Better To Feel

January 2, 2010
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The sky was blue, but it was dark. The sun shone, but did not shed light on the land beneath it. The ground was hard, relentless in this darkened afternoon. Never had I seen the sun so distant. I walked alone along the grass, not knowing what I was looking for. My feet shuffled, and I stumbled over rocks and roots. Those roots used to bring me happiness, reminding me of those who helped me become who I am. Now, as I looked upon them, they seemed to reach out and grab me, only trying to tear me down. I walked lightly, feeling that I was disturbing the earth that did not want me here.
Suddenly the grass stopped. There were cat tails, tall but dead, stretched out in front of me as a barrier. I nearly turned around, but, thinking of the roots and stones I'd come across, I decided to carry on. I pushed through them, but they hurt. They burned my skin. I suddenly realized I was cold. There was a determination in me, I had to find it. I had to touch it, hear it, to be with it. I pushed harder through the barrier, and it only cut me deeper. I bled, but carried on until finally I fell out of the thick plants. I landed on my knees in the sand. Looking back, the cat tails looked as if they were crawling back, until there was only a small line of them between myself and the grass. I looked around at the landscape behind me, and knew I had been here before. I was, once again, aware that I needed to find it. I stood, still baffled by my locations familiarity that I still could not place. It was so... empty.
I walked along with my head down, afraid of disturbing anything more. Something began to whip my face. It hit my eye, my cheek, my jaw. It hurt. i wanted it to stop. A hand came up and tucked my hair behind my ear again. Oh... was that my hand? How strange... I felt nothing. I watched my feet as my bare toes disappeared and reappeared in the sand below me. Where was it? I began to panic, I couldn't find it! Would I ever find it? I took heavier steps, nearly running now. Something glinted in the sunlight. a dark, nearly purple light that caught on a white object below me. I bent down to pick up the shell. It was beautiful, and very large. I held it up to my ear, and closed my eyes.
I heard the ocean, and remembered the warmth of the sun on my skin. I saw in my head a smile, and a pair of green eyes. I did not recognize them, but I wanted to. I heard a laugh that belonged to those eyes. My heart broke, and I fell to the ground. I wanted so badly to know this work of art, this beautiful stranger. I wanted to stand next to them... to know that such a beautiful creation did still exist in this world. I listened again, to anything I could hear. I heard the wind blow, and smelled the sea, the sand, the trees... I smelled the happiness. I could not remember ever feeling such happiness. Tears ran down my face as i realized I was only dreaming. This was not real. My mind told me to put down the shell. That I was only hurting myself more and more with each moment... but I could not put it down. I could not loose such a hope, such a dream... I listened to their laughter and looked into their eyes. Who was this celestial being? Were they real? Was this only a vision, a result of my lonely heart? Could I ever deserve such a vision...? They had to be real. My cynical heart was not capable of creating such a perfect sight. Half of my heart splintered into a thousand pieces, I opened my eyes, and look at the sand beneath me. It had been showered in pieces of white. My poor heart... partly strewn across the beach in such a disgraceful manner. It's last emotion having been aware that I could never have such an angel.
The remaining half of my heart pressed my ear to the shell once more, and I begged the angel to speak. I listened with all my soul, but only heard the painful laughter. A tear fell from my cheek into the shell, and a whisper hushed, "Speak to me..." with such compassion that I nearly choked. My tears sputtered and splashed silently as I choked on my breath. Audible gasps for air escaped me, and it came, "shhh... speak to me." But I could not. I did not want them to hear my voice, in comparison with theirs. My tattered, stricken vocal cord had endured so many nights of silence. It was unfit for the heavenly hosts to hear. "Please...." They begged. Why did they want to hear me? "Come to me..." They called. The shell disappeared from my hands. I gasped and panicked. NO! How could I ever find it again?! the happiness that I longed for, that I could never have! the peaceful joy that this my angel had shown me. I dropped to my knees. For the first time, I felt the ground. It was wet, and cold, and harsh in my hands. My hands. I could feel my hands again. I took the wet sand in my hands and lifted it. I suddenly realized why I was wet. It had begun to rain. It poured around me, and I let it soak me. I felt the water. The cleansing shower of God, to have mercy on my soul. I cried with the rain. "I'm crying with you" My angel whispered. My eyes opened, and I looked to the skies. The clouds were thinning, and I saw the blue of a sunlit sky. I marveled at the color, and cried tears of joy.
My angel had broken my wall. My numbness that had kept me from feeling anything. "Thank you!" I cried out. "I know now! It is better to feel pain, then to feel nothing at all!" And I danced. Still alone, still cold and wet and bruised and battered from my journey and my heartaches. But I danced.





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