It’s an innately human desire to tug at truth until it’s in full view, excavate and examine it until we are pleased with our well-considered conclusions. It is also instinctual to want to share only the prettiest fragments of our own truths, our most charming ecstasies and none of our agonies.
Loss will make ribbons of you; and while some messes can be twirled and fluffed to look pretty for a time, their usefulness is short-lived. We untangle them only to leave them in piles, to be sent to decompose with the rest of our refuse. Pretty things are not always meant to keep.
I wish the journey were slower, closer to the perception of movement that comes with gazing out into that inky periphery, watching galaxies flow past us like syrup. I wish years did not instead tumble like a series of waterfalls, each gaining a little more speed from the last.
Like all creative projects, the process will take you somewhere new, the result will resemble your imagined compositions but will ultimately turn out to be something else, and that’s exactly why we devote ourselves to such crafts. We want to see where they take us.
It is usually through the tumult of the aftershock, the wayward healing, the throbbing of a phantom limb, that you learn who you are apart from that entity, once more. You unscramble what comes next.
That simple yet purposeful act unearthed a new terrain in my life, one that made me feel like I wasn’t wasting that life, or wasting myself.
Desert lights buzz like cicadas, the fluttery rumble of all those wings and photons shuffling against each other and stretching into an air so thin you wonder if it is even there. When all else is quiet, there is still that soft, eternal flickering. The night was hot. And quiet, for a time.
I was taught as a child that I was worth as much as a man. I was taught that with brains and ambition and education I could be what I wanted, and that was a gift. So much of the prophecy proved true. I was taught that strength in the body was not wedded to brawn, that it could be realized through grace, that all power was resilience.
She told me to never settle. She was frail then, but her voice was strong. She spoke of men, but I knew she meant everything. Don’t settle. Don’t wait. Do all the things.
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