My Antidepressant Life

Have a good life.

The Story of Owe

This week’s FMF writing prompt is: OWE

“Owe” is a balanced knifepoint. A spinning coin.
I owe you, you owe me, we’re a happy family.
Familial love can be an accounting ledger, ensuring that what is owed in the business of love is paid in full with a pound of flesh.
Owe is a rope in tug-of-war. If I’m owed, so do I owe. If I owe am I then owned?
Owing is an illusion of equity and balance, forgetting that balance doesn’t equal perfectly static opposing weights.
Balance is racing back and forth over the teetertotter so fast neither end quite touches down.
Balance is standing astride the narrow world like a Colossus, one foot on land and one in sea.
But then there’s the rolling, ever-turning churning shore that is the child of both. Its cousins are Bog and Wetland and Glacier.
Glaciers are water on walkabout, drunkenly lost on the way to the souvenir shop.
The less-lost frozen arctic (from the Greek arktos, “bear”) is a polar desert. Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
The Antarctic (literally “opposite the Bears”) may be owed bears, but then it wouldn’t be the Antarctic anymore.
Balance contains its own cancellation – surfeit and lack, surf and shore.
Sometimes getting what we think we’re owed changes us into who we never wanted to be or not to be.
The best choice is to slap the spinning coin and slide it into a drawer without knowing whether life will be heads or tails.
Let life be a secret astonishment, with bears and no bears, land and sea and desert and lost souvenirs and dancing, imperfectly balanced on the knifepoint of every experience.

I owed my mental health five minutes of writing today, and found my happiness in five minutes of chaotic nonsense. Now my debt is paid.

Exit, pursued by a bear.

A photo of purple lilac flowers against a green background, with the word "owe" superimposed.