if I wanted to work for UPS.  The metal and the drugs helped and I am very thankful for them.  But the drugs are gone and the metal is becoming part of the new formula of me, and so while I am still me, I am an updated version.  And I do not hurt as much as I did and I think it’s just going to keep going this way.


What’s next?  Well that’s a question that feels different to ask.  I’ve always known that our lives are fragile little things, that I could have died any number of times and so could most of us but here we are, those of us that are still living, and now I make something more of this question.  I’m older, I know more people who almost died and then they did, I know more people who are no longer living, I know that I don’t know what has actually happened to them.  I, like a lot of people, think about this, about what is the deal after we die.  I don’t expect a definitive answer but I’m open to query, I’m more interested than I have ever been in what happens next once this particular life has ended.  I’m really listening.


But as far as the other part of what’s next, the part about while I am still living, what am I to be doing, that’s the part I am really grappling with.  I wake up each day and instead of being grateful that I am still alive with all of the gifts I have been given, instead of opening my eyes and greeting the new day with joy and wonder, I am in a bad mood.  I am achy and ungrounded and ungrateful as though some time during the night I forgot about how blessed I am and that I’m glad I didn’t die. 


So I think I’ll make a list.


I’ll spend time today and maybe even over the next few days if that’s what it takes and I’ll notice all the things that matter to me, the things that jog my joy, that tickle my fancy, that make me think hey I wonder why.  The people, the places, the animals and the things I am just plain happy to see.  Glad to be to be a part of their being.


Just writing this lifts that heaviness off of me.  I love that.  I love knowing that’s true, that I can think about something and that changes how I feel.  And so I look forward to thinking about the reasons I’m glad I didn’t die.