Sometimes, when it’s dark and quiet, revelations are made. Sometimes that’s the only time of pure silence I get to ponder, plan, or plot. I write stories in the darkness, cuddled up in my duvet with the pillows just right. I process life, I obsess, I worry. I rejoice, I feel proud, I assess. The darkness, the privacy. . . it’s where I face myself and my truths. It’s in that solitude that we face our demons, know ourselves, and cast our votes.
It’s in the darkness where decisions are made.
But in that vacuum that we can also justify selfish choices, because nobody can see us. It’s just us. Alone. It’s there that we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture, that we forget we’re all connected, and yes, those decisions made in the darkness are how we ended up here.
I think one of the most beautiful and terrifying things about humans is that we’ll never, ever know what anyone else is truly thinking.
We live intertwined lives with children who suffer anguish we don’t even see until it’s too late. We stay in relationships with virtual strangers who hurt us in ways we never knew possible. We’re shocked by racism, sexism, extremism, or conversely, by tolerance. We live next door to monsters, tweet with villains, blissfully unaware of reality.
I roll the memory around in my head like waves rolling rough glass. One day, the edges will be softened and the shard unable to cut through me like it can now. Sometimes when it comes to mind, I silently scream, “WE ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT TODAY, SELF” and then I feel crazy for having to tell my own brain to shut the fuck up.
Other days, I conjure the thoughts to poke at them like a kid with a stick and a dead animal. How does it feel when I think about it today? Sometimes, it hits me suddenly and feels like I’ve wrapped my lips around a vacuum cleaner and every ounce of air has been violently sucked from my body.
Like flicking my tongue against an exposed nerve in a tooth. . . does it still hurt? It does.
We’re shocked because we didn’t see it coming, didn’t predict that the people we love can think this way/act this way/do those things/believe in that/have those ideals. There’s naïveté in that, of course, but as with everything, when we know better, we do better (we hope).
Take the lessons as they’re given, and move forward.
Dust off, stand tall, speak up, protect your heart, and the next time the sun goes down, know that no matter what, it will once again rise, just like you.