When I was young, I had learned about how the earth was just a rock. Cracks gradually gave way to water, little plants grew from streams and bacteria evolved to fish. None of this was visible to my eyes, all I could see was how deprived of sensation and vacant everything was. No longer feeling home in my body or at home in this world. I promised myself that I would try to believe how beautiful the world is. But my mind was conscious of the words my lips were uttering.
And ten years later, as I coddiwomple my way through life, I wanted faith that there was purity somewhere as if I was destined like we all are at some point in our lives. But there are cruel people, so acrimonious and oblivious, living an indifferent life. And I’m no different than others, I’ve hurt people that I love. Toxicity kills the planet and we, the people, through no fault of our own, buy into it. And we see each other’s pain and it doesn’t really get to us.
We try to make up for it by putting up pretentious smiles that aren’t even our own, creating lives that we don’t even live to masquerade the ones we do. And for a little while, we feel redeemed. I think to myself ‘This is what the world holds.’ And gradually but eventually, before I even knew it, life had somehow begun to show me just how wrong I had been all this time.
Its winds had been pleasant all along. I know you’ve had a lot of rough sledding with this pandemic. We all have. I know you didn’t want to hold on to this world you thought you called home. I know you wanted to have hope, faith, desperately anything that would set you free, even if for the briefest of moments. But the thing is, my friend, you see, this world is worth fighting for. YOU are worth fighting for. Things will get better. You don’t need to think that nothing is ever going to work out. Yes, this is the end product of our decisions.
There is no one to blame but humans and human tendency. We are complicated. We make mistakes. It’s not so simple to understand what’s going on inside our hearts and minds. But that does not mean that peace and forgiveness are not within our reach.
I once read about an art called kintsugi in a book called Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. Kintsugi is a Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.
While this is true for crockery, can it not be true for us as humans? Even more so? You know you want to heal from this trauma and are willing to do your best to take care of your mental health.
Just know that it is okay to sometimes end the day with pain and uncomfort.
It is alright if you go to sleep afraid.
Because come tomorrow, there will be another chance toTRY AGAIN. Because like the brief four years of college, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever. What makes It precious is that It ends. I know that now more than ever. And I say it, today of all days to remind us that time is luck.
So don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you. No matter what.
Because even if we fall short, what better way is there to live? Because true darkness is not the absence of light, it is the conviction that the light will never return. If you must learn about something, let it be yourself. If you must value something, let it be love. If you must save something, let it be life. Because when you stop and look around, happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must end. Nor do Thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
Do what you can, try, fall down, get back up and try again.
This life is YOURS and it is about YOU.
By Ansab Al Ansari