Christ! Why do I get like this? Why do I let a thought - an idea throw me off myself, knock my centre off its equilibrium, send my mind racing in different directions - all that end in the mire.
It's as if any goodness left in me is splintered by my mistakes; fragments of a broken mirror left to be crushed under foot by passersby, with no knowledge, no understanding of where they stomp their feet, or what else there was in the reflection.
I want to scream out loud like a petulant teenager, pound my fists, shout: "Why me?" demand: "Was I really that bad? So unforgivable?" plead: "Didn't I do anything good or worthwhile?" Because right now I'm not sure I did, or have, or will.
And now I've resorted to melodrama, so my artistic integrity can take a running jump too... brilliant.
This is the pause.
The moment after it all builds up, the moment after the dam bursts and the villages and settlements are torn from their foundations, sent spiralling along the torrent, scattered down-river to further, calmer banks; where friends and family are dispersed - and lost. This is when my eyelids blink it all back, easing the current, letting the drift wood float ashore - the silent echoes of buildings from far away.
I am stable again, my sobs have softened, and my shoulders relax. My mind is steadied, but it floats still on an ocean of doubt and guilt and I check anxiously for gaps in the lining, for leaks in the boat - for I know there will be many, where the sea will enter in - a trickle at first, then later a gush, and I only have so many fingers to plug the holes. As I move from hole to hole the panic rises with the water.
I must set my shoulders again, turn my face to the world and look with steely eyes at what surrounds me, thump my chest and surge the adrenalin so that I can face what is to come. I must put hand over foot, clutch, scramble, sink, and slowly push and pull myself out of the mire.