Sun-stained hands

“And it’s not easy— never—the only way to sun-stained hands is to grab the light yourself and never let it go.”

handstarunknown
Art by: Unknown

Sun-stained fingers delicately prying open darkened, charred ribs.

Hearts can become such messes, you know.

Clogged with ash, unmoving, hard, cutting like the surface of a mountain.

“Can you even imagine,” she said, “that this used to be young and tender? That it rushed and skipped, halted and leaped.”

Now, it is just a heap of ash.

“Even so,” he says, “you manage.”

“You take a little bit of light everyday, and…”

And it looked so easy for him. Bright, sunny as he was. All golden skin, sun-lightened hair.

“And it’s not easy— never—the only way to sun-stained hands is to grab the light yourself and never let it go.”

No matter the keenness of the burn, the sharpness of the sting. Grab the light and never let it go. Because this burn, it is the burn of alcohol on fresh wounds. It burns because it heals. It burns because it takes away the things that have slipped inside, so tightly enmeshed in parts of yourself.

 

 

You Will Heal (Life Gets Better, So Hang In There)

“I don’t know if you were expecting a story of how I’d fallen in love with the most wonderful person, someone who understands my struggles and all the depth and darkness. Something poetic like : “He saw her sitting alone in the darkness and instead of shining a light on her, quietly sat down beside her and held her hand, waiting the darkness out.” But this is not that kind of story. “

pridenyasha
Art by: Pride Nyasha

I sat down today on the same sofa I had sat on 5 years previously, when I believed with everything I had that nothing would ever get better.

A scrawny, withdrawn teenager then, I tried not to exist too obviously, too loudly. I felt I was nothing but all this anxiety raging inside of me, nothing but a receptacle for people’s dirty looks, their pity and yet sometimes amazingly, their jealousy. 5 years ago, I was fading out of existence, a process furthered by the discovery of human nature’s seedy underbelly. When I was finally allowed a look into an adult’s world, I decided I wanted nothing to do with it. But by then, it was a door I was practically being pushed through.

5 years ago, I was what? 15, 16? Oscillating between wanting nothing and needing it all. At the time, all hope had fled. Had spilled out on the pillow in silent midnight cries. I don’t really have hope now, either. But I have the belief that maybe one day, I could have it, and this makes all the difference. And between that ‘no‘ and this ‘maybe‘, stand 5 years and more than a few battles fought alone, to exhaustion. There were fears faced, comfort zones expanded.

I’ll get away from here, I thought, because as a teenager, that’s a totally legitimate plan to have.

But life had other plans. So I’m still here 5 years later.

I don’t know if you were expecting a story of how I’d fallen in love with the most wonderful person, someone who understands my struggles and all the depth and darkness. Something poetic like : “He saw her sitting alone in the darkness and instead of shining a light on her, quietly sat down beside her and held her hand, waiting the darkness out.” But this is not that kind of story. There was no flip. No plot twist. No one to rescue you.

It was mostly a ton of effort. Unsexy, unromantic, stinky effort.

Though I did meet good people. People who might’ve guessed at all the things I hid, but who never wanted to pry. People who were decent, who were funny and didn’t frown at my quirks, and who thought I was kindof cool, actually. People who apologised when they were late, who asked you to message them to let them know you got home safely. People who celebrated your achievements, who would drag you out of hiding and shine the light of recognition on you because take credit for your accomplishments, damn it.

I’ve got some ways to go still.

But 5 years ago, I sat on the same sofa and was another person. 5 years ago, the world was ending, in more ways than one. Today though, I am sitting here, writing, humming the melody of a waltz from a movie I love very much. My breath is light with the scent of peach iced tea and I am relishing the silence, being grateful for the time I am given.

These days, given the right opportunities, I also open up a little. Inconsequential things, stories stripped of too much emotion and detail, but spoken into the atmosphere still. These stories might just be rubble compared to the complex structures I keep inside, but it means that there is a bridge, nonetheless. That trade is open. I squirrel away parts of my story, bits and pieces that don’t connect. I am not doing ‘good’ really, but I am doing better. And in the end, I think that’s all anyone can hope for.

Hang in there, life gets better. And you want to be there to see it happen.


