“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
– George Eliot
There is something about the human body that aids in escaping; loneliness, sadness, emptiness, discouragement, despair, heartbreak. Being immersed in another person seems to briefly comfort and heal most wombs. It is as though this addiction encourages sane individuals to escape reality even for a second, yearning for the next opportunity of lust and comfort.
I wonder what the attraction is to these strange bodies. We starve for the affection of those who are unconnected in our lives; those who are not expected to care for us unconditionally. It is as if receiving this attention is a form of acceptance. As if the consideration of unfamiliar people is valued higher than those of our closest relationships.
I had never felt anything so powerful. So threatening and addictive; a nostalgic scent I was incapable of retaining. He was my knight and I would never understand why I always came back for more.
“Once the time goes, it’s gone And no wisdom can retrieve it.
Grave thoughts bear the mind down. And the body has no choice but to follow.
It comes down to yes or no, and pain’s in back of every choice that turns to act.“
- Mark Rudman, “Solitaire”
The human need to be flawless is frightening. So many people conceal their dreams and aspirations to avoid judgment. Moments are never experienced due to trivial excuses; insignificant justifications that will be forgotten. Not having completed the challenge is what you will remember – not why.
Someone once told me it is a shame one cannot view themselves in raw emotion. To experience how one reacts with passion. To truly see ourselves laugh or cry without the mask one wears in the mirror. It is as if being truly ourselves is a disgrace.
I cannot help but feel frustrated toward this way of living. To be held back from adventure and pure joy due to a crippling fear of rejection. There is no better time to experience life than with every new day. Be free and happy.
“All these characters are complex, somewhat insolent, defiant, desperate for attention and love, and very much a product of their times. Theirs are inner lives created in reaction to the structures that surround them.”
– Sadie Stein
Do you ever compare yourself to other people? Observe photographs of strangers as if it symbolizes their perfection? Believing their happiness is solely based on their beauty, that they can never be upset with life – be human – because of it. It can be elementary to compare yourself to these fictitious lives. Lives that are composed of societies perception of beauty – what it takes to be okay. Do you ever imagine what lives they have? How many friends they confide in. How many people want to be around them, to be noticed by them. How little they feel upset because they have no concept of imperfection. No one could possibly be that perfect.
Maybe we’re too hard on ourselves. Maybe we look in the mirror every day only to overlook our true qualities. The things that make us unique. Maybe all we can see is imperfection.
“…then the moon steps from the cypresses and A wave of feeling breaks, phosphorescent- Moonlight, a wave hushing on a beach. In the dark, a flame goes out. And then The afterimage of a flame goes out.”
– Frederick Seidel “Flame”
Throughout a single life, there are thousands of connections made. So many people just like yourself touch your mind, body, and spirit; teaching you, guiding you, supporting you through whatever struggles may be present. It’s fascinating to think that in a specific moment there could be a handful of individuals who mean more to you than anything. These people are your life line, your belief system, they carry you and help you up. Those same people, minutes, days, years later may become obsolete. Becoming only a distant memory one finds themselves reminiscing for.
I find it so hard to comprehend this normality. As if losing touch with so many souls is something that we shouldn’t be concerned with. It’s understandable, a human being can only connect with so many lives at a single time, yet I can’t help but find myself wishing it was a possibility.
“Perfection is a strange thing, because we go through life being told that it is inherently unattainable. But would we truly know a perfect thing if it looked us in the face?” - Jason Diamond
One day, you will have everything you have ever longed for and it still will not be sufficient. Everything will fit into place and yet you will remain empty. You will compare yourself to those around you, foraging for something to want, to need, to obsess over. As if the presence of this pungent desire is what drives you.
Why do this to yourself? Why crave something so imperfect, you will stop at nothing to hold it, to have it, to own it? Why paint such a beautiful picture only to have it never be adequate? To throw it away for something new and shiny.
The answer seems so simple yet every day these impulses pull and tug on all fibers of hope. They break down our poorly constructed defense and for some reason, we find it easier to constantly need and want rather than appreciate what we already possess. Do not pity those around you or hunger for their accomplishments. Indulge in your triumphs and appreciate who you are.
“From the first moment we come into this world we feel pain and joy and fear and rage. We learn to hide the feelings that frighten us. First from others, then from ourselves. Many of us live our lives distant from our deepest feelings, and never stop to wonder, what would happen if we allowed ourselves to feel them fully, to express and share them with the world?”
– Being Erica
It is hard to understand the inner workings of human emotion. No matter how often you pull on those heart strings, nothing ever seems to materialize. There are narratives, poems, recited lyrics all describing these feelings nobody seems to grasp or comprehend.
I have never been the type of person to depend on others. I strive to be independent and retain control over most situations. I believe society has engraved a specific version of a happy life as if everyone should be consumed by its presence and haunted by its absence.
“White as x ray bone she rises through The trees in stone as if she were sublime, As if she knew what this grace was And she was only nine, framed Between her errands and her games. Her nymph’s body surges underground Not knowing what this buried love Is for.” - Jaume Plensa, Echo
When a man steps into a church I do not believe he knows the influence he emits. When a woman steps into a church, I do not believe she understands the impact she awards. When exchanges of friendship are made, I do not believe each party understands the trust and support that has been granted. When those brothers and sisters in Christ are wounded, I do not believe they understand the strength they possess through God, through friendship, and ultimately in themselves.