7. Beyond the pain
Silently they drank tea, Ruben and Lilith, this morning. Lilith looked intruded and lost. Lost in herself. It could not be described otherwise. Ruben, still a little unsure of how to deal with such conversations, which obviously concerned soul life, or should it be a matter of heart, did not find the right words and so he was silent with her. Gently the snow fell on the citizen dough. Lilith’s gaze went out into the distance, but he also reflected her lostness. Would not he try? What could happen to him, here, in this protected space, in their coexistence? Where else could he try to test his new approach, if not here, where he felt accepted and saved?
“You are so quiet today,” began Ruben, awkwardly. Lilith looked at him. She recognized his attempt, even if he was a bit clumsy. Actually, she would have liked to smile at him, but it did not work.
“You can also silence one another,” she said quietly.
“Yes, you can,” Ruben admitted, “But there are different kinds of silence. There is silence in which one feels connected. And there is silence that separates us. And this is what seems to me like one that separates us.” Did he actually say that? He could hardly believe it. In fact, he had succeeded in finding words for what he felt, and what was the mood, and it was quite easy, actually.
“Do you think?” Lilith asked, “Can be.”
“I have the impression that you are very far away,” explained Ruben, getting more and more secure on the terrain, which has so far hardly been entered, “And please do not say that you are sitting there anyway. Physically, you are present, but everything else is far, far away. “
“You may be right,” Lilith contended for a concession, and it did not seem easy for her.
“But why is it like that? Did I do anything?” Ruben asked.
“No, you did not do anything, so nothing wrong. But on the contrary. You’re there, and that’s good,” she said quietly.
“What is it then? Did something happen?” Ruben remained stubborn.
“Actually nothing happened. It’s all in my head,” Lilith explained.
“Tell me about it, please,” demanded Ruben.
“This morning, before you came, I stood in the kitchen and looked at the calendar,” Lilith began hesitantly to tell. “The seventh December, a Wednesday, I noted. It was simply a statement, and with the conclusion a picture came back. It was many, many years ago. There I sat on a seventh December with my ex-husband who was not even my husband at breakfast. He sat opposite me and told me about all the things he had planned. At that time he was still at the beginning. He was so full of dreams and plans. I was allowed to participate, then. And suddenly he broke off and said we should get married, because then he could realize with me my plans and he could imagine nothing more beautiful than doing so. With me. I remembered that again.”
“And it hurt?” Ruben asked abruptly.
“Sore? It was as if I had been thrown into a bath of glowing lava, as if my skin had been torn in tatters, as if my heart had been cut off. That’s how it hurt,” Lilith explained, and she felt it herself, the sarcastic undertone, but she could not prevent it.
“And why did that hit you like that?” Ruben asked, who knew little about Lilith’s life.
“What made me so?” Lilith replied, “Oh, you can not know. We got married, and he began to realize his plans. At the beginning I was involved, integrated and responsible. But then came the children. I had a different task. He had his. Slowly but surely we drifted away from each other until, from the everyday disagreement, he made a complete one. Then he left me. And I thought I’d left that behind me, would have made a point of being the way it is. But this morning I noticed that this is not the case at all.”
“Have you ever admitted the pain?” asked Ruben, “Have you really passed through it, have experienced it with all the intensity?”
“No, I could not,” Lilith explained, “I did not want to see it, do not know about it. I just wanted to try to continue as much as I could. So many moments that united us. All the dreams I had for the future. I saw our grandchildren sitting on the terrace. All this should suddenly be gone, just like that? I did not want to take it away and distracted myself. “
“Then let it go, let go, go through the pain and come out again,” Ruben demanded.
“And what if I do not find the way out of the pain when I’m lost in it?” Lilith asked, uncertain.
“That can not happen, because I am there and hold you. I’ll show you the way out of the pain when it’s necessary,” Ruben said convincingly. And she believed him.
Then she came back to herself. The silence was there again, but it was a connecting silence, and while Lilith was moving through the pain, she felt his hand holding hers. And when the tears flowed, she found herself embracing. As much as the pain dragged her down, she knew there was a way out. She allowed the wound that she carried inside to be torn open, bleeding out and closing again, recognizing her as a part of herself. It was only now that she could heal. Not from today to tomorrow. It would take a long time, but only when it made this start could the healing begin at all.
And the tears were shed, some day. Who counts minutes in such a moment? Ruben was still there. He looked at her. A little she felt as if he had borne this pain with her. She had felt his hand and his embrace, felt that he was there. He had made it easier for her. Even if the silence was still there, it was still a filled, a connecting one. It would not last forever. But there are moments when every word is superfluous, because we speak it to ourselves without sound. Because we’re talking. And it was good.
On this evening, a union in the display, a symbol of healing, which we give ourselves, which we have given to ourselves after we have overcome the pain, symbolized that a wound can only heal if we recognize it. Symbol for something that we create, which helps us and can be stripped again. Symbol of the force to become whole again.