Dodging Arrows…(1/2)

Art by ceruleanwax

That night, I let a part of me slip, and in so doing, also gave it to you. But you were too young to understand.

Too naive, too afraid. You understood that this was new, different. But you didn’t have the courage to hold the truth between your hands, like a bird with a broken wing. That kind of courage hadn’t been born in you yet.

I gave you a part of me, and you didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t the usual piece of ‘wisdom’ or healing. It was something I collected not from my experiences, not from having existed this long, but from somewhere riskier: myself. And I think that’s what scared you off. Not what I could have done, but what it meant for you now. It was the idea that I could be something you were uncomfortable with. Something you would have to be strong to even hear about. You were young and you didn’t want to venture in it, because some part of you knew that life wouldn’t be the same after. That your image of me would be changed forever, and so would you be. And we would never get back what we had then, the golden days.

And you didn’t want to give that up.

You were somewhere on the cusp of awareness, nearing truth. Faltering in the bliss of ignorance, about to have the rug pulled from under your feet. But you stayed the hand of Life, and the rug remained. You were too young to have the world taken from you. Yes, that’s what it was.

But I showed you a part of me that you didn’t want to see. An unwanted truth. A darkness you wished wasn’t there so you wouldn’t have to deal with it. Awkwardly, I held out my hand, and you pretended you were looking somewhere else.

I gave you a part of me that you were too young to understand. I gave you a part of me I was too young to have, anyway.

No, it wasn’t you.

It’s not you; the fault lies with me. Unable to hide my own intensity.* 

I was the one firing truths, but it felt as though you were the one with the bow in your hands.

You know, that day, I was selfish for offering. It slipped past my lips unwittingly, that much is true. But I ask myself sometimes, if there wasn’t some part of me that had planned it all, in the end.

Note: * This line is from this song:

…And Receiving Them (2/2)

Art by: ceruleanwax

At the breaking of dawn, you could not take it anymore. Could not start even another day with the burdens of the past. So as the sun awoke and its first beams caressed the scenery, your tears fell, and your truths bled all over the kitchen counter. The good, the bad, the vulnerably honest, the dark, the nonsensical, the raw, the accidentally poetic. And you looked at me then, as if you had placed your beating heart in my palm. You waited to see what I would do with it. I could crush it, without even saying a word. But what does one say when exposed to the very thing all people learn to hide from others, from themselves? What does one say in the face of others’ soul-deep pain?

All you need sometimes is an “Okay”.

You don’t need an: “Oh… I’m sure it’ll turn out fine in the end.”. There’s something that’s often…dismissive about these ready-made phrases. Like, here, take these formalities. No, sometimes, I find you don’t need many words. Just a singular, sincere one. You just need an “Okay”—strong, steady, sure.

Because any other words will fall flat.

“You’re suffering, but move on.” Isn’t that what it means sometimes? “You’re suffering and I can’t sit with you while you do.” or “Your pain is a burden.”

We want people to be happy not because we love them, but because we can’t handle them when they’re sad. It’s hard to love a sad person, because loving means a whole other thing when someone’s not happy. Loving means wiping away tears not knowing if and when they will subside. Loving means looking behind the mask and risking yourself in the cracks and dents of their soul. Loving means facing uncomfortable truths and not looking away. It means looking so far into their fears, you start facing your own. Sometimes, it is to find the courage to do for them, what you could never do for you.

That’s why you need an “Okay”. You need an “Okay” that says: “We will not move on. We will sit down and feel this together. You might still be sad at the end of this. You might never be the same person again. But at least you’ll be you. At least you won’t be hiding. You won’t endure because you think that’s what will make others happy. You won’t feel guilty about being in pain. You won’t feel like you have to face it all by yourself. You will learn, that pain does not have to turn into suffering.”

All in one “Okay”. An “Okay” that sees you, that understands. That will stay with you for longer than an entire speech would.




Note: The year’s first series! (Is it still a series if it’s only 2 parts?🤔) But, to my defence, this was going to be 3 parts. Until the idea for the last part just slipped out of my brain and wandered into the great, wild world without looking back. 😒 Oh, well. I still hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Not Okay

“How many more times do you need to ache to understand that this isn’t normal?”

Art by: Loony

“How long has it been since you’ve been loved? Since you’ve been seen for who you truly are? How long have you been hiding—cutting off pieces of yourself and burying them in places no one would find them? How long have you been scared of people finding out about your story? How many times have you wished they would? How many more times do you need to ache to understand that this isn’t normal? These memories, these bookmarks of your story—if you bury them, they will only grow.  And like baobabs, their roots will find their way to your heart. They will entrench themselves so profoundly that they will take over. Until one day, you will not even see the blueness of the sky. How long until this carefully constructed lie falls apart and you realise how empty you’ve made yourself?”


Note: This is Day 17 of my NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. You can read the entry for Day 16 here. If you enjoyed this, I’ve also written about similar themes previously.