I think I must
fall a little bit
in love with
that I meet.
story to any
of my heart
away to any
I think I must
fall a little bit
in love with
that I meet.
story to any
of my heart
away to any
We all knew what was coming. If the future were a hurricane, well, then we were right there in the eye of the storm.
It wasn’t something we could push away. It wasn’t something we could procrastinate or hide from. Frankly, we wouldn’t want to. Each of us were looking forward to better and brighter days, maybe for different reasons, but dreams nonetheless.
And if the cost of better and brighter days was to leave days like these behind, it would be a hard bargain. But we were willing to pay that price. We had already sold our souls to what comes next. All that was left was to wait.
Tomorrow wouldn’t wait for us. It was coming. And soon.
But for now, for this moment, we had tonight. It might be the very last thing we ever have, but it was there. Not a single one of us wanted to taint the sweet taste of nostalgia with the uncertainty of what was to come.
We will always have tonight.
I believe in this. I believe in cartwheels in the park and mint green nail polish. I believe in the faint blue glow of laptop screens and the hot summer sun beating down on your face as the ocean caresses your skin like a lover. I believe in books. I believe in fantastical and impossible and wonderful things. I believe in beauty and truth, and I believe that there is truth in beauty and beauty in truth. I believe in the scent of coffee and cinnamon candles. I believe that people never change, but they can grow. I believe in sunlight; I believe even more in starlight. I believe that fairytales are fiction, but that doesn’t mean they’re untrue. I believe in first loves and true loves and soulmates and heartbreak. I believe in relativity and rainbows. I believe in humanity (less than I’d like to, but still a lot). I believe that putting words on paper is like hearing a painting or tasting a song. I believe that sometimes you just need to turn the volume up. I believe in bodies writhing on the dance floor and the silence that the early morning brings them. I believe in doing unto others what you would have others do unto you. I believe in souls and reincarnation. I believe in roses and tulips and carnations. I believe that ghosts are just an echoes calling out into the void. I believe that we are all shouting into oblivion, waiting for an answer. I believe in questions, but not always in answers. I believe in photographs and memories. I believe in book stores and libraries. I believe in Christmas lights and traffic jams. I believe in babies’ laughter. I believe that we carve our own futures out of marble every single day, and there is no better work of art than a life well lived. I believe all lives are well lived. I believe in perseverance and morals and creativity. I believe in life. I believe in dying. I believe that the earth is round and I believe that karma keeps going around and around. I believe in talking things through and letting emotions run wild. I believe in the universe. I believe in me. I believe in you.
My skin is riddled with question marks
Punctuation to puzzles I have yet to answer
Resolution to questions I have yet to ask
Secrets like Prometheus’ spark
Unguarded and given of love and of anger
But still, secrets set free bear bitter fruit at last
When Eve bit that famed forbidden fruit of knowing
Did she know what horror would come for her after?
Would she have been better off unknowing, at rest?
Are secrets better kept, doubt better left floating?
I still do not know
It’s odd how I can look back on this place I have lived in for such a long time feeling both so much and so little. It seems that all my life, all I’ve wanted to do – all I’ve ever wanted to do – was to get out. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had such big dreams of wanting to see the world as a raging river and not the steady trickle of molasses. And now that I’m finally leaving, I realize that it’s not that simple.
I must have thought that once I leave, I could leave behind all that I used to be. Every single bad memory just a speck of dust in the rearview mirror, as though they must have belonged to someone else. Somewhere along the journey from Past to Future, a switch would flick on and something inside of me would change; I would become the person I have always wished I could be.
I had the entire scene mapped out in my head. Getting on that bus and staring out the window – it would have been a movie montage worthy moment. The kind where a mysterious and indefinable part of the movie snaps open. The song would be something both slow and triumphant and heartbreakingly optimistic. I had already planned out poems where I would say that I didn’t feel like I was leaving, but rather, finally coming home after a lifetime spent away from it. But life doesn’t quite work out that way, as I’ve come to find out.
People often talk about life as a series of chapters in a novel. When I graduated from high school, I heard people saying over and over that something big and wondrous had ended, and something even bigger and more wondrous was about to begin. Even our word for graduation, “commencement”, talks about the beginning to an entirely different portion of our worlds.
But as it really happened, finally leaving and finally moving away, it felt odd. It didn’t feel like and ending or a beginning, honestly.
