A new Declaration
There are moments in life that you immediately know will change everything: Forever. The strange thing is that these moments are rarely gigantic things that signal their approach. No, it is usually a tiny little thing, sneaking up on you that you never even noticed, much less considered a possibility. That unnoticeable and unrepaired rip in the carpet at the top of the stairs…a broken collarbone, three cracked ribs, and a ruptured spleen!
Some changes are shocking, while others are pleasant and welcomed. The sudden arrival of in-laws, or the visit of a friend from across the seas. A summer shower popping up during an unpleasantly hot run. Flowers appearing in a long forgotten and neglected corner of the yard. That first kiss and that first love. Music in general.
Then there are those changes that are both shocking, and wonderful. A mixture of delight tinged with danger or worry. A kiss, a touch, a lover’s embrace. Those strange and marvelous, though often treacherous teenage changes. A body growing into something to be desired, attained, or sadly, taken. Sex in general.
Each change is just as important and necessary as the last, although sometimes we cannot see just how at that moment. A growing, strange new body that attracts a lover, then a partner, and leads to a wonderful new life of experiences and pleasures. That same body that draws an unwanted touch, violation, and such unbelievable devastation. The rediscovery of that body with another who affirms that purity still exists and value is deeper than the violator’s invasion. Just like the forest after a fire, tiny blooms of new growth hopefully, resolutely, spring up to reclaim the dark, dusty slopes.
Little things. I now believe what they always told me: Every cloud has a silver lining; you just have to find it. I will warn you, that is quite often not such an easy trick, and even more often, the lining is so very tiny. In fact, sometimes it isn’t silver at all, but silver-plated, pot metal. Take it anyway, tuck it away, and soon you will be surprised to find that you have a full set of gorgeous silverware! Not so bad after all, I believe.
You may consider this missive as clichéd, overly hopeful, and naïve, and perhaps you are correct, but I choose to hope. Why? Because I gave up hope once, not so long ago, and that life was too dark and painful, so I searched for and found a small grain of hope and planted it again. I have not won the lottery – Yet. Nor have I found “true happiness” or “true love” (whatever that is?) – Yet. I haven't stopped losing, hurting, or feeling distraught. What I have done is to make peace with my life so far, and claimed hope as a companion through the coming years.
I own my pain, disasters, sins, and mistakes. I claim victory over my damaged, violated, heart, and body, and refuse to cower in the darkness any longer. When I stand naked before my mirror, I see a warrior, covered in scars to be sure, but resolute, confident, a little sad sometimes, but always ready to put my armor on and face whatever may come my way. Good or Bad, I will make the best of my life. (Though I may still curl up and cry myself to sleep from time to time. I earned that at least, after all.)