Note: This is Day  22 of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. This is also something I want to dedicate to a good friend, a soul sister, really, who’s going through some rough times. Just hang in there, people, it really does get better. If you liked this entry, you can also check out yesterday’s entry here, which is a little more on the cheerier side of life 🙂

You Can Look Now

“I lean towards the sun, seeking out its warm touch and gentle glow. It’s okay to take space and need things. How else could I hope to grow?”

luceferous
Art by: Luceferous

In the silence of a warm afternoon, I bloom. Gently, gently, unfurling every petal with care.

In the soft goldenness of the sun-caressed terrace, I cut off all my thorns. I put them aside. And though it is in my nature for them to regrow, I, for once, want to not be painful to hold.

Resiliently, as the clouds rove by, I unearth nearby weeds and shake off sharp-teethed bugs that feed off of me.  Maybe it’s not all my fault, after all, that it took so long for my colours to show.

I lean towards the sun, seeking out its warm touch and gentle glow. It’s okay to take space and need things. How else could I hope to grow?

Careful still, but at ease, I bend with the wind, making an awkward partner for a dance, but dancing all the same.

I stand, a little shy, a little proud and say to the world:

“You can look now, I’m not hiding anymore.”

 

 


Note: Day 6 of ‘NaNoWriMo’

Soft, soft…

byloony
Art by: Loony

Too often when they speak of saving,
they trust in guns and violence,
fire and smoke.

But what of the saving you do
when you hold a trembling hand in yours?
When you sit and listen,
when you humble yourself
and let the soft-spoken speak?

What of the saving that is done in softness?
A kind word pressed between pages,
unhurried like the clouds,
gentle as the smell of perfume when the sun is out.

What of the lives you save by being not brave, but kind?

Hey, remember when?

“For a while, all memories of you were dyed in pain. It always stung, always hurt. At times, it would sit on me like a boulder, this grief, and I would consider the weight on my chest, and like anyone with a boulder on their chest, I would ask myself if it was really happening. “

Lights
Art by: Unknown Artist

I remember you.

I remember the way you used to talk, the way you used to laugh.
And this is new.

For a while, all memories of you were dyed in pain. It always stung, always hurt. At times, it would sit on me like a boulder, this grief, and I would consider the weight on my chest, and like anyone with a boulder on their chest, I would ask myself if it was really happening. Other times, it would be just a pinch, some sharp pain that faded fast. But I would keep rubbing the phantom ache away, not having anyone to glare at for causing it.

Today, there was nothing of that.

Today, I made a joke about how you’d react to my brother’s new haircut.
I spoke as if I were you.
I laughed with all the others who knew you afterwards.

I think the pain from all those times, it was from thinking that your memory would die, too. Like I’d lose everything of you, not just your sarcasm or your kind eyes, but the warmth when I think of you, too. I thought because it hurt so much to have you taken from me, that everything good goes away one day.

But today, I spoke as if I were you.

You see, before, I grieved you.

Now, now, I remember you.

And in the midst of all the emptiness you left behind, that is the sweetest difference.

 

Healing

“”Now, when you are happy, you do not say: ‘Ah, I can die in peace now.’—you ask for a little Time, for ‘5 more minutes of this, please.'” “

zipcyart.jpg
Art by by 집시 

“Do you know how I knew you were healing?” he asked quietly.

“Now, when you are happy, you do not say: ‘Ah, I can die in peace now.’—you ask for a little Time, for ‘5 more minutes of this, please.'” 

“And I,” he took in a shaky breath “am so grateful for it.”

I Thaw

“It’s a little like autumn inside, but it is also spring.I am no longer numb, no longer cold — the season has come and I thaw. “

heartgif
Gif by Unknown Artist

I thaw.

Crystallised in ice, my heart stirs back to life. From blue to blooming red, the season has come and I thaw.

The layers of cold, the once solid ice slide down, fluttering to the ground, melting into puddles at my feet. It’s a little like autumn inside, but it is also spring. I am no longer numb, no longer cold — the season has come and I thaw.

And I know it will be a sweet, lingering spring. Because the heat that warmed this heart up came from within.

 


Listening to: