Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"It is a solemn thing for a soul to grow ripe"

a wise poet by the name of Emily Dickinson once claimed.

Solemn, indeed. However, I wonder how one gets to the point of recognizing when this happens. How can one know when he is done growing? I could think of nothing more disappointing than the idea that I will one day reach a point in my life where I have done all I can do, I have seen all I can see,and I have reached all I can reach. There are so many moments in my life where perfection, or at least what I believe at the time is perfection, is sweet. And then something changes. The wind makes the shadows dance a little more lively. The sun makes the water sparkle a little more vibrantly. The company makes me laugh a little more hysterically. The thought that it doesn't get any better is soon dispelled as what is sweet soon becomes that much sweeter.

I lie in bed wide awake in the middle of the day thinking that some things are too good to be true. How can things be so wonderful after so many trials of heart's pain in which I wondered if anything would ever be lovely for me after my first realizations that life can be terrible and hurt is inevitable?

Around this time last year, I was alone at my aunt's house, down the road from my home, overlooking a large lake late at night. I remember it being strangely warm as it is now, and I was curled up in the rocking chair of her front porch under a blanket, pondering life as one should always do when he or she is in the middle of nowhere under the stars. I was in the initial stages of falling for someone which unfortunately includes the hurt of not having such feelings returned which is due to the uncertainty of how to get to that point if one is so lucky. This of course led to so many other questions I had about life, and I wrote a letter to God with my questions and ponderings. To give an excerpt:

Remember when I was a child, and I trusted you with everything? When I knew, beyond doubt, that you would make sure my desires were met. My heart was untouched by the prickly caress of sorrow, and my mind was incomprehensive of death’s routine visits, and my eyes would twinkle with Tomorrow’s dreams.

And then I learned that I would get hurt. I learned that I would get betrayed and left and broken. I learned that sorrow wants to be my friend. And then I wonder how, after everything I’ve seen and known and done, any of the beautiful things I once wanted could ever be real for me. I wonder how any of that will ever happen for me.

I wonder how I will love without fear of being left. I wonder how I will love without thoughts of failing. I wonder how I will be loved with all I’ve done. I wonder, who could ever take all of me? Who could really be in love with all that I am?
Regardless of who you are and how your life progresses, death will eventually make an entrance into your life. There is nothing that can be done to prevent it. Childhood will come to an end with a death of some kind. And when that happens, it is hard to continue with hope in dreams. When sorrow jars your focus, it can be overwhelming to think you can return it to its original point of view on the world. The one that believed it was good and bright and held nothing but the best things in life for you. We all know that to return to it just like that is impossible, but that does not mean such ideas become untrue.
And truer still, you cannot appreciate the sweetness of the ripeness unless you know what bitterness tastes like. You cannot find yourself lying in bed midday with a smile at yourself because you feel so purely content unless you have been unhappy. I don't want to erase the hurts if that is how I got to be here. I welcome the changes it brought in me, for I love who I am and where I am, and I couldn't if I didn't know the sorrow of things never being the way they were. For a soul to grow ripe, it cannot go back.

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