Friday, June 12, 2009

Living in No Man's Land...

When I was 16 years old I spent the summer in a small border town between Austria and Hungry. One country was free the other was not. And in-between the two was No Man’s Land, a space belonging to neither region. It was a barren place seen clearly by both countries, yet unclaimed by either side. And now I live there.

It’s odd living in No Man’s Land a world between. A place guarded on both sides by those who KNOW what it means and those who DON’T. Each side equal in value and goodness, but one area much harsher than the other, a tougher place to live, ripe with heaviness. The other side is more untroubled, care free, lighter. The liberated side doesn’t understand the heavy side, always hoping they never have to cross over. Everyone who lives in the difficult area remembers when they existed on the easier side, but they can never go back. Eventually, they too will end up in No Man’s Land.

Just like me living in No Man’s Land a world between…

Somehow I’m able to step into each region for a time, connecting with both sides. Just this week I walked beside moms and children struggling, confused as they navigated their journey trapped for now on the heavy side. I gave out hugs; I cried with the moms and put on a loving smile for the children, their glowing beauty dazzling my heart. I listened feeling the burden, but knowing it wasn’t completely mine. Then it was time to enter the lighter place and I sat laughing, joking, listening to the silly talk, but the underlying hollowness ruined the lightness. I don’t fit into this world anymore. I never will again. But I don’t entirely fit into the weighty side any longer either. I cross the borders at will and join in moving around each region, never fully present. I’m in-between, isolated from both districts.

Living in No Man’s Land…

1 comment:

Elaine Tourville said...

Dear April: I can feel your pain as you talk about meeting with the families and children going through cancer and treatment.
Do you think you could give yourself permission to take a break from these events for a while, and focus on healing and enjoying your family?
I know sometimes we need a break, because I've experienced that in my life.