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Constant Rescue
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I was a lifeguard for years, and I imagined rescue as something that happened in an instant, a moment, a yank and pull and throw down of almost victim to the grass as I pushed air back into her body.  Rescue happened just like that, a second of tettering on the edge, and then no, life restored.  Rescue happened fast and then rescue turned into relief and life and the next thing.  Rescue ended.

Who knew that rescue was something that often had to happen daily, a re-saving of a life on a continued basis, something that would have to be enacted like ritual over and over again. 

I'm in danger, the scene begins.

No, you're not.

Are you sure?


The potential victim is reassured, and the rescue is over for now.

Rescue isn't fast but long and sometimes forever.  Rescue is the constant presence of the normal now and not the thing that is feared in front of us.  Rescue is what we need so often in small doses.  Rescue isn't always fast but slow.  Rescue is soft and undramatic and small, like a pebble we put in our pockets and carry with us for days.  Rescue is often easier to do than imagined but harder to spot--not always the drowning boy at the end of the pool, arms flailing.  Rescue is often withheld because it is so small it seems irritating. 

Rescue me, we say, we sing.  Today.  Right now.

If we are lucky, we are saved.




3 Comment count
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I am overwhelmed by the call for rescue

Suddenly, a huge number of my friends are in need of rescue and I've got rescue burn out. I do love your piece and the idea of the slow rescue, bit by bit, over a long course of time. Wise.

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I think we can refuse the

I think we can refuse the rescue, and we often do.  Or we don't rescue every time.  It's a choice, to rescue or not.

I hope your friends do find their way through, whether you are able to help them or not--it is their journey, after all.



Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Chinese saying:

"We are all clay Buddhas, trying to cross the river."