Ardency

May 30, 2012
Deep breaths. One, two, three, four. Feel the pumping of your heart. Gulp the air. Pinch yourself so you know you’re not dreaming, and remind yourself that you are alive. This world, this place, it exists, and you are in it, so why are you dreaming and doing nothing? One chance, one life to live, one song to sing. What will the melody be? Haunting and tragic, laced with trills of breathless remorse? Or rich and full, with swells of deep emotion and graceful notes of beautiful simplicity? To be young, to travel, to move, to dance, to scream. It all is wonderful, all is human, all is life. So live it. Don’t harbor regrets that pang inside your chest with every beat of your heart.

When it is dark, when the world is silent and painted in hues of black and blue, when the fireflies flicker — go. Dance in the sprinklers, feel the drops touch your skin, soak your clothes, run down your face. Laugh because you are shocked at the chill, but it is good, because your nerves are invigorated, and the air is hard to breathe but it somehow tastes fresher.

When it is early in the morning, when the birds are the only ones awake — go. Smell the air that is fresh and untainted. Get on a bike and don’t decide where to end up. Just ride until you find someplace where you can look up at the chink of blue sky between the branches of pine trees, where the sun filters through the green and creates dappled patterns of light on your skin, where nobody can find you unless you want to be found.

When he tells you how he really feels, and it is perfect, and you don’t know what to say — go. Reach out and touch his outstretched hand, let him entwine his fingers with yours, just because. And take a road trip in his old truck, with the windows rolled down, with the music loud. Smile and laugh and sing and let your hair do what it wants to do. Don’t worry, don’t be anxious, just talk about things, just be together.

And sometimes it hurts, sometimes the grief is beyond tears, and you clutch yourself, trying to hold the broken pieces together, and you feel so intensely that it hurts like fire, and you can’t speak, and you can’t breathe, and you just can’t keep going, you can’t —

Shh. Close your eyes and let the pain wash over you like an ocean wave. You aren’t expecting it, you don’t know when it will come, and suddenly — you’re choking, the water is raging all around, pulling you under, and you think this must be death, because why is it so dark? Where did the light go?

But then you are gulping air, sweet air, and you are swallowing it, and the tears on your face mingle with the sea water, and it is salty, and it tastes like anguish. But you are breathing, and you thought you were dead. The moon bathes you in shimmering silver, and you think she might be smiling, but you can’t tell, because everything is blurry, but you can breathe. You can breathe.

And the time passes, as it always does, and you slowly stitch your wounds back together. It hurts almost worse than the injury itself, but it is finally over, and you start to remember what it feels like to be happy. There is a song whispering in the distance, and you strain your ears to catch the tune, but it’s too faint, too fragile. It floats along the breeze, and you can almost understand it, but it is faded, like an old photograph. Somehow this increases its beauty, and you don’t mind anything very much. You are quite content simply to lie here and listen to the music you can’t quite hear.

Oh, life, with its twists and turns, is more wonderful than you could ever truly imagine, isn’t it? The older you grow, the more you realize it, the more you can laugh at yourself, your mistakes, your failures. And it feels good, and you are getting past the past, turning the page, waiting excitedly to see how the next chapter starts.





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