“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton, The Leaning Tree: Poems
“Fortune sides with him who dares.” ~ Virgil
We move to the rhythm of life, twirling in and out of the situations we face in our lives. We dance to whatever song our own personal jukebox plays. At times our movements are colorful and full of spice, like a rumba, and other times, we glide slowly and gracefully to the sweet slow song of love.
There are some dances that require patience and practice. Or a leap of faith.
The most beautiful dances we see are the ones where much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the production of the dance. There is always risk of heartbreak and disappointment. But to risk nothing would mean we would forever be doing simple turns and pliés. How do we know that we cannot do a pirouette if we never try?
Let us dance together in this life. Let us take all the risks and be there for each other through all the songs of life. If we fall, we have each other to pull ourselves back up. And we will continue to dance and dance. Together, we may even learn how to fly.
“Except I think it feels more like an empty stomach than a broken heart. An aching hollowness that food can’t cure. You know. You’ve felt it yourself, I bet. You hurt all the time, you’re restless, you can’t think straight, you sort of wish you were dead but what you really want is for everything to be the same as it was when you were still with him.” ~ Richard Laymon, Night in the Lonesome October
I had one of those dreams the other night, those dreams of feeling inadequate. I was at my martial arts school. The students there all knew of my past achievements. My trophies still were displayed proudly in the cases in front of the school. I had promised them all a demonstration. But when I stepped out in the middle of the school to perform, I suddenly could not remember anything, not even the most simple maneuver. I left the school in shame, and I could hear the whispers of the students, “She is nothing but a has-been.”
I was in the train yesterday on the way to work. It was the second day that the train had stopped in the tunnels underneath. The day before we were held in the train for over forty-five minutes in the underground tunnels. The train had gone into a state of emergency when it felt as though it had run over something, perhaps a body. They stopped our train to investigate and to make sure there were no “obstructions” in the rails. Yesterday, we were held again, but not nearly as long. Still, it was nerve-wracking. There was an older Latino couple standing near me. The woman was obviously in a state of panic. She held on tightly to the pole. The man stood next to her, comforting her, and he put his hand over her hand on the pole, caressing and protecting her at the same time. He whispered to her, “Esta bien, mi amor. Todo va a estar bien.” She leaned herself into him and I could see her tension subside. The sweet and genuine exchange of love and care between this beautiful couple made me want to cry. I felt the sting of hot tears in my eyes as I realized that I want that in my life. To grow old with someone. To love and to be loved. To know that everything in the world will be alright as long as we are together.
It has been a dark week for me, with the feeling of the loss of my sister hitting me in thunderous waves. As if I could not go any lower, I reached an even deeper low when I allowed someone to make me feel as if I am the most selfish, most untrustworthy and most undeserving person in this world.
I am not perfect, but I always do try to do the right thing.
“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.”
“Did you ever wonder? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.” ~ The Five People You Meet in Heaven
My sister would have been 33 this past Sunday.
Although it has been over ten years since she passed away, I still miss her so much. Her presence is always missed during the holidays, but it is in the everyday moments and occurrences when I find that I miss her the most.
I miss her sweet smile and her contagious laughter. I miss the animated way she would tell us about her day. I miss those early mornings when she would sneak into my room and crawl into bed next to me after a night of sneaking out and she would tell me about her adventures. I miss how she was the worst at making cookies, but how she would try anyway. I miss how she would laugh at how bad her cookies were. I miss how she and I would just break out into a dance in our bedroom whenever we both heard a song that we liked. I miss how she and I would go out to 7-11 in the middle of the night just to get a cup of hot chocolate and a pack of gum and a magazine.
I miss so many things about her. I hate that she was supposed to have become 33 this past Sunday, but that she died when she was 22. I hate that she never had the chance to get married or have a child. I hate that she wanted so badly to live, but that she did not. I hate that she is not around to live the life that she wanted. I hate that she never got the chance.
Happy Birthday, Alanna. I hope you got a big, fancy cake and lots of presents up there in Heaven, and that whatever wish you have came true.