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The Day I Wanted to Die, The Day I Was Reborn

Poem and crossI sat on the front porch. A sobbing mess, drunk on boxed wine and shame. It was a perfectly clear and cold winter night. Every star was clear in the canopy of darkness. Little points of light by which hundreds of thousands of sailors needed just to live out on the sea. They depended on the stars to live. Staring up at the sky I only saw the void that was in between those tiny pin pricks. After all there is far more dark emptiness than objects of light in space.

As I rocked back and forth like a character from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or maybe more likely from 12 Monkeys I grabbed my pen and began writing my darkest feelings and thoughts. I thought I had not saved this, but I did. It is a reminder of how close to death by my own hand I was.

Shell of a man
Skin and bones
Rotted soul
Stench of decay
I cried out
Into the darkness
A billion stars
Pin-pricks of ancient light
You were not there
My tormentor
My precious void
You remained silent
I sobbed
You were not there
Your abuse pressed me
Crushed what was left
In abject apathy
You destroyed me
Because you are not there
You are not in the cold air
You are not in the stars
You are not in my soul
For you killed it
I longed for you at the bottom of my grave
And you did not rescue me
Discarded on the trash heap of spiritual uselessness
I am empty
You are not there to fill me
You, O God, are dead
This is the image of You I bear

Today was one more step towards rebirth. In a way my reception into the Eastern Orthodox church marked a year of trial(s) and error(s) trudging along a road seeking a way to find a happy destiny. It lead me to the altar where I took God into my body and was sealed with the Holy Spirit. A spiritual death lead me to this spiritual re-birth.

With a balanced mind and a sober body and spirit I took the next step on my life of recovery and healing. I submitted and was humbled not by a God of judgment, but with a God of love. The God of the Orthodox church doesn’t want to judge us like criminals in a court, but to heal us like addicts powerless over our sins.

There is much for me to learn. There is also one thing for sure today: the aching child screaming to be nurtured that wrote that dark poem drunk on a freezing night in January has been laid to rest.

Today I let him die in peace and with dignity. Today I claimed my status as a new man cleansed of past iniquity and shame. Today I was reborn.

May God grant me many years.

About Andrew Tatusko

Secularization, critical pedagogy, sometimes agnostic, politics, and a ton of running. Penn State is definitely not responsible for what I say.


One thought on “The Day I Wanted to Die, The Day I Was Reborn

  1. I love this!

    Posted by hastywords | June 4, 2012, 5:57 PM

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