Last night’s post kept me up until 1230am, and when I opened my eyes yet again before my alarm and yet again heard rain falling outside my window, I groaned and buried my head beneath the covers. I’m too old for this six hours of sleep bullshit. I thought to myself. But I’ve functioned with less sleep and a hangover to boot in the last year, so I reminded myself I could feel a helluva lot worse. And besides, it was in the name of creativity, I justified. I laid there trying to sleep for just a little while longer, but it was pointless. I rolled out of bed and got to it. Water, coffee, blaring Asking Alexandria and a cold shower got me moving and feeling pretty decent.
I again forgot to do my quote stuff this morning, and realized it as I was pulling out of my driveway, already running late. And I couldn’t even remember enough to Google it. “Fucking hell,” I thought. “I’ll have to stop home on lunch.”
Which I did. I had glanced at the quote after finishing last night’s post and loved it, knew exactly what I was going to write about, and in my exhaustion forgot it completely. I had run to Starbucks and stopped home on my way back to work, running in, reading the quote, snapping a picture, posting the quote to Facebook, and running back out the door. I remembered why I loved it so much. . . Because despite the word play I knew exactly what it meant as soon as I read it.
“For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.” – DH Lawrence
Oh, if I could describe to you how bittersweet this quote is to me. It made me smile and want to cry, because someone else put into words what I feel. That’s always such an amazing feeling, knowing you aren’t alone in your thoughts and feelings. It’s nice to know that someone actually gets it.
I’ve known hurt. I’ve known some emotional pain that maybe some cannot grasp. I’ve written about a lot of it, too. There wasn’t any beauty in the shit I’ve gone through. It’s been super fucked up, it’s some shit that most people only read about. Luckily I can step back and have an objective approach, instead of feeling sorry for myself. I don’t write about it for a pity party – someone once accused me of that, by the way – but to let other people know that this shit happens, it happens more than you know. People just don’t talk about it is all. No one wants anyone to know about their skeletons. And I’m over here all like hey, I’ll open the closet. Here, want a flashlight? Let me show you some shit.
Again, I joke. I get that it’s a little sad. But having a sense of humor about it makes it easier for me to write it, and you to read it.
This Lawrence guy (it’s a guy, I looked him up) put it in such a beautiful phrase, and that’s what really struck me. Because here’s the thing – the pain and hurt and heartache I’ve encountered have made me a better person. It’s made me more empathetic, more sympathetic. I can appreciate the little shit because I know how ugly life can be. I don’t let ridiculous shit get to me, because I know it all could be so much worse.
At the end of the day, I’m grateful (to a degree) for what I’ve gone through. I appreciate life so much more knowing the dark sides of it. Do I wish I hadn’t gone through some of it? Of course. But without the loss and betrayals, without having to face some utterly horrendous shit and battle my demons by myself, I wouldn’t have these rose colored glasses I put on every day. I wouldn’t know myself very well at all, as a matter of fact. I understand more about life because I know all these different aspects of it.
Today, for the first time in months, I was able to make a much needed trip to the cemetery. Due to the weather and COVID, I’ve done very little outside of ‘essential’ stuff, or what would be considered essential to most.
Apparently, trips to the cemetery are essential for me, though. I didn’t realize until I was on my way out there how much so, until I felt tears well up. It was pure relief, knowing that in mere minutes I would find a little bit of peace.
I parked my car, and as always grabbed just my cigarettes and lighter, leaving my phone and keys in the car. I knew they would be undisturbed as I walked the short way to the line of stones. And as I caught sight of my dad’s stone, still there, still unmarked by time, the well broke. Tears flowed freely by the time I collapsed, on my knees at his marker. I felt all of the stress and confusion of the last few weeks lifting from my body as the sobs shook me, as the wetness from the ground seeped through my jeans and chilled my skin. I finally was able to release everything. I can’t tell you how much time passed as I sat there listening to the wind in the trees and letting go of everything that has been holding my mind hostage. I can tell you that eventually the tears subsided and while I felt absolutely drained, I also felt more clear headed than I have in awhile.
I tell you this extremely personal experience to prove a point. The writer of the quote is saying that there is beauty in our broken pieces, and it makes us human and unique. No one person can have had exactly the same experiences, no one person can have felt the same pain. So to look at those broken pieces of another, to hold those pieces in your hands is to know a person that much better, to see all the sides of them and how they fit together to make a whole. To see what makes them beautiful, as the broken pieces of a kaleidescope make a beautiful, complicated image, so do the broken pieces of a person.
I shattered today, by myself at the cemetery, with only the trees and birds to witness me doing so. I hold all of these broken pieces together with hope and determination, but even the most hopeful and determined have their breaking point. And as the tears dried, I collected those pieces back up and put myself back together again. I wiped my eyes and gazed across the field, watching the wind ripple the water from the recent rain in the field. And I knew that I would be better and stronger for releasing everything that had been in my head and my heart. That I would approach tomorrow with a new determination.
Don’t be afraid of your broken pieces, and don’t be afraid to share them with others. It absolutely does make you vulnerable, but it is also a part of you. It’s a part that not everyone may understand, but those that do will most definitely see the beauty in the trust you’ve shown, and in those broken pieces.
Happy Tuesday. Don’t be afraid to share your kaleidescope.