Bag of Bones

I’m at Laity Lodge today. No poem.

A few days ago, Emily Wierenga released her book “Chasing Silouettes: a place of hope and healing for families and caregivers on the eating disorder journey.” Emily, I haven’t read it yet. I’m still trying to get up the courage.

You were a bag of bones, Emily. I know what that’s like because I was, too. Everyone is gawking at your 9. I was even younger when I started restricting, but I don’t like to give out my numbers. Besides, it’s the story that matters.

You recommended a story for me to read right before I left. Do you remember? “Bag of Bones” by Stephen King. Very therapeutic, in a strange way. And it was free therapy, since I got the book at the library.

Here’s my favorite paragraph (since King says that the paragraph is the basic unit of writing—not the sentence):

This is how we go on: one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root-canal at a time; boat-builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind us as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things—fish and unicorns and men on horseback—but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.”

I think you and I both know a little bit about going on, Emily. Someday we’ll sit by the water together, drink a beer and talk stories. And maybe even numbers, too.

Comments

  1. So glad the Lord breathed life into those bones so that you both kept going on.

  2. I don’t know about anyone else… but, i would call this a poem.

  3. One step at a time. That’s the most important lesson I learned during my pilgrimage. Each step forward is a victory. Each breath I need to take each step is a gift. Applies to so many things, don’t you think?

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