I have a see saw. It is very special and I only allow special people to climb on to it. You have to be special to get on my see saw, someone like you is allowed on because you are special. In the beginning you do not even realise that you are sat on it, but you are. Of course when I meet you, you will have some kind of burden that is weighing you down. You may be lonely, you may be recovering from a different lost relationship, you may be grieving over a bereavement. You might have money concerns, perhaps started a new job which is causing you apprehension or your children may be proving difficult. There will be something that is preying on your mind and weighing you down. Even when to the outside world you may appear happy and delighted, there will be something. Everyday things, deeper and more meaningful concerns or even something dark from your past, childhood traumas, a dark deed done some time ago or a difficult relationship with dearest daddy.Perhaps it is the burden of expectancy or the crushing weight of dejection, but ultimately there will be something which weighs heavy on your soul. I can tell because you are sat on my see saw and you are weighing it down leaving you sat at a low point.
Of course when I appear all that changes. As soon as I clamber on the raised part of the see saw I ensure that the weight of my integrity, my immense gravitas, my substantial presence and my massive love all lower my side. I cannot help but do this as I am a man of substance and importance. I carry great responsibility on my shoulders as I lead men, pioneer into new territories, take risks and shoulder so much on behalf of others. At least this is what I tell myself.
My arrival delights you because you now sail up into the air, carried high by the weight that has appeared on the other end. This see saw is fantastic because up and up you go, racing through the air up into the firmament.It is exciting and dizzying as you soar towards the rarefied atmosphere. You feel light, you feel elevated and those burdens have somehow vanished such is the effect of my presence. You recall from your childhood that eventually you reached the apex of the see saw and you readied yourself to come down again but this is different, there seems to be no end to your upwards movement. You can still see me below you, looking up in awe and delight at you and that only adds to your sense of delight. You wonder if you can do the same for me, whether you can send me soaring upwards and you try to push down but it is to no avail, you cannot muster any force and you continue heading up on high.
I watch you soar and your smiles, laughter and praise for my wonderful see saw pleases me, so I allow you to continue with your ascent. Your exhortations of thanks for this wonderful ride shower down on me and I accept it all with gratitude. Still, what goes up must invariably come down and with a violent application of force I begin to shoot upwards towards my rightful place above you. You are suddenly falling. Your descent is rapid and sudden and it is unpleasant. You can see the earth racing up to meet you and your screams come long and loud. I laugh at your distress and cause the see saw to move even more violently as I soar upwards and you plummet. You see me ahead of you, smiling and laughing as if nothing is wrong and confusion grips you. Why are you going down now? Why is it happening so fast? I pass you and wave as you grip onto the see saw, bracing yourself for the impact, terror and dread wrapping around you. You see me now above you as you close your eyes and wait for that sudden thud as you hit the ground once more but it never comes. You are just above the ground, way below me as you hear me pouring scorn on you from my elevated position. It seems so odd. I am no further away from you than when we got on this see saw yet I seem so distant, so far away that you struggle to even recognise whether it is me. You don’t like being down here. It feels horrible. You want to climb once again and so you push hard with your legs in order to gain some purchase that will send you up and me down but nothing happens. You shove again but there is no response. I am calling to you, my cat calls drifting down to you as you repeatedly try and force the see saw upwards but it is to no avail. Tears of frustration gather in your eyes as you push and pull at the see saw but nothing happens and then, without warning you feel a lurch and you start to climb again. The relief washes over you and you blink away the tears as that sensation of joy and delight begins again.
Up and down you go, climbing one moment without knowing how high you will go before then you start to plummet. Sometimes the descent halts part way through and you are lifted up again, if only for a second before down you go once more. It is a tumultuous situation and you feel dizzy and disorientated. It is becoming harder and harder to know what is going to happen next or whether you are going up or down. You cling on, knuckles whitening, desperate to remain on the see saw because you have no idea what might happen if you try and get off. Will you be catapulted into the air and to freedom? Or will you plunge to the hard earth below and shatter into a thousand pieces? If only the see saw would stop for a moment so you can get your bearings. You need some respite from this up and down movement over which you have no control. All the time you see me across from you, seemingly delighted at this ride. How come I do not feel sick or anxious? How is it that I am enjoying this random ride so much? One minute it is all highs and then you sink to the lows before a sudden jerk halts the descent. You need to get off but you daren’t do so, so instead you decide to hold tight but this only seems to encourage me.
You call for help at the group of people you can see gathered below. You know they can see you but as you are lowered towards them, their hands outstretched ready to lift you from this nightmarish ride, you are suddenly wrenched upwards and away again. You are so confused. It feels better to be climbing, that wonderful lifting sensation sweeping across you, but this takes you away from those people who are trying to help you. You tell them to wait that you will be back soon but you can see them walking away as you keep on climbing again until they have vanished. You shout for them to stay but it is to no avail. You are isolated, alone and soaring once more.
Another lurch and you are falling but this time alarm seizes your heart. You cannot breathe and terror causes the scream to stall in your throat. You are falling way too fast, faster than ever before, hurtling downwards at such speed. You look across to where I should be but there is nobody there. I have gone. I have vanished without warning and announcement. There is nobody left to control this see saw and you are dropping, dropping, dropping. The hard and stony earth is rushing up to meet you. You are in free fall and there is only going to be one outcome.