To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
There is so much I do in a day and yet stay in the exact same place. It is like being on a treadmill. You have to run just so that you can stay on, but there is no place you are going to. And if someone increases the speed all you can do is grit your teeth and run faster, because falling is not an option. Now there are ways of running. One has the stamina and runs with long powerful strides; while the other clings to the hand rails, huffs along, at the very edge, just about dragging his feet forward less than a second before the machine throws him off.
The second one, yeah that is me. And no matter what, there is never a time to get off. On my hands and knees, out of breadth, out of shape, I keep going.
Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.
Sometimes I feel like a ragged doll tied up in strings for the cats to play with. A paw here, a pull there, a tug, a bite. A game for others while all the doll wants is for someone to cut the strings for a bit so that she can stitch herself back together again.
The demands of the day, tasks to be done, additions and subtractions of life. Where is my time to heal? To get better? To recharge?
All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
–Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Fears, so many fears. Two little lives and how they shape up, on my shoulders. Good from bad, right from wrong, time and attention, books, activities, decisions, love, punishments, enough, too little, too much, too strict, too lenient.
They smile, they laugh, they cry, they hurt. And every single thing becomes a reflection of me. Every single action gets internalized and measured on an invisible scale.
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.
–Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
Tunneled vision, that is what I have become. In between juggling all the day’s work, obsessing about the kids, meeting deadlines, over analyzing things said and done; I have somewhere lost the ability to look outside. Look at what others are going through. I have forgotten what is important.
Friends, I have lost touch with. People I used always have time for and now I don’t even try to make time. So lost am I in my self-pity that I don’t even sit and try to see the point of view of the guy who cares the most, about all things that I care about but most importantly about me.
Once you had put the pieces back together, even though you may look intact, you were never quite the same as you’d been before the fall.
That cracked image in the mirror, millions of small pieces. Every piece is a part of me. I look and look closely and don’t like anything I see. All I can see are things I did not do right, things I could have done better. Questions, insecurities, what ifs: all showing a different part of me.
Is the mirror really cracked or is it a self-created illusion. I need the cobwebs gone, I need the lights to be turned on, I need to see clearly now. I need to start running. Right about now!
“I don’t get it,’ Caroline said, bemused. ‘She’s the only one with wings. Why is that?’
There were so many questions in life. You couldn’t ever have all the answers. But I knew this one.
It’s so she can fly,’ I said. Then I started to run.”
–Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever