Friday, January 13, 2012

a weird day. a full day.

Yesterday was a weird day.
Too full of emotion and heartbreak and inspiration and strength for one day. No. Not too much. Actually, if I had my way, every day would force so much feeling. So much recognition of what connects us. So many reminders that this is humanity and it is what we have to work with and the best we can do is to seek to stretch the limits that confine us. Push it out. Let ourselves feel it all. Look up from a book at the library and realize you're crying. Not because something sad or catastrophic happened, but because someone finally found the words to say that one thing. Because it feels like it could be you.  
Yesterday was an emotional revolution for me, from start to finish. On a personal level.
I learned a lot. Isn't it bizarre that sometimes you learn so much in one span of wakefulness?
I was honest with myself for the first time in a long time, the kind of honest that feels good even when it's not what you wanted to hear or admit.
A friend told me yesterday that she'll struggle until the day she dies with the idea that life isn't black and white, and that resonated with me. Because wouldn't it be easier? I can't help but think of myself as black and white sometimes, drawn to the poles and extremes. But the gray, the different shades that fill in around everything easy to place, that is perhaps our greatest treasure, the most important gift granted to humankind.
The gray. The interpretation, the individuality, the hard call that went the way you weren't expecting, that is the beauty of us.
Which I think I was trying to say yesterday before I got caught up in confession hour and media criticism.
We may strive for black and white, for understanding and clear lines, but the truth is that we're gray and I'm beginning to realize how thankful I am for that fact.
The other day I posted about a friendship I didn't think I could salvage, so I'd decided to scrap.
For some reason this fits: "Man plans, God laughs." I don't know if there is a God, but I sure hope someone is laughing at all the folly.
It was done, for me. I was going to cut my losses, even though they were big. Then I thought, maybe after one last conversation. Yes, I decided to go for the confrontation. And in thinking and worrying and trying to form any semblance of organization in what I wanted to express, I realized that maybe I was wrong.
Not wrong in how I felt, or wrong to take a step back. Every friendship, every true friendship has tests and moments of tumult. But I realized that once I let people in, gently ease my level of heavy into their hands for a moment so they can gauge it before I take it back within me, sometimes, on rare occasion, they hold my gaze and say "Oh, that's how much? Yes, yes, or course. That's no trouble at all. I can help carry that," and then a certain agreement has been reached. That I'm responsible too, for their heavy. That periods of silence can be comfortable and that sometimes what we're carrying ourselves gets too heavy to allow anything else. Not that we don't want to throw it right on top and carry it too, we just can't.
Friendship, it doesn't mean approving of every decision, or not stepping back. It means making the hard calls, and also accepting that sometimes, for no other reason than that we can and we want to, we change our minds.
I know that I've already done my resolutions, and I'm off to a pretty winning start, although I haven't delved into the bubbly since NYE, but I want to add one more, not for this year, but for forever, for my life. I want to, need to, start dancing in the gray parts. To see the beauty in the fact that nothing, nothing that has to do with the realm of human relationships and the spectrum of our emotional capabilities is black and white. Not just because it's so rare that I feel things absolutely anyway, but because it wouldn't be fair to expect myself to.
We are fluid, not steel, not matter how hard we try to be. But that doesn't mean we're not strong, perhaps it just means we have the advantage of flexibility, and change.  
And that's just part of what I learned yesterday.

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