Sunday, September 30, 2007

Up From Below


Tar pits are formed when petroleum deposits bubble up from deep underground. Bubbles rise to the surface and pop when the bacteria that live inside the tar digest vegetation (and the odd animal who found itself trapped in the tar) and produce methane gas.
Saturday morning as I drove down I-5 toward Deb's house, a big burp erupted from the tar pit of my soul. Nearly twenty years ago a huge animal fell in and disappeared from sight beneath the muck. I fished around in there off and on for several years to no avail and finally gave up. Now, just when I had forgotten about it and assumed it was gone forever, up comes the gas. Loud, smelly and impossible to ignore.
Instead of spending my weekend fine-tuning some pieces I'd written months before with my writing group, I made it to Deb's house just grateful for a friendly face. I spent an hour trying to chip away at the story so that it would make some sense, all the while shaking my head in disbelief that it was surfacing again. The chipping away wasn't working. I couldn't put it in any sort of context that explained the fulness at the base of my throat, the tears welling in my eyes.
After dinner Deb and I sat and talked it through. By 11:00pm her gentle wisdom and insight had begun to clear the fog. By midnight I was sitting at the edge of the tar pit, in it up to my elbows. I was getting to the core. By 2:00 the next afternoon, three cups of coffee, two pieces of toast and hours of conversation with Deb and her generous spirit later, I was holding on to the bones of this beast. His name is Shame and it is going to take a lot of work to pull him up out of this muck. Fortunately, I've got friends like Deb tugging on the rope with me.


7 comments:

Suzy said...

Beautiful but sad story- beautiful people in the story.....
I would have been in that muck with you looking for the bones and soul of this once beautiful beast.

kario said...

Suzy - you are here with me. I can feel your hands on the rope and it is making all the difference in the world. Love you!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Lovely piece, Kari, and you've attracted wonderful women to Deb for reasons I hope you are proud of. Pride being the flip side of shame. So glad you two have found each other. Win-win.

Deb said...

I love the metaphor and how apt it is. I'm so honored to have gotten to sit on the edge of the pit with you. I love you and I'm so proud of you!

Scott from Oregon said...

gooey gooey...

Jerri said...

Sounds like a rotten place to be, that pit. But you're in SUCH good company with Deb.

I'd like to join you at the rope, even from afar, if that's okay with you.

I believe in you, Kari. Deeply.

Eileen said...

You could not have a better person sitting next to you at that pit, Deb will not ever let you go. Please think of me as a tether too, despite the fact that I live so far away. I am with you in spirit and love. You a strong, compassionate woman Kari.
XOXOXO

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