A couple of times in my life, people have been angry at me for the way I cling to hope and beauty. I have been called naive, childish, ridiculous. My first love told me that my sunny optimism was sickening. Desperate attempts have been made to snuff my sunshine. I didn’t let it happen and I won’t let happen.
It’s not that I don’t see all the ugliness in the world, my heart breaks on a daily basis for all the horror and violence, all the brutal, stupid, absurd pointlessness of it all. I could give in to it all… I could and sometimes have and when I have, I have seen arrows pointing directly to the cliffs I wanted to walk off, the trains I nearly jumped in front of. I have so much compassion for those who have surrendered their hearts to cold indifference and cynical shrugs, it really can feel so profoundly hopeless, the temptation to shut off to it is profoundly understandable. To build up walls to protect our fragile hearts.
But I can’t do that. I tried once and the only thing I felt was empty. I look back at the void I felt, the lack, something I experienced only so recently and can still sense the hollow echo of… and I know I cannot go back there. So instead, I challenge myself to be radically open, beautifully vulnerable, ferociously soft. I challenge myself to stick to this softness with a warrior like determination, to do whatever little things I can to try make little pockets of light in this world. I believe those pockets of light are seeds, I believe that abuse is a disease we can catch but love is a seed we can plant and spread. It’s fragile, terrifyingly fragile and there is so much brutality in the world that threatens it… but that is why I guard it like a mother hen protecting her chicks.
As I grow older, I cling to hope, to love, to kindness with an increasing stubbornness. I have compassion for the way light fades in the eyes of beautiful people, it breaks my goddamn heart but I understand because we are all doing our best to survive in whatever way we can and some of us have been so much more hurt by the violence in the world. But I’m tenaciously clinging to my own light as if my life depended on it because… well, it does.