Reduced to immobility in the hallway by the insane and unrelenting pounding on the front door, Yakov felt desperate and cornered, like a hunted animal. He knew who it was at the front door; it was HER! Having told her yesterday that it was over he might well have thought so, but the cannon-fire against the front door made the point that she did not! The unrelenting banging made him feel panicked, like prey, and that feeling caused him to race into the living room and snap the blinds shut. Seeing a movement at the window she ran over and continued her salvos, now on the window! A crazed Yakov ran from room to room relentlessly pursued by her pounding, he being always only a few seconds ahead. He was terrified not so much of seeing her, but rather of not wanting her to see him not wanting to see her, of her seeing his being driven to furtively run away from her!
Emotions can be like a tsunami, suddenly overtaking the normality of our life. A tsunami is when the sea rushes in to where it should not be, when the sea rises up in a tantrum and stomps inland! A tsunami cannot be bargained with! And some emotions are exactly like that: fear, panic, infatuation, grief… all have the ability to overtake our reason and to cause us to run… to run from a relationship, to run from an issue, to run just to run! As with a real tsunami, however, once the over-powering emotion hits it is already too late since we cannot outrun it; all we can do is to hold our breath and hope to survive!
One of those disorienting emotions from which we often run is that of dealing with the ending of things: the death of a loved one, being fired from a job, the loss of all of one’s possessions in an actual tsunami. We can complain about how unfair it is, we can take 6-hour naps in order to not think about where we are, but the tsunami does not care and we must still find a way to deal with our loss! Maybe that is what we really fear: having to deal with that which we did not ask for. Nevertheless, as in dealing with a tsunami, when an ending comes we MUST deal with it and this implies that a certain acceptance must occur on our part. In other words, we must stop running!
So what do we do with the “after” when all of our emotional landmarks seem to have been wiped away? In such a situation, after a time for grieving has passed, what needs to occur is that we… somehow… come to view that ending as actually a beginning: the beginning of a new phase in our life, a chance to redo who we are, a chance to come forth out of the wreckage of that ending. For Yakov, later that day, after the terrorist at the front door had retreated, he went out back onto the deck; there, nestled in the soft cushion of one of the deck chairs, was a newly-laid egg. Looking around Yakov saw no sign of the mother-bird who had laid it. Not being a bird-watcher Yakov had no idea what kind of life was inside that thin shell. A few hours ago that egg had not been there, and Yakov marveled at how, during his emotional panic, that past morning had left this potential future here for him to find. He wondered, “What does it mean?”