It is hard to open up a space you’ve sealed shut and forgotten about for a person you’ve long dismissed as a distant memory. How do you go back and try again when the closure’s achieved and you can’t feel anything you can recall from your history?
There must have been something that has changed when I started to write about hope and resolve and closure more than regrets and tears. There must have been something that has changed when I no longer bottled up my sadness so it could turn to anger to fuel my existence. There must have been something that has changed when I could say my faults without hating the bitterness of its taste. There must have been something that has changed when I cried not abhorring circumstances and consequences but realizing it’s hard to take back sharp words and actions. There must have been something that has changed when I started to eat three times a day, when I could count to ten to get my anger into controlled calmness, when the future started to clear out, when I started to have faith again, when I decided hurting myself had no direction. There must have been something that has changed when I realized I could be robbed of everything and I’d still live for myself. I’ve only been trying to get better, and I’ve been slipping up, but I’m grateful that somehow, I’m getting there.
Tell me, Laslo, what kind of man can take something so dark and gloomy and fuse it with light? A genius of an artist! To be able to blend two opposite natures and come up with something greater than both of its parts requires genius.
– Eating Fire and Drinking Water, Arlene J. Chai
Although the character was referring to the music that was playing in that scene and at his future murder, let’s take it out of that context for a minute. The ability to take something dark and fuse it with light is fascinating, but I cannot say it specifically requires genius. In our actions, and in our vision, it more of requires focus.
On reflecting on the state of the world, we cannot say that it is just good or bad, but we more or less see it divided into two equal parts. We don’t exactly see it as a mixture of both, even though it is exactly that. So as a result – but maybe this is just me – there is comparison between our share of light and dark; of the disappointments and the satisfactions that we get. And whatever we think we’ve experienced is greater than the other, we set it as how our existence is and will be: either more satisfactions than disappointments, or more disappointments than satisfactions. Having either of the two as a mindset can be disruptive. You think everything is supposed to be going smoothly but hit rock bottom several times, and it’s harsher than it should be. You think everything is supposed to go wrong for you and anything that goes right is undermined.
There are many more situations that come to mind, but let’s skip those and just think how it’s better off to accept that there will be good days and bad days. Things could go wrong at times and right at others. You could lose today and win tomorrow. Change is constant. It could be always be for the better or for the worse, but it won’t stick on being either for long. When it’s for the better, then it’s up to you to be content, or strive for more. When it’s for the worse – fuse it with light. Make shortcomings the reason for determination. Make the misery you hear, see or even feel yourself push you to be compassionate and appreciative of what you have and the days filled with joy. Make the sadness in your chest art on canvas or on paper or on strings and piano keys. Make a quote from a character that murders taken out of context a basis for motivation. Fuse everything dark with light – in vision and in deeds.
Let your lips state the balance of the weight of the mind and the fierceness of the heart.
Things never go back to the way they were. It is a realization that I find myself constantly reminded of in the bitterest moments, when painful longing strikes and I slide into imagining what-could’ve-been’s. I think we all take things for granted. We do not know how to genuinely appreciate presence of anything in particular. We realize each breath was precious when we’re taking our last; when there is no longer the comfort of a thousand tomorrows of ever-present oxygen. And in a world where change is too quick and constant, we often find ourselves wallowing in this regret, but still make the same mistake of having too much faith in someday.
Things never go back to the way they were. Once a plate is broken you can’t very well make it whole, but only make it an imitation of what it was before. I remember, once, when I visited my hometown after years of opting out of going, it struck me as new and different even though it was the same chilly air and the same place. I set foot into where my childhood was shaped without any sense of familiarity. The silence was too loud. The sky was too dark. Everything paled in comparison to what I had experienced once; what I can only remember now. And with situations we turn our backs on; people we leave, and even the books we drop underneath our beds and don’t crouch over for – we’d only get to keep the memories before they turned worse or better or died or got a shot at fame or gathered dust and eaten by mice, and nothing more.
Things never go back to the way they were. So sometimes I find myself memorizing people’s faces, knowing at one point our lives could completely go different ways. Sometimes I stop myself from worrying about later or tomorrow and just make the moment last longer. Sometimes, at particularly bad days, I find myself going through everything that made me smile today. Sometimes I just blurt out what I feel. It is a way to make up for everything I’ve withheld.
Things never go back to the way they were. Once everybody reaches that point of realization at some time or other, it becomes the cause of gratitude and more happiness and effort. Days will get brighter. Smiles would appear more.
Things never go back to the way they were. It was once a bitter statement for me, but now, I associate it with a feeling close to hope.
There is no such thing as other halves. You do not love an other half; you do not love with only a half of yourself.
There is no such thing as completing each other. You may love an incomplete person, but they cannot fully love you back. You do not hold their missing pieces. They need to find those themselves. You may love while you are incomplete, but you have a greater need of yourself.
Love when you’ve learned its meaning through yourself. For it does not mean comfort. It means sacrifice and risks. It means putting aside what you want for the sake of what’s good. It means having courage and patience. It means being there for each other. How can you love a person fully, as they deserve to be, when you cannot be there for yourself? When you cannot sacrifice your comfort for your improvement? When you cannot face the challenges of your own mind?
How can you love and expect reciprocation from a person who do not love themselves? Love them, but be patient, for you cannot take it against them. Be there. Help them be strong. Watch them pick themselves up.
Love when you’re ready. Love when you’re whole.
“Do you realize the limits of our understanding? Mathematically, we can describe two things interacting, like two planets in space. Three things interacting – three planets in space – well, that becomes a problem. Four or five things interacting, we can’t really do it. And inside the cell, there’s one hundred thousand things interacting. You have to throw up your hands. It’s so complex – how is it even possible life happens at all? Some people think the answer is that living forms organize themselves. Life creates its own order the way crystallization creates order. Some people think life crystallizes itself into being, and that’s how the complexity is managed.
Because, if you didn’t know any physical chemistry, you could look at a crystal and ask all the same questions. You’d see those beautiful spars, those perfect geometric facets, and you could ask, what’s controlling this process? How does the crystal end up so perfectly formed – and looking so much like the other crystals? But it turns out a crystal is just the way molecular forces arrange themselves in solid form. To ask a lot of questions about crystal means you don’t understand the processes that led to its creation. So maybe living forms are a kind of crystallization. Maybe life just happens. “
– MICHAEL CRICHTON, The Lost World