i will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against the darkness.
– e. e. cummings
the weather has been parallel to the state of my heart: gray, cloudy, and heavy.
I’ve been bundling up in sweaters and blankets in a feeble attempt to warm myself, but how can you chase away the cold when it is coming from inside?
this thursday he should have been turning 21. he should be going out with the guys to get his first legal drink. he should be renewing his license. he should be celebrating another year alongside of those who he loves. but life is cruel and life takes away.
this is the first of your birthdays where you are gone, and it feels so wrong.
i’ve been listening to a lot of Lorde, finding a strange peace in her words and her voice. i’ve been drinking a lot of coffee, constantly trying to remember how you took your coffee (i’m sorry, but i’m afraid i have forgotten). i’ve been keeping my hands in my pockets, fearful of reaching out for something i can’t find. i’ve been staring into the grayness of the sky, hoping for some sunlight to break through or for a message written in the clouds.
i know i’ve been distant, and i know i’ve raised my quills. i’m tired of the half-sincere “how are you?”s asked by those who have no intention to really know why I am unwell. perhaps it is unfair that i think this way, but i am tired of the uncomfortable glances and nervous apologies i receive when i say that i am mourning life lost.
it’s strange, really. we are told to be vulnerable and open, but we are not told how to handle another’s vulnerability or openness.
if being strong is your kind,
then i need help here with this feather
if being afraid is a crime
then we hang together. // lorde
i’m sitting at the coffee shop that has seen my tears from a bad breakup and heard the questions that grief raised in my mind. it feels like an old friend that has been there for me in many different seasons, and today is no different.
deep down, i know i am surrounded here by those who want to help me walk through this month, but i also know they are fighting their own battles and carrying their own burdens and raising their own flags of defeat.
i’m weary. they’ve been playing It Is Well in chapel a lot lately, and it is hard for me to sing alone or to agree with this truth (even though it is tattooed on my neck) and sometimes i feel guilty about that, but sometimes those three words get caught in my throat and i don’t have the strength to even whisper them. i know that it truly is well, because of the promise and security we have in Christ. but sometimes that doesn’t make it any easier… sometimes that doesn’t automatically cast the pain away.
i know that things will get better and the darkness will turn a little brighter. i know that this too will pass. but knowing it will get better eventually doesn’t make it much easier now.
there have been many moments that i have wished i could just take a break from everything, to give my heart time to heal. but i know that you would want me to be strong and to persevere. you always were the one to push me to be better, no matter how much it hurt.
i got a pain in my heart and a pain in my chest,
i want to be human again.
i got a pain in my head and i’m losing a breath,
i want to be human again. // kodaline
i am slowly learning how to speak truth and life into my own heart. i am reminding myself that i am not a failure… i am a fighter. i’ve suffered and i’ve struggled to come this far. and just because i feel a little defeated today doesn’t mean i won’t find victory soon,
and i’m also learning to ask for help and to give a voice to what i am feeling. (which i suppose is my reason for writing this). i’m figuring out how to be honest with those around me and not slipping away into my own head. it isn’t easy, but i know it’s a good thing.
writing this has been therapeutic; it is a much needed distraction from the chaos that has gathered around. one of my writing professors told me that i have a lot of good thoughts and a lot of good words, but i don’t know how to effectively stitch them together. and i guess he’s right. these thoughts don’t have much organization… they’ve been written down as they’ve come to mind.
i believe in putting my thoughts out into the universe, and giving life to things felt inside. maybe because emptying myself of them makes me feel a little lighter. maybe because when these words are given life they chase away the darkness. maybe because i have a need to be heard.
i never know how to end these things. but i am okay… really i am. thursday will be difficult, and i will miss being able to wish you a happy birthday or teasing you about being an old man. but i will celebrate the wonderful, strange, loving person you are. i will remember the things i am thankful for. we might not be able to celebrate your 21st, but we sure as hell will celebrate the 20 years we were given.