Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Epilogue to End a Year: Words to Hold On To

And as the minutes of 2015 tick away, I thought I'd borrow from two authors to end the year and leave us with things to ponder:

"My little big friend Samy left me with one final scrap of wisdom. For once she didn't shout-- she tends to shout. She gave me a hug as I sat there, staring at the sea and couting the colors, and whispered very quietly to me: 'Do you know that there's a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It's called the hurting time, Jean Perdu. It's a bog; it's where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don't underestimate the transition, Jeanno, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.'

Since then I have often thought about what Samy called the hurting time and the halfway world, about the threshold that you have to cross between farewell and new departure. I wonder whether my threshold starts here ... or whether it began twenty years ago.

Have you experienced that hurting time too? ... Do you mind my asking these questions?"

~ The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George, p. 301

During this transition time, perhaps these following words will help you. They are helping lots of people who are choosing to be Furiously Happy, no matter what.

from Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, c. 2015

Read this Epilogue.

The Entire Epilogue. 

All of it.

I keep reading it and every time I get something else out of it. Thanks Jenny.

Epilogue: Deep in the Trenches

To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us:

Brighter days are coming.
Clearer sight will arrive.
And you will arrive too.

No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark.

In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only see the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all ... by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters ... the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren't real, but when you're in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead.

And sometimes they succeed.

But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not.

You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you.

Sometimes you just fall deeper.

And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you're certain that you're alone. You aren't. I'm there with you. And I'm not alone. Some of the best people are here too ... feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breath underwater ... so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. so that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves into the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes ... eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air.

Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn't hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow.

And sometimes ...

... sometimes we fly.

May we all fly into 2016 and soar.

No comments: