This is My Shining Hour
Hundreds of unwanted shards of memories lie broken and scattered on the floor of a temple familiar. Discarded and alienated, these forlorn moments in time cry out for love, acceptance and resolve, yet their landlord does not wish to own them, even though he knows they are the yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s of his inner landscape that often tremble and treble unawares. So the quavering memories engage in a ritual of distraction, and, using each other for support, these splintered memories cut into the landlord’s thoughts, dreams and feelings and are quite tenacious in breaking down the walls of denial – prodding and provoking the owner to feel their anguish and pain. Bottom line, these memories need acknowledgement and integration by any means necessary. Thankfully, the walls of denial have weakened over the years and the Landlord can no longer utilize his ritual of distraction through mind numbing techniques that were often to his detriment. Alas! The burden becomes too heavy for the owner and only then do his lost daystars begin to shine.
The broken pieces of memories are important aspects of Udo’s childhood. These memories perambulate through his feelings, memories, experiences and his emotional/psychological relationship to life situations that he cannot quite resolve or just too damn fearful to face. Oh the adult-child tried to fake the funk with drugs and other life stealing remedies but the glue was only temporary. Now in his late 50’s and no longer able to outfox the sleepy punch of repressed memories, Rudi stares at the pieces of his life on threshing floor, and still, he sees only the reflections of the consequences of his denial instead of the naked truth of the memories.
One the night adult-child woke up to find a small dirty, unkempt toddler who had the eyes of an old soul standing on the side of his bed. Terrified, Rudi thought this was another bad hypnagogic experience, but he could not fend or shake from the grips of this psychological fallout. The small child shyly began speaking in a foreign language that Rudi could not quite decipher, but the tone was felt from an ancient verb acted on long ago. The child took Rudi’s hand and led him deep inside one of the shards of memories on the floor.
Hand in hand, both adult and child walked into an unfoldment of horror and terror that completely dismantled his world as the memory was no longer a shard but became part of them. The child visited Rudi every night for about a month and each night the child revealed to him another memory – another shard. Oftentimes Rudi’s was afraid and anxious because he felt like an unwilling participant of a horror that both the child and he had no control over. Shocked, horrified, angry and at times filled with grief, anguish and pity, Rudi would pick up the child, hold him in his arms and weep uncontrollably. One night while holding the child in his arms Rudi saw that he was holding himself and it was at that moment that he knew.
About a month later Rudi was feeling despondent. He asked God, “Why in the hell was I dealt these cards of grief and suffering? And why do I continue to feel so broken and incomplete?” God said, “Rudi I love you so much.” When the toddler (Udo) came to see you on that first visit didn’t you notice a couple pieces of your memories sticking out from his pockets? The child couldn’t pick them all up, but he tried. When the child began speaking to you in his language, he was trying to thank you for protecting him in the only way you knew how. But, Rudi, you condemn yourself for the very experiences and situations that have aided you and the child’s survival to this very day! I will let you in on a little secret Rudi – your feelings of brokenness will not be resolved until you forgive yourself. You are my son and I am your Father. I love you and purposed you to live and experience life on a deeper level. From this day forward you will write your own Psalms that will bring hope and inspiration to those who suffered similar experiences.
This is My Shining Hour
Another sleepy punch caught me unawares and
old memories began dropping from the
ceiling like doughy globs of living matter.
Vulnerability and nakedness swathed
around a toddler like a damaged bandage whose out-
-of-body experience floated before my eyes.
Unwillingly taken over and under relieving his terror –
Feeling through life like
the inside a darkened theater bumping into a
few teachers who just kept pointing toward
a light on center stage.
Hell, I couldn´t believe and needing air badly,
commenced to make my escape
like I´d always done before.
But a strong hand grabbed me and
simultaneously the teachers ushered me onto
I saw shining light profusely
emanating from a toddler lying in his crib.
Memories – light – a child.
Fifty Eight long years
he has been waiting for me to take him home.
This is my shining hour.
Udo Ackermann aka Rudi Richardson