Even to the untrained eye, all it takes is one look to know there's a lot of darkness, loneliness, sadness behind that lady's eyes. Her stare vacant yet intense, her words rambling and desperate - maybe because she's constantly searching for someone to listen?
One of our group participants knows this lady. He takes me aside later and tells me how "lovely" she is and how much she likes to talk. "Some of us call her 'The Budgie'.... 'cause she never shuts up!" he tells me with a laugh.
I couldn't shake this from my mind. I wondered what had happened to her in life, to make her so jarring. She held an unnerving disharmony, that you know couldn't be shaken out. Not for all the therapy or pills in the world.
I feared becoming the "strange lady" myself someday.
And then I thought. Are we, each of us, just one bad experience away from tipping the scales of our life-shit into this realm of broken? Just one sharp blow in the right spot from being cracked beyond repair?
I never want to get to that place where I can't go back.