versions of the truth

The Art of Falling Apart

With shocking regularity I find that being an adult often means breaking down completely as though I will never be able to hold any more information or feeling within myself. I know I was a tough kid because I didn’t cry often. I learned not to because my father wanted a son but I was a girl and he had no idea on how to raise a daughter. This had its pitfalls and advantages, all of which are relevant but none of which are especially important right here and now. I’d like to go into the whole–“I didn’t have the worst childhood” roundabout but we’ll be trapped in that circle if we venture in. What is relevant and important is that I have a lifetime of personal scars that are not especially special but do happen to have a personal effect on me even if they don’t generate an empathetic response in the retelling (which, as I say, isn’t especially important right here even as it has relevance). These scars ache at odd times and make themselves felt in ways I had not imagined would be possible when they were made. This fact contributes a certain shock into my life as I discover that growing older can translate to wisdom because once that patina of youth is scratched away the layers below become exposed in unexpected ways.

My mind and my life mimic Kintsugi, the cracks become more visible to me and as I become more aware of my scars I find it difficult to want to conceal them as I often have. I suppose that’s the reason I want to blog here even as it feels daunting. If I use gold to repair my shattered pieces it will be possible to see all the flaws. To witness imperfections I worked so hard to attempt to repair and conceal. But, I have begun to appreciate the depth of my sorrow when I fall apart. How do I fall apart? It’s not important but I suppose it is relevant. I fall apart because I see the world moving too fast, there are a million things I would need to do exactly right in order to catch up and perfect my flaws. My values feel disconnected from what is valued, my voice feels drowned out because I don’t want to scream and I wonder if I will be able to finish editing my stories without sacrificing relationships that are equally important to me. Everyone has these swirling anxieties in different shades and at different depths so it often feels like I should be as capable of keeping from crying as I was as a child.

But, I guess that’s the thing. You can’t really stuff down sorrow. It has a molten quality that remains hot in your veins and in your throat. Stuffing it down denies that sorrow has the quality of gold. It can remake your surface to create an artful life more vibrant with it’s presence than in it’s absence.


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