I did it for the love. Because I hoped my love would be so contagious my pupils could not be quarantined, forever in a love triangle with words, language, learning. As I have been. But I have stood alone in the rain, a fool whose love was not admired nor envied, but mocked. Penetrating their shell of materialism and status (updates), where image trumps imagery, is impossible. Rather, it’s the kind of love that breeds resentment. For a love unrequited leaves the heart scorned. I will find another way to share my love, before I’m too bitter to remember what matters most.
My imperfection suits me perfectly. It may mean connections with others are short-lived, but even when our worlds diverge it is in peace. My kindness is a double-ended barrel. Thus I am wounded by my own graciousness. But I am no victim. Just an alien in a world so accustomed to cruelty it cannot digest generosity without being greedy. My charge is not to be less forgiving, but to be more guarded of my joy. Face value is worthless, and certainly not worth my joy. I will be more careful to protect it from the spiteful with their promises broken as easily as withered branches in a wind gust. My dreams, my happiness, my self will not be compromised by their insecurities. They who see my kindness not as a treasure but as a constitutional right. I will aim more carefully. I will not give the cruel enough benefit to doubt their intent.
I check ‘other’ for the same reason I don’t have a solid “clique” of friends. Labels are safe zones for the fearful. The world tries to define us by the boxes we select. But some gifts are too beautiful to be contained. My conscience sometimes tries to dupe me into living within society’s confines. It tells me who I should love. Where I’m supposed to be at 30. What I should look like. But these are no one else’s decisions to make. So I can’t allow their voices to inhabit my conscience when I check ‘other.’ I can’t allow myself to be afraid. Like them.
Yesterday is a bad friend. The kind that holds on too tightly and lingers too long. Not that tomorrow has any merit, when it can’t keep its word. With such fair-weather company, you’d think I’d enjoy the present more. As we all should. But I can count on one hand the days I did not awaken in anticipation of the day’s end. How often I’ve asked “when is this over”, and planned the morrow’s to-do list as if the day is already through. Worse, I wallow in yesterday, resentful of the let-downs, the to-dos that were not done. The present- the now, which is forever anew- never wears its welcome thin. It gives unselfishly and holds no grudges. I should not take its friendship for granted. I am the company I keep.
No one ever wins a fight. When fists are drawn, both parties have already lost. The spectators, the rescuers, the bystanders, all casualties of wasted energy. They cheer and hoorah, they make it the scuttlebutt of the week, they give it life with each mention. But they have no idea how much they’ve lost by giving away something so precious.
He told us emphatically that we were all surgeons, and the OR was full. How we could idly allow our patients to die, he mused, when we stood amid crisis was unfathomable. What’s more unfathomable is how we could be expected to save one who wears a DNR bracelet. Some patients do not seek revival; their symptoms bring them to us, but they have no desire to do anything more than populate the waiting room because it’s cold outside. I have no patience for someone who does not wish to be saved. Nor should I be accountable for his or her demise. My business is with those who call my name, earnestly seeking treatment, if not just reassurance that they will make it. If I’m the surgeon, don’t tell me how to operate.
My vision was once clear to the point of clairvoyance. I could read the signature line on a check. I know it exists but have struggled to see the fine line where white bleeds into black, the area of ‘maybe’. It is a distortion of thought as natural as the brown on my skin, one I recognize but am unable to change. I know the gray is necessary. But black and white haunt me in their definitive existence. That something could be both and at once neither troubles me. Yet black and white thoughts leave me weary. Gray seduces me but its spectrum confounds. However, as my vision has changed, I must learn to accept all that cannot easily be seen.