Thursday, January 10, 2013

Epiphany of the Kicker

There's something beautiful about sadness. It's something we all recognize when that earthquake quality rolls through our core, raining invisible chaos on our invisible emotive organs. It's why people love tragic stories and tragic heroes, and it's why tragic events bring communities of humans closer together. We all sense that rumbling emotion and catch it reverberating through each other's souls, swimming like a translucent Man o' War behind colorful eyes. We see it.

It is this quality of sadness that convinces me it is the reason we allow ourselves to be loved fruitlessly. By that, I mean the almost unrequited loves, the ones in which we submit ourselves to foolhardy behavior, relentless hope, and harmful self-perspectives because we are in love with a person who treats us horrendously. We kiss the foot that kicks us while they bite the hands that devotedly feed them. Sometimes these people know what they are doing to us; sometimes they do not. Either way, it is a rampant human tendency to chase the Kicking Foot as far as it will run, and sometimes we continue to skitter circles around it if it stops moving. We devote ourselves to those who, at least in behavior, hate us. I believe this is because humans are enamored with sadness.

Watching the eyes of a girl whose heart has just been wounded, I see so many things that I have felt. I see her tears that pool just enough to make her eyes gloss, but she dares not spill one. I see the contrast between her now-shining deep blue irises and the gloom of her blackened but beautifully long eyelashes. I see the hope attempting in vain not to die, all the while knowing it will soon be put out, existing as a mere reflective speck of light in her eyes. I feel her exposure leaking into the room, pressing on my ribcage until both our chests become gaping cavities of emotion. I see all this and I feel all this and I think it is beautiful.

Beauty such as this inspires me to be poetic. It inspires me to write. It inspires me to stay up much later than I wanted to because I have found the urge to express the epiphany I have had by watching the sadness dance in her eyes. I understand, finally, why humans are so attached to the pain that kills us: it brings out a deeper gorgeousness that we never know otherwise. This gorgeousness is not just superficial; it is the gorgeousness of the vitality of pain, the depth of experience, and the existence of the soul. It is the proof that reality does not only exist in our minds and that we did not just invent God to make ourselves feel better. It is the representative of the morality that we sometimes pretend we do not have. To paraphrase an author I can't remember from a book I didn't really think was that good, we long for an Eden we have never known. Part of us senses a perfection that exists elsewhere, and when it is not fulfilled, our disappointed souls flicker through like veils blowing just out of place in the breeze. This pain, this profound and incomparable longing betrays our spirituality, and we recognize the beauty of the soul in both ourselves and one another. This is why we allow ourselves to be treated terribly. This is why we love to be comforting confidante when a dear one's life wounds them. We long for pain because we long to finally see glimpses of the deep soul within us all.

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18