Pain is erupting. In an explosion, it is shooting miles into the sky. It is red hot and glows in its intensity. It oozes down, scarring the landscape as it goes. There have been rumblings. There have been quakes even. But the tectonic plates, after rubbing together for over a century, have shifted. The pressure build up has been released like a cork from a bottle. Generations of hurt are flinging themselves heavenward with power, because they have nowhere else to go.
It is not neat or controlled. Eruptions never are. They brew underfoot. The weight of the world on their backs. Pressing down, down. Always down. The heaviness of the years pommels into molten agony. The space around the liquid pain grows ever smaller. It pushes against the walls. It seeps into every crevasse. It shakes as it shoves the barriers. It roars as it reverberates. Until one day, it can no longer be contained. A domino falls. The last straw adds its weight to the mass.
It blows. It burns everything in its path. It does not stop to take stock. It does not halt or hesitate. It only releases the pressure, with great force. Millions of gallons of searing pain cannot be blocked. The air is filled with ash which rains down a toxic blanket of bitterness and resentment. It is unpredictable. Unstable. Erratic. Explosive.
Standing on the precipice is too dangerous during an eruption. To see into the swirling abyss below, the clouds of sulfur, the streams of fire is a warning to pay attention. Do not ignore the mountain. Poison gases have been trapped underground for decades until they can no longer be discounted. How many pounds of pressure does it take before, turning the other cheek only to have it repeatedly slapped, is drowned in the lava? How long before the wound is so deep it cannot be buried any longer? Too long.
The eruption seems so sudden, the destruction so immediate. The devastation so consuming. Yet, the build-up is decades and decades in the making. The landscape will be forever changed. It will take years to recover. An active volcano is always a danger, until the pressure is discharged completely. Released into the atmosphere until, one day in the future, it becomes a dormant crater. A deep scar on the land that tells the story of what once was a volatile violent past.