I hope the wind has not forgotten me. I hope I have not been blown unto some neglected corner of the universe where I will be stuck until decay turns me into dust.
Left to my own thoughts, my mind turns against itself. I am a man who has nothing but his mind- no place to call his own, no riches or possessions worthy of admiration. I find myself suffocating under a blanket of debt. Debt for an education that has brought me no more security or advantage. Debt for a business which aimed to do good in the world, but for which the world had no place for. The darkness has shut out that creative optimism which, despite my blindness, once propelled me forward. I fear that I must sell my soul if I am to survive this world, and the cost seems too much to bare.
I envision the life I would make for myself, but struggle to identify the path that would lead me there. It is no luxurious vision, to be clear, but as daunting as it feels to make reality of it, it might as well be. I think, perhaps, the trail must be forged rather than found and days like these make me wonder if I have the strength.
I strive to put positive, encouraging thoughts out into the world. I want to challenge the overwhelming negativity and cynicism we are exposed to each day and talk about things like wonder and beauty and gratitude, but my intention is not to paint a false reality- it is to envision what the world could be if only we could shift our perspective. Though they may sometimes seem overly positive, the messages I share are coming from a place of authenticity.
My ability to see beauty in the world around me and to find lessons of hope and belonging in it has not come easily, however. There have been times in my past when life lost all beauty and when the only thing retaining any sweetness in the world capable of soothing my broken soul was imagining my body’s last breath.
I still have my dark days. I have my doubts and my frustrations. I can be cynical and snarky. Learning how to hold space for hope and possibility in those deepest days of despair, however, was like fighting a war to win back my life. It did not come cheap, and the scars from those battle wounds run deep. I’m not eager to revisit that place. I know from winning that war that I am happiest when I lose myself in wonder, create, and tap into all the world offers, and so that is what I strive to do.
Sharing some of that darkness here is important, I think, because I do not wish to paint a false picture. It has also been an exercise in finding beauty even in describing the difficult parts of my life. We cannot pretend the dark parts away. We cannot run from them. And so, I think it is best to acknowledge and hold space for them. It is only then that we can begin to find the beauty.
If cultivating the ability to do this means I am lost, then maybe its best not to be found. Maybe it is better to be lost in awe in a world painted grey than to be certain of my place in a technicolor world void of wonder.
*originally written in early January