The boys were digging clams this weekend with John and his dad, we’d reached our limit and were plodding through wet sand on the way back to the car. John picked a route he’d hoped was less gluey and quicksand-y than the one we’d taken out to the bay, but I could hear him up ahead yelling “Aghh! It’s worse! It’s worse!” and then both my boots were suddenly frozen in place. I couldn’t go forwards, I couldn’t go backwards, I had to stand there pinwheeling my arms for balance until I finally reached down and yanked one leg up with a rude SLOOOOOORP! sound and that’s how I made my way back, via a slow nervous-giggling process of extracting one foot at a time from that fiercely sucking mud, while the kids, who were standing easily on the surface thanks to their lighter bodyweight, laughed themselves silly over the crippled adults.
It was funny, being mired like that. A shared experience: messy, temporary. Nothing at all like the feeling of being mentally stuck, which is tidy, boring, filled with stifling inertia and isolation. A dried-out rut instead of a bog.
Just reach down and pull yourself out, I think, but it just seems so hard. It’s so much easier to curl up, hide from the world, wait for things to change.