Floorboards creak under my bare feet
Inviting the past to creep up through
The cracks and crevices
Running like veins through
tarnished oak, splintered
with stories of pitter and patter
Touching the soles of soul after soul
Some desperate for the foundation
To open wide and swallow them whole
Long panels meet cornered molding
For the first time
It would seem
Unclear as to who provides the adhesive
What can only be assumed to be
Longitude and latitude colliding
To form a perfect enclosure.
I will paint you with colors
you weren’t able to see yourself in.
For every chance you will never take,
I will leap with your bravery.
The center of your world
is unknown to me –
But I will navigate through the labyrinth
you built around your heart,
for as long as it takes.
I want to want what I have in my hands. Or the possibility – which is where I have always gotten lost. This is the sharp left turn that leads me to nowhere, for all things are at their best before they happen into existence.
How beautiful our expectations look in the dark. How shameful we feel when they emerge in the light of actuality. I prefer to remain in an in-between world, one of shadows, a grayness. A passage where possibility lives in limbo, the sliver of space in the middle of what is and what could have been. I’ll choose not to walk through, lingering as the patterns in my eyes dance in the doorway.
Pain is universal, while also being so unique to a given cause. Emotional, mental, or physical. The pain we ourselves feel or the pain we feel for someone else. Being hit in the face or being told unkind words. Being betrayed or lied to, let down or disappointed. Our bodies bruise. Our hearts bruise. Our ego and our pride bruise. We try like hell to avoid it, yet are followed around all our lives by its unwanted shadow.
Some say the more often we feel it, the stronger we become. For most, pain is poison. It can weaken the soul if we let it, devour every muscle and bone, every fiber of our being until it consumes us. We can learn from pain, to never place our hand in the fire twice. But we are often foolish, either forgetting the sensation or attempting to feel the flame in a different way; always yielding the same result, always burning.
Pain evolves. It assumes a different form if you hold onto it for too long, taking on new shapes and tastes of constant acidic bitterness. Pain feeds on pain. It thrives on our need to cling to our daemons and dwell on our pasts. We carry our pain, lock it up in suitcases or wear it like a jacket. We might hide it under the bed or hang it up in the back of the closet, but whenever the time comes to move, be it onward or forward, we make sure to take it with us. It belongs to us. It becomes us. Taking up too much space to allow anything else in, it can become all we make room for.
The weight of our pain only gets heavier and harder to carry with time. We can choose to travel light. Rather than tucking our pain away, or giving it to others to deal with, we can unpack it. Take a good look at it and decide to take the lighter jacket instead. Leaving the pain behind, we just might find there is plenty more to keep us warm.