Into the rabbit hole

I felt the sun bearing down on my body, moving the brush back and forth against blue tile as cold water splashes like diamonds upon my skin, I stared into the depths of the azure water, feeling the coolness upon me, spreading peace through me like a gentle storm.

My mind keeps drifting into places I had not thought about for many years, memories of a childhood, of the scent of the sneaker smudged yet shining gym floors as light flooded in from windows two stories above my head, the image of the silken material draped in a perfect circle, its color a drab army green, the parachute that lay waiting for the games to begin.

Children stood around this circle. Talking amongst themselves and laughing and I remember just gazing at the color, how it seemed so foreign there against the brightly colored painted stripes and circles of the basketball court. I did not know what was to happen, standing as a mere spectator around the cloth I watched, waiting patiently. The whistle blew and I felt a hand upon my shoulder, was told to go lay in the middle, the next sacrificial lamb I remember after the fact, but the smiles of friends and the nudges from those beside me sent me forward to become a part of this challenge. The other girl, I do not recall her name, lay beside me in the middle of this silken circle and the children on the edges grabbed hold of the material and lifted. They began to moving around the cloth in a circle, as the material gathered up tighter and tighter, closing off the light from sight and at one point separating me from the other child within this cocoon. The outer children kept moving until they could move no more, the material all tied tight and we lay within, not knowing up from down, locked in tight.

The whistle blew and the command was shouted to work our way out. I remember the kicking and screaming of the girl somewhere beside me beyond a curtain of silk and how I kept flailing and ripping at the fabric, trying to break free. I think I was crying, I think I panicked and in the end, I believe we failed to emerge as expected. I do not remember anything else after that.

As a child I could never wear slippers or night-clothes that covered my feet. My mother would have to cut them off as I would wake drenched in sweat from fighting to free myself, to breathe. This was that feeling again, except it was all of me, in this maddening rabbit hole, no escape, no light. I do not know why this memory keeps lingering today, as I am feeling so very peaceful, under a vast blue sky, working beside a neon bright blue pool. Perhaps it is just in need of escaping onto the paper, to become words so that it can be set free once and for all, to know that I am not a small helpless child and that I can make choices of what I wish to do. To have the conviction and strength I lacked then, to plunge down the rabbit hole and face the darkness I had feared or to remain on the edge and just opt out. Universal reminders taught to self through time and space, and to take one last plunge into the darkness, to turn on the light and know that it will all be all right. I am learning to let go, to dive in and to breathe.

10 thoughts on “Into the rabbit hole

  1. amazing! yes! but it could have gone completely the other way…… schools, ironically, have no idea about education some of the time. as a pyschologist, i find it interesting that your school thought that this would be a worthwhile exercise. glad you got something out of it.

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  2. It was at school in gym class and it had to be fourth grade. My first year at the new school. I don’t know what the lesson was supposed to be but I knew I didn’t want to hurt the girl next to me by kicking so I think after awhile I just kind of shut down. I’ve never heard of another school ever doing this, same way as I didn’t like climbing the ropes to the ceiling-it was two stories high and the pads below us were thin, we could have broken our necks but the teachers will like drill instructors, yelling at us instead of encouraging us. I did ultimately excel in the presidential “games” they had that year or the next. Lots of different events and I got a patch 3 years straight until I went to middle school. This was back in the day of riding bikes with no helmets, etc…I’m sure they don’t do it anymore. Strange how those days pop in unexpectedly….and army green became one of my favorite wearing colors in college 🙂 perhaps it was teaching me strength for the years to come, I’m a rock now….face my fears and learn from them what I can 🙂

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  3. thanks Mary, sometimes word press will not email me those that I am signed up to get, popped in to see if it was perhaps the case. It was a nice visit and I hope you make it back soon, and if I don’t see it, stop in and nudge me 🙂 as a child I felt old before I was even ten. I’m the odd duck kid of the family, like the proverbial hippie child that believes in something more out there guiding me and lessons can be found in every little occurrence. A lot of painful childhood experiences, I used to write some dark things, but then looked a bit deeper, made me stronger I think in the meantime 🙂 I am superwoman now, haha! Peace and love and hope to read you soon Mary ❤

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  4. ha, nope, have my shoes on of course…except near the pool, but it’s screened in so i don’t worry too much, but still keep an eye out regardless 🙂 I hate being pinned down, trapped in to this day….panic attacks…..and it has been probably 40+years since that occurrence but it keeps coming into my mind today. Last night is first time in 2 months I slept the night through without waking up. Perhaps messages from the dark hole of the beyond 🙂


  5. it’s incredible how events can shape us, as children, and it needn’t take much to create anxieties and phobias and instill fears as young minds often cannot process happenings and events in a rational way. this must have been a terrifying ordeal. i could feel the panic as though i was the other girl trapped in the fabric alongside you. tell me, did this happen at school? what kind of exercise was this? seems really horrible and a sick ‘game’ – and of what benefit? it’s wonderful that you’ve turned it into something positive like this lovely piece of writing/memory, however tragic it seemed at the time. much love to you.

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  6. Wow Kim! That was an intense experience! I can’t imagine. I love how you processed it over the years, how you made it such a learning. It was a deep deep trauma, and you totally turned it around. “one last plunge into the darkness, to turn on the light and know that it will all be all right. I am learning to let go, to dive in and to breathe.” Maybe in some way it got you to where you are today, letting go and breathing, in this crazy world we find ourselves in. I guess we all have those moments that become a theme in our lives. I’m sorry yours was so painful.

    I haven’t been on line much in the last 3 months. This was a beautiful post to read. I notice too, that you went to my site and read a couple of past things. Thanks.

    I want to be in that beautiful azure water with you!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe a message not to go barefoot today. I was trapped in a mostly full steamer trunk that was then turned upside down. I know that feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

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