By: Shyanne Sarris
Somehow there is hope in this universe and I don’t know how it got there because it shouldn’t be. We are an incongruous lot that define ourselves by our trademark of death. We pretend to love life but really we just enjoy destroying it after the photograph and before we drop our beer cans and water bottles onto the brown velvet earth. And mendacity quakes in every fiber of our monastic cells. When the rain pours down, hydrating the Earth’s soiled soul we complain simply because our own souls have forgotten what beauty looks like. And, the reason we have overlooked beauty is because our phobias command our growth, our experiences. Fear. Yes, I am afraid.
Fear is a friend of mine. One of those toxic friends that serenade you into believing that you are limited. But, that’s okay because we all have limits, right? Right? There are just some things we cannot accomplish because those desires are not a part of our natural abilities. On the hierarchy of skills some fall short and make the bottom of the list. We are not perfect. We cannot do everything. God, why am I so afraid? I can’t measure up. I am letting my family down. I’ll never be good enough. There is an unplanted seed inside me from which I hide light so that it will never grow.
Life is safer without growth. If we never grow we never change. And if we can stand still, a tree in a forest of eternal winter, then our blood can crystalize like frozen sap and our roots can hibernate until they are hollow and find infinity in sleep. And yet, if stillness escapes our spindled grasp, we can live our lives on the drug of adrenaline while we guard the ingress to our hearts, finger on the trigger. Choose fight-or-flight. So, despite the fact the majority of my blood has escaped my belly, and I stand ready to run – I stop. Midway in lacing my sneakers, almost ready for the double knot, I pause and inhale the oxygen of chance. Serendipity confronts me from the West, or maybe it’s the East, or the South. My compass is pointing in every direction but North. And now, as a result of that brief moment of self-doubt in the carefully crafted system of comfort in familiarity, I am forced to ask myself the question I have intentionally avoided. Is alright really alright? Am I satisfied with the assemblies of molecules I name life? No, probably not. Deep in the marrow of my conscious I desire the embryo of growth. I want to know the experience of discovering magic in the contractions of change.
Yet still, a siren calls to me and her voice illuminates the ornate tarmac of comfort. Ah yes, I have found North again. She beacons me to follow her rippling echoes of promised conventionality. I take a few steps toward her lustful vows of custom. False security is beautiful in the moments before it flays euphoria. But this time, determined, I turn toward the feral winds of unknown ground. I will not be hoaxed into falling down another rabbit hole with no end. Before my journey I grab a book. The kind with words to help you find yourself. However, only a few steps in on the un-trodden trail I see a figure in the distance. The silhouette is dark, and as I close the proximity of our distances I can feel a warm, heavy blanket being placed around my shoulders. Ah, Fear, my Friend, comes to me, he comes to me like the Grim Reaper of dreams. I know I should fear him, but under his cloak he offers a multitude of comforts. He whispers in my ear promises of ease.
If I turn back now I can re-immerse myself in the ocean of lies that formally swears, in solidarity, that tranquility is unearthed solely through stasis. The only time something does not end is if it is never started to begin with. But, there is beauty in ends, because with every finale there is an encore of beginnings. But, beginning is terrifying. It is equivalent to standing on the ledge of a cliff and not knowing whether you will fall or fly. As you look down the precipitous drop your stomach knots and the butterflies have multiplied in your belly so that they now fill your throat. And against the beating of monarch wings you fight for the air supply from which you have been cut off. It’s not too late to run. It’s not too late to revert back to the mundane commitment of your past. But, then I remember, one day, I too, will end. When the day of my closing metamorphosis transpires I want to leave behind a legacy of love. I cannot linger at the equilibrium. I step forward, shaking but strong.
Our dreams are built on land mines of doubt; programmed to detonate if we stretch to grab a star. And we spend our entire adulthood trying to regain the beautiful insanity of our childhood imagination, but no magnitude of elixir or substance can ever transport us back to the apex of our youth. And so, to cope with the devastation of failing to grasp the depth of our childhood creativity we spawn mini mes so that by extension we too can be kids again. For fleeting moments we can catch shooting stars, slide down rainbows, swim in a raindrop, eat bubble gum sunsets, and love with an unbroken heart.
My journey leads me to white walls of discovery. The room smells of jasmine incense and fast food oils. It should be comforting to talk, but I feel exposed. I realize I simply want to fade away like my shadow does when it meets the darkness. I have never sought help through any medium other than the answer my soul inherently provides. But, for this, I need guidance. I have tried and failed in waging war on my phobic pantomime. Why can I not be like Venus? The goddess who embodies the concept of fertile strength. Why am I abnormally fearful of an experience so natural that it is as old as the creation of man? Why does it feel unnatural? We flee when we are threatened. We flee into chaotic caves of darkness, which we build on the labor of panic, so that they may shelter us from the world of reality. I want my darkness back. Suddenly, words of wisdom shatter my cave of smoky glass and the light that streams in refracts off the remaining shards of my brokenness to create a rainbow of hope.
The blueprints are laid out – a year of planning and nine months of baking. The air is changing and I can feel excitement tantalizing in the air. I can envision a cradle dappled with bunnies and bears. The nursery rhyme my mother wrote for me when I was an infant is set on replay in my mind, “Bunnies and bears, roses and bows/lollipop licking, piggies and toes/sliding down sunbeams, chasing the moon; close your eyes you’ll be there soon…” I have come out of winter and entered a spring built on stable rejuvenating life. And, soon, I will be not one life, but two.
And so, somehow there is hope in this universe and I don’t know how it got there because it shouldn’t be. But through that hope I have grown. And through that hope I have conquered fear. And through that hope I am ready for a new life to begin.