It’s the human condition. From the depths of scarred hearts emerge bruises, likened to neon flashing in crass colors on roof-top dumps. Only in night’s inky blackness can their evil be observed. Once aware of them, however, riddance is critical.

Such is my experience when side-winded by the unplanned, when beached upon foreign shores. It feels like my rootlessness rots in the scorching sun. More than ever am I alien to the once familiar. Such setbacks still occur, despite my daily vigilance and Twelve-Step living in Chronic Pain Anonymous.

I wait, my breathing crumpled like an accordion in the hairy hands of an amateur.

A closer look deepens shock-waves crashing around me: some of my bruises laced with entrails of sea birds; others, in stinking landfills.

I sit back in my chair and ponder where these words come from. I wait. More words come. My psyche glimpses the contours of my true shadow and informs me of more disorders likened to hard-shelled barnacles encrusted on the bottom of an abandoned lobster boat.

This lamentable image speaks of years unlived life, held in bondage by insidious fears of chronic illness and pain. But denial’s influence is lessening, the more I take responsibility during my end-time and surrender to God’s will. From hence comes true spiritual growth.

Often this mantra fills my psyche: Your will, not Mine, be done. Change comes, and with it, relief.