Have you ever heard the proverb, “Two are better than one, because when one falls into a pit the other is there to get them out.” This came from the wise words of king Solomon. I have always taken these words to mean; when the one you love is fallen into hard times don’t fall into the pit with them, because they will need you to help them out. This is exactly why I chose to go back and forth from the brother’s to the sister’s perspective in this excerpt from chapter 15.
I have found through experience with my son’s depression it did no good if I freaked out and wallowed around with him. Many times I would feel guilty for being happy or enjoying my own journey with my Creator. But those revelations God whispered to me gave me the strength to help comfort my son.
I tried to portray that in this scene with Collin falling asleep under the piano while listening to his sister play out the new found joy within her heart she has just discovered on her own journey at the waterfall. When helping my son with depression, I realized I couldn’t live his life for him, but I could help him. Many times when our loved ones fall into depression we take on their battles as our own because of guilt. We think we are to blame. When I discovered I was the Creator of heaven and earth’s daughter, and all the love and power He has is also mine, I was able to help pull my son out of tough situations, just in the same way Hallie first learns to receive the love from her heavenly Father in the previous chapter before she can give real love back to Collin. This will be the key in finding a way to help him where there seems no way out.
Chapter 15 “Dropping Out”
Collin finished his sandwich and tired of his room. He grabbed his sketch pad and brought his dirty dish to the kitchen, looking for another spot in which to draw, a little bit closer to his sister. Hallie played the same notes again and again at the piano. He settled on the thick carpet under where his sister was practicing. As he camped underneath the piano, he let his anger have control again and again, like the repetition of his sister’s notes. Finishing the shading on his walled-up father, Collin made the strokes of his pencil darker and more intense as his mind wandered back to his real dad, who had always looked passed him but never right at him. Had his dad ever stopped what he was doing long enough to ever look him in the eyes? Even in this picture where he was trapped, his father still would not look at him. He only concentrated on his own pain. But what about the pain he had caused Collin when he ripped out his small and frail heart with neglect?
His pencil broke under the weight of too much pressure.
The chords Hallie played sounded like rushing water, peaceful yet rhythmic and constant. She was transported back to all the euphoric feelings and earthy fragrances of her experience at the waterfall. I can’t believe how much this piece sounds exactly what I felt while the Creator spoke wisdom into my soul. It’s as if the notes are retelling the story on my piano without me.
The resounding music enveloped Collin, making him feel as if a cloud of angelic voices surrounded him. With emotions raw and eyelids heavy, Collin closed his eyes. Lying under the piano, he rested his head on the soft carpet that was warmed by a beam of sunlight from the nearby window. Feeling secure with his big sister near him and her music encompassing him, peace washed over his mind, and he nodded off to sleep.
A hundred feet below the warmth of the sky, the cold, damp earth was unsettled by shovels and pickaxes. Short, angry gnomes dug a path that followed a pulsating root that grew out from the claws of the piano legs themselves.
Centuries ago, carpenters had discovered special trees that only grew in woods inhabited by forest gnomes. These carpenters carved claws on the furniture created from these trees as a sign that those particular pieces were still alive. Such furniture, if not moved, would in time grow roots into the floor and sink down into the earth, becoming like a telegraph system that sent messages about the human emotions that soaked into the wood back to the gnomes. Negative emotions like hatred, fear, or depression would weigh heavy, thus making extra-long and thick roots that grew deep into the mutated gnomes’ underworld. These corrupted gnomes spent their lives searching for these unhealthy roots to capture the source of their negativity.
Now they dug, following the roots to confirm a bite on the other end. As they followed the roots weighed down with the heaviness of Collin’s drawings, they made steady progress. Hallie’s music, no matter how beautiful and uplifting, could not ward off the heaviness the roots were feeding on.
The music crescendoed with each note, Hallie’s fingers pounding more vigorously still until she slammed her hands down for the finale. At the same moment, the floorboards cracked as they split and gave way. Collin let loose an earth-shattering scream as he slipped into the cavernous maw of the floor and disappeared. What on earth! Hallie jumped off the bench and peered down into the hole. The distant tortured screams of her brother echoed, and a fading light followed it down the abyss. “Collin!” her voice finally choked out in a scream. Hallie closed her eyes tight and called out to the Creator.
Rocks and loose dirt crumbled all around Collin as he screamed for his life, flailing his arms and legs around like a beetle trying against all odds to right himself. He reached the bottom with a slam knocking the wind out of him. He couldn’t breathe, let alone scream out anymore for help. As his blurred vision began to focus, he noticed lit torches that surrounded his befuddled and frail body and succeeded in gasping in a much-needed breath. The pungent smell of his enemy’s thick, musky odor—What was that? Decayed venison meat?—mixed with stale sulfur, assaulted his nostrils.
As his vision was restored, Collin stared in horror at calloused faces concealed by long, patch beards and pointed hats.