…And Being (More) Broken

“I don’t remember stealing

But I do it all the time

I took your heart and kept it

And put it next to mine

 

I am no good for anybody

I am a cautionary tale

I am an accidental thief

Won’t be locked up in a jail

 

I didn’t mean to hurt you

Or waste all of our time

I am an accidental thief

These are accidental crimes”

 

Matt the Electrician

 

*****

 

This is being an adult.  This is human experience.

I woke up yesterday and my comforter felt too heavy, like it was pinning me to the bed.  It was an effort to push it off, to start my day fresh.  And so I dragged myself through the morning with that heaviness bearing down on me like a weighted cloak.  Like chainmail.  Like chains.

No matter how we might try, we always carry the feelings and expectations of others.  We perpetually hold ourselves to standards that we can’t maintain; consistently raising and reaching for the idiomatic bar.  But it’s so far, so high.  Too lofty to grasp, unless we become less human.  Unless we remove ourselves entirely, push people away, hide in our safe and dark places like small animals, where it’s quiet and calm and otherwise empty.

And the same can be said of our own feelings and expectations.

We ask much of others, too, hoping that they’ll reach for their own ethical bars in the interest of care and consideration.  Our hearts are exposed all the time, whether we choose for them to be or not.  Some of us crack open our ribs and tear it out, presenting it like a bleeding, throbbing gift.  And others curl in around it protectively, only to find that it’s just as vulnerable that way.  Perhaps moreso. 

And in the end, it doesn’t matter.

This is human experience.  To break, to be broken, to dis- and reassemble over and over again, with cracks and splinters and scars.  These are acts of living.


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