Saturday, June 18, 2011
In Memoriam: The Girl with the Pearl Smile
Evidently, she had a winter within her too. She kept to herself, storing thoughts and feelings in inner lockers for not even her closest friends to know. People would reach out but she was private. Her emotions and her thoughts were her own. She would spend time with her friends, hours over coffee, music, movies, jokes, celebrity gossip. She would listen and soak in those of others' but no one get any closer to her. She had intense romantic thoughts, posted messages and pondered over life-openly, yet solitarily. Each one of us has an inaccessible zone, right? An area cordoned off from public viewing. We shouldn't be intrusive. We stuck our heads around the corner, hollered offers of being right there in case she needed us and backed off. And suddenly, when we weren't looking, she just upped and left. Without a clue. Without a warning. Leaving us questioning our own values formed on privacy, friendship. Retracing our steps to before that fateful night. Hadn't we tried? How close was too close? Could we have 'saved' her?
Questions, hypothetical, rhetorical questions ring out. In the company of friends and also when we're alone. Thinking back to times when we've all felt helpless and sad in the bottom of the well. Times when we've wanted to hurt ourselves physically and hurt those around us emotionally, just because we have so much heavy sorrow that we cannot lift out of our hearts. Times when friends have consciously or inadvertently stuck out a hand and pulled us back into the blindingly beautiful life-this form that we're supposed to fill out, living through the boxes, filling in the blanks and maybe drawing in the margins, too.
Maybe we aren't supposed to leave our friends be. Maybe we're meant to grab them, shake them, make them believe that life is worth living for-that no matter what happens, however humiliating, frustrating, depressing, if they just lean on us a bit longer, it'll be okay. The clouds won't part and the fog won't lift immediately, but just wait it out and see. Fight those dark forces who don't deserve a nanosecond of your time and see. There's so much ache out there, but there's so much thrill too.
Our 'Golden Girl' has gone away. When she was here, she taught us about beauty and grace. With her passing, perhaps, we should learn to not hold back. To love and be loved, to hold hands, hold out and hold on.