We like to think of life as a discrete set of events – things start and then they finish. But really, nothing is ever truly over. Because all these things: the songs you sing along to on the radio, the ache in your limbs as your run around screaming, the movies you pretended to watch, the books you stayed up all night reading, the fleeting smiles that will one day fade from your memory. All these things become a part of who you are.
And one day you’ll change, too. You’ll find new favorite songs, new movies, new books, new friends, new hobbies, new realizations. You know how you fall asleep on something, and when you wake up, your cheek has a mark? Life is a little bit like that. All your life things happen to you, but once you wake up, all you have left is how they changed you in the smallest of ways. And though one day it may fade so much that it becomes difficult to define where the mark began and the memory ended, you are changed permanently.
Life will change you so slowly that you won’t remember where the Past ends and the Future begins. All you have to go by is your Present.
The thing about life is that you can’t organize it into neat little chunks of living; it’s messy and complicated and all jumbled up. But most importantly, it goes on. Life goes on.
The city lights are stars we used to wish upon
Now I spend my nights throwing photos at the moon
Now I’m just running, running every chance I get
Holding on to the promise of starting over
Maybe I’ll finally find what I’m looking for
I still don’t know what it is, but I’m closer now
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry
But I’ve spent all of this time searching for something
Something I may never find, but I can’t stop now
Even now, I’m still wishing on those city lights
Brighter lights, bigger cities, better dreams (I hope)
One day I’ll find everything I’ve wished for, waiting
I’m not there yet, but I’m trying more every day
1. The sun will always rise eventually. Usually, tomorrow’s new set of hours brings with it a dawn. But in some places, the sun disappears behind the horizon for months at a time, plunging lives into darkness. And yet, those are the only places in the world where you’ll find auroras dancing in the sky – lights that promise even the darkness can be beautiful if you choose to look up instead of close your eyes.
2. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So the heat of your hands, the beat of your heart, the words on your tongue – all these will carry on into beautiful things one day. The universe is not wasteful. A rainstorm. A praying mantis. A supernova. Even when you die, my dear, you will keep going in waves that might one day reach the very ends of the universe.
3. There is a tribe of people who live their lives on boats, conquering the oceans as we explore cities. They step foot on land only a few times in the entire year, and even then, only to gather supplies. Although the beating of tides against our shores may seem fear-inspiring at times, the rocking of the waves is what lulls them to sleep. Their children eventually learn to see better underwater. If they can get used to that, you can get used to anything.
4. Somewhere in outer space, there is a planet made entirely of diamond. These things, incredible on the brink of our imagination, actually exist. Even things out of sci-fi novels, everything we might ever dream, could exist out there somewhere. And yes, we only know an infinitesimal fraction of all there is to know, but we are learning more and more every day.
5. Light is the fastest thing we know of. And yet it takes the sun’s rays about eight minutes to reach us here on this planet. That means that if ever the sun were to go out, we would not know for eight minutes. We would still have eight minutes of living normally. Enough time to listen to a couple of songs, to read a poem or two, to say “I love you” more than two hundred times.
6.You are only one of seven billion people on this earth. Humanity is a faceless crowd of people, and still, there are at most six degrees of separation between any two people, whether they live in a city or a jungle or a farm or a desert, whether they are rich or poor, whether they are thirteen or a hundred and eight. The furthest you are from any other human being is just six people. As long as you can find the right six people.
7. Monarch butterfly larvae are born in Mexico, and once they are fully grown, they migrate all the way to Canada, with no external help. Buried somewhere in their DNA, through 3100 miles and billions of years of evolution, is a road map telling them where to go. Maybe we have directions hidden in our souls too, if we trust enough to look for them.
8. In 1903, the Wright brothers flew for the first time, and it lasted all of twelve seconds. Enough time to cross a football field, maybe. In 1969, we sent men to the moon with the whole world watching. Only sixty-six years from the dawn of flight to a triumph of space exploration. That is less than a single lifetime.
9. The oldest living person is 116 years old. That means that only a little over a century ago, there was a completely different set of people living on this planet. Every single one. And each of those people must have had worries and fears, their own hopes and dreams and promises and monsters. But in the steady march of time, most of them have already been forgotten. Time marches on; all we can do is hope to enjoy it while we still live.
10. This world is a cold and terrifying place. There are cruelties happening you are not even aware of. There are millions of people who are suffering far more than you are. There are millions of people who live oblivious to your hardships. There is hate and anger and so much malice. And yet, despite all the awful things, humanity chooses to go on. We can still love. We still love. We love.