“They say what does not kill you only makes you stronger. I can say that some of the things that have not killed me have only made me strong in all the wrong ways. “ ~ Michael Xavier
These holiday things are lovely and all that, except when you’re over-tired and have no energy or patience.
And then, the many thoughts come.
Like missing those not here, be they in this or another world.
Like entirely idealized memories of holidays past.
Like wishing for this, that and the other…knowing there is no point.
And so on.
This time, it was also Michael Xavier’s quote haunting me. For days now. Because it’s so true.
Sometimes, we win yet end up with all the wrong trophies. Sometimes, in our resilience and victory, we fade.
Our grip is solid and permanent. Our heart a thing nothing like the heart…a thing of polished stone…unbreakable, untouchable.
Our soul detached into an otherness. Detached and distant.
Our dreams only relics on display, petrified by grim acceptance. Sober. Restrained.
Our wisdom has increased, yet it has altered us by erasing our softness. Everything is disciplined to endure insufficiency and find a level of contentment in words like ‘tolerable’ and ‘adequate’.
And then, on some days, what we have lost suddenly awakens in our blood and terrifies us. We realize who we are not, and we scream.
But it’s not enough to break the spell.
Yesterday, tragic news of a death shocked and saddened me deeply. Today, it was seeing someone’s grandfather at my door, a man who lost his wife to a sudden heart attack last year, a man who is so fragile and yet has to work long hours still every day so as to survive.
Beyond sharing a meal and dessert, I can do nothing to help.
And so it’s not enough anymore. That sense of “everything wonderful is possible” drowns in the reality of life and struggle.
And even gratitude feels selfish somehow. I have so much, others have so little. So I give or share what I can…but I close. And I no longer believe.
So yes, sometimes we are made strong in all the wrong ways.