Five Minutes

In the dense captivity of silent shame there were no words, no feelings, no light to live within. Only repression, fear, and secrets of the dark existed.

A life spent fighting demons that screamed to be heard, to be felt; running from their shadows to a place where death looks more like freedom.

Until this moment, here, now, when life falls back to my feet in the exact place where I stand and allows me to begin moving within it.

With one song, one explosion of beauty that blasts through the speakers I attach to my ears, I am reminded what it is to live, to see, to hear, to feel.

Dark pavements and blustery winds that shake up my waning spirit. Red brick walls and overgrown gardens that lead me through once familiar territories. Fallen leaves, litter, and dirt line my path. They merge with the cacophony of visceral sounds that play loudly in my ears in the quiet of the street.

This melody, walking me through the fog of my recent pain, but now clear in new, glorious light. Showing me how I had become mere existence in the deafening silence of lies. Giving me the vision of my lonely muted days and terrorising screams of nights.

Allowing me to feel the power of the previous hour when one man’s words broke me open, uncovering my hidden power to cut through the center of my silent defense to the essence of my tortured soul. For him to hold it, whole, in his strong, gentle hands.

Beats, pounding through my veins. Harmonies of discord, highlighting my loneliness, my suppression, my pain. Thudding in time with my now racing heart.

But I feel. At least I feel something, anything, without fighting its force. This is where true freedom lies.

Lyrics begin untangling the knots in my stomach as tears rise to my throat like lava. My internal sobs reach boiling point and it feels like this volcanic mass could erupt at any moment.

How fast the rain falls, heavy and thick with the intensity of my grief, like it heard my body’s cries. It cleanses the skin as it seeps through my raw flesh, soothing my bones against the hot ash burning inside.

My head droops low to protect my eyes from the water, they are not familiar with such tangible expressions of pain. Until a man, crossing over the winding road, moves my head higher at the sight of his feet moving to the unique vibrations that flow into his ears. His movements quicker in tempo, but infectiously joyous and I begin to sway to my own rhythm.

A butterfly sits in view, her colour shines brightly as though a siren to my senses. She is still.

Awaiting my arrival on the dark grey path ahead, she stops me in my tracks as I hear her beacon call, guiding me back to myself.

Silently she moves with a grace I long to embody. I watch her fly towards the clouds as I marvel at her colour, her beauty, her message which is louder than the verse that plays with drums of my ears.

My head lifts as she flaps her wings, calling me to meet two young birds who playfully spiral above the smokey rooftops.

I recall my desire to fly. For a second I stop to remember.

I breathe.

The air is damp and muggy but it is refreshing against my tired face, giving me strength to continue journeying on. I walk with light, floaty footsteps while the song pirouettes into its final notes.

The music drifts away softly with my whispered sigh. Climbing three small steps I reach a white door that leads me to the warmth of a house that I cannot call home.

Nobody stirs to greet me but a swell of light, of release, of thanks; for their threatening noise would silence all the feeling I found, the same silence that held me prisoner for a lifetime before.

In my quiet solitude I sit and hold onto the sensation that sparked my senses, allowing emotion to be felt freely throughout my body.

And, even as the darkness lurks in the distance, I am overcome with gratitude for these five minutes when one resounding song and a thousand silent truths made me feel broken and whole, and empty with the fullness of life.

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About the Author | Mariann Martland

Mariann Martland is a writer, a seeker, a lover, a friend. She wholeheartedly believes in the universe, love, connection, and strength of human spirit, even when she is overwhelmed or confused by life—and there is usually at least one moment in each day when she feels overwhelmed or confused by life. Through writing, she dances in the dark and breathes in the light. More of her words can be found at

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1 comment to "Five Minutes"

  • Gorgeous, courageous writing and feeling thrums through this whole piece. Thank you for sharing it, for letting me in to touch all that pain that eventually erupts and settles, even for a moment into peace. Pieces to peace.