This is a blog about finding peace in the notion that there is no cure for you. This is not a new concept to me, but I have never been able to find the words for it. Finding peace is different to giving up, and I hope you too can appreciate the difference.
All lyrics are from ‘Maybe’ by Ingrid Michaelson, which you can listen to here. I think it sets the tone for the blog, and is very happy 🙂
I don’t wanna be the one to say goodbye
But I will, I will, I will
I don’t wanna sit on the pavement while you fly
But I will, I will, oh yes I will
It was seven calendars ago, and if you had blinked you would have missed it. It was as tragic as it was unbelievable, and no one had the answers. All they knew that one day a blonde, blue eyed girl fell to earth and landed on the pavement. She started to take in the surroundings of the world she had been thrown upon, blonde hair knotted and eyes wide. She dusted off her wings. She kissed better her grazed and bloodied knees. The girl began to watch the world go by.
People would point, they would whisper. They would weep and they would pray. It made the family Christmas letter, although of course most people would never understand, nor believe it. 13 year olds don’t fall out of the sky, and they certainly don’t stay sitting on the pavement.
They get better. The pick themselves up, and they move on. It’s the done thing, after all.
And how’s Jess going? Is she better yet?
It’s funny how people demand a miracle without making an effort to contribute to it. They are full with expectations, and bereft of empathy.
84 moons ago the young girl should have stood up. She should have moved on, and she should have returned to the place that she threw herself from. These things are a choice, after all. So when they see her still sitting quietly, legs folded on the asphalt, they spit tuts, scream prayers and remind her to never give up. Always, always, never give up.
And she can’t help but wonder if anyone has ever noticed.
If they ever noticed the daisy growing from between the cracks.
I don’t wanna be the first to let it go
But I know, I know, I know
If you have the last hands that I want to hold
Then I know I’ve got to let them go
Is this the life I planned for myself?
Of course not. My Aunty has a belief that during your first months of life, you dream of the life you are going to lead. I suggested that maybe I would have slept forever, and stayed in the land of distance. I was a little girl, who became a young girl, who became an older girl who finished as a teenage girl. You cannot imagine the possibilities I dreamed for myself, nor how vivid the colors were. I would smell of ivory and taste of moonlight pecks. I would consume nothing but knowledge, and feast my eyes only upon every inch of land that the world would hand me expectantly.
I was the queen of everything, and how sweetly it tasted.
But one day the girl died.
She never had her moonlight kisses, nor her concertos. Her walls were white and she consumed compacted powders which slid past her bloodied lips. There were no parties, no boyfriends, no modelling career, no med school.
I kissed her hand, and I whispered her goodbyes. I thanked her for her pretty blue eyes and apologised for their sadness.
And then I let her go.
I still feel you on the right side of the bed
And I still feel you in the blankets pulled over my head
But I’m gonna wash away, oh I’m gonna wash away
Everything till you come home to me
She is my ghost, and if it weren’t for our differences I would think her mine. We are too dissimilar, genetically imperfect. We were never meant to be, although she argues differently.
It’s all a mistake, poor fate, you need to search harder for our cure.
I listen to her as she weeps, and hold her in my arms as I stroke her cheeks. She is quieter these days, her skin is fading and some days I am almost frightened that she has left me But she will never let me forget, not quite.
Some nights I find her at the foot of my hospital bed, as needles fuck veins. She nods knowingly. See? This isn’t right.
At University, as I register for part time studies with tears caught in my throat. Do you get it yet?
Laying on the rug as I rock back and forth, trying to catch my breath between the waves of violent illness. Why can’t you see Jess? Why can’t you see?
My darling, I can see. I have been able to see all along. The vomit, the electrodes across my naked chest, the friends who remain but a memory. I see it all.
My darling, can you see?
Can you see the chalk rainbows on the pavement?
Remission. Cure. Miracle. For so many years we have been screaming out in the forest, looking beneath the couch cushions and checking the golden retrievers mouth alongside the lost socks. Perhaps if we looked harder, tried one more treatment, just kept searching, we would find it. There it would lay in a cardboard box, ribbon tied atop. And we would laugh and cry, send our thanks and I would resume where I had left off, as though it had all been a terrible dream. And we would know how lucky we were.
I have a secret.
I don’t need a cure. And I don’t need remission.I don’t need a miracle, and I don’t need your prayers.
Because I am okay with being on the pavement.
I am tired, doggedly so. I ache in places so dark I fear to acknowledge just how much they make me weep. Not a day passes by that I do not scream in pain, collapse, faint, vomit, haemorraghe, gasp for breath or choke on infection.
If I am to make it out of this world alive, I need your cures as much as I do breath. My body can fight for so long. The tablets can work for so long. And then my body will fail. And the medications will fail. I will grow weak, I will grow tired.
And then one day, as easily as I entered this world, I will leave it.
And that is okay too.
Maybe one day there will be remission, cure and miracles sent to me with messages within a bottle. Maybe one day my life will be saved, and maybe one day I will pick up where I left off, all those summers ago.
There is only one way to ever find out.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t expect you to understand. All I ask is that you respect my own mortality. And in the mean time, you try to understand how pretty my life is here on the pavement. Lay with me beneath the night stars, and feel not the concrete beneath your spine. Instead, tell me your passions, your fears and of the day that you began to fly. And don’t forget to kiss me goodnight.
Collect your brightest bottles of paints, and let us spray our dreams until even the dirt sings of butterflies. Care not for the mess, and instead fall madly in love with the splatters across our beaming cheeks.
When the heavens empty their tear ducts, do not feel sorry for me as I am left caught in the rain. Instead grab my dance, and slow dance with me while the world runs away beneath their umbrellas.
And when the world is living their lives around me, see me curled up with the buskers, the elderly woman whom I befriended on the hospital bench, the golden retrievers making the most of open gates, the lady carrying a harp through the streets and the boy with no name singing over a game of pool.
Maybe one day a cure shall reach me, or maybe it will not.
But either way it doesn’t matter anymore.
I found my peace in the pavement.