Argh… to wake to a lodger in your head. Less a worm than a snake, in the brush. It has no venom or fangs but a shady spirit, of deafening furtive shame. It is white, camouflaged on the white-wash walls. This way, it can be everywhere but nowhere. You can never expect to see it but feel its slither across the sand of your heart. It is Shame. It is Pride. It moves your tongue to flicker, your lips to smile. It makes your steps fall and your shadow to follow. It follows you down the tunnel of time. It eats away at you from the core to the skin. Soon, there will be no time left or nothing to hold up that heavy smile. Then what?
There is no trapping Shame and its slither of Pride. Your fearful chases and dreams only hold you to its unseen trail. Whilst you lose yourself in its infinite labyrinth there will never be a glimpse of it, not even in the mirror where it often lurks.
No, you must realise that this infestation, so large, so grotesque, so much of your life, does not have to be your master. If you can only stop to breath and let the hiss recede, that devourer of your life, might just turn tame. Freed of your wild steps and wilder breathing, it might stop hiding and come out into the light. You cannot fight that which is you; you can only listen to it, understand it and sympathise with it.
Simone Weil wrote: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
What is attention? It is to listen to that hiss and try to understand what it means. After all, the snake is no lodger but a flatmate for life.