What I know now (1)

I wish I could tell you at 16, what I know now.

No one knows where they are going. What they’re doing. How to navigate themselves through the rapids. No one knows if it’s going to be alright. Beginnings never begin as beginnings and no one ever sees the end coming. We don’t know how endings will end, only that everything will. Especially the good things. But also, the bad things. Plans fall apart. Friends become strangers. Strangers become friends. Goals alter. The path falters. The truth becomes a strip of blue along the horizon. Something worth looking at; to drive toward. But the sun always sets before you reach there. Still, there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow keeps us going. The stitch that saves the nick of time.

People take long drives along the sea. Their mind is filled with slices of their most painful moments. They suffocate in the plastic bag of history. The road cuts into their memories, startles them into sense. They want wind in their hair because it feels like being touched. They want to start over. Do things right. Make the right choices. People are always looking for do-overs.

That’s the purpose of sunglasses.

People sit in their cars and in their showers and any small space they can fit in; fit tight into, to hold themselves together, to contain the spread of brokeness that threatens to spill out. They sob in these small spaces. Gasp. Until it feels like they will explode and die.

But they don’t.

They go on. They live. Wipe their eyes, reapply mascara, touch up lipstick, step out of their cars, their cupboards, the bathroom, step into character; smile, live, survive.

We all go through it.

And I think, at sixteen, you might think that this all sounds pretty terrible. And it is.

But it’s also what makes everything beautiful. Fills the world with a certain light. The world with grief tainted edges makes for better viewing. Tender hands know how to love. To be fragile, vulnerable, to expose one’s edges to the wind and to take the blow, to stand at the edge, or at the stern and feel the cold air slice through you is what keeps people living a life of meaning; it makes them aware of the sounds in the air, the loss of others, the touch of rain and fear. These people appreciate laughter, kindness, hope, honesty and love.

They stand in the street and close their eyes and remember who they are and where they came from.
They know what it is to live, and what is more blessed than that?

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