Thursday, August 13, 2009
For a lot of us, we have been used to being left alone, following breadcrumbs in the night in some cold forest. We’ve been used to watching the backs of people leave us, walking away, their off-handed words careening towards us, that we’ve realized how important it is to keep to ourselves. To keep breathing slowly, counting the inhales and exhales and ticking seconds so that we feel safe in ourselves. This is how we have moved, walking around, the moon on our skin painting our eyes silver and watching leaves fall around us.
We are the ones who are used to being lost.
We are the ones who know the need to depend on ourselves because at the end, it’s ourselves we have left. It is only that person, leering back from the mirror, who can tell us who we are or what we want to become. We know the meaning of circumstances we cannot control, but even if we know that these things come back to haunt us and split us open.
In our being used to this abandonment, we do not expect anyone to come in anymore. We have shut the doors and windows to keep out the cold—and the sun in the process—and we sit with our teas and coffees, our ice-creams and take-out chinese, many boxes of pizza and chocolate, telling ourselves that we can hope but we should never expect.
One day someone might come along and tell you that they want to watch you, to maybe coop up with you in that alternately cold and warm room, or to drag you out to fields and meadows you used to lay in. Doubt settles in. We know how easy it is for people to come and go, so we don’t sew threads of permanence—we just smile along while at the back of our minds we frantically try to remember where the breadcrumbs, (now being eaten by hungry birds) that supposedly led to the way out of our loneliness, went to.
When that someone comes along we will doubt and doubt and just know that at some point, they’re going to walk to some other distance too. It’s something we cannot remove, not because we don’t want to but because it’s how we’ve become wired. So to help ourselves we’ve drawn maps of where we’ve gone and imaginary paths of where we might be able to go. But the question is if we are doing the right thing, cooping ourselves up and knowing, just knowing that one point we get left for the nth time.
What if we step out of our rooms and walk when the sun is out as well? What if we run out of these forests and into the long, flat plains and maybe we might stumble, get a cut or fall into ditches, but so what?
In the long run, realize that a fact of life is that we get hurt, and protecting ourselves leaves us invincible but lost. When we close ourselves up in our high grey towers, we forget how the sun can be gentle and warm, we forget how the skies can whisper songs of love into our ears and we forget the feeling of falling into quiet sleep, the breath of someone chanting, chanting, chanting, and when you wake up the smell of coffee is in the air, the voice of someone murmuring into the early morning.
We can get hurt, but the point is to keep walking to the sun. On the way you will be sure to find pockets of comfort, and when you do you make the most of it, one day at a time. Then when you get hurt again you know that there could be comfort, right around that corner.