When the rare moments arrive, moments when some friendly exchange reveals something that hadn’t been realized before, and fills me with a feeling that decisively contrasts how I felt only moments earlier; such rare moments etch the dividing line between the urge to give up and the will to press forward. Maybe someone says something that makes me realize I’ve had a positive impact on their day, or maybe someone recognizes me for reasons that are grounded in the sheer essence of warmth and friendship; such are the circumstances that keep me warm in the winter of the year, even the winter of my life. Why such moments are rare, I may or may not be able to determine, but if I take a close look, I notice they are quite possibly becoming less rare, and filled with the substance of life that is palpable, filled with truth, and worth seeking.
To be frank, giving up is not really an option because I’m too busy. There is no time for giving up because I’ve got too many things to do. If I lie down to rest, I can let the demons roam because I know my body is too tired to fight them, but when I am rested, the order of the day calls, and the demons cower away. And even if I have a flat tire and I’ve missed the bus, and the outlook is grim with financial hardship, and what’s expected of me is extensive and pressing with a host of deadlines both academic and extra-curricular, and I feel for the most part aggravated by the overall picture of my life path thus far, where there’s nothing really to show for anything I’ve ever done, and I’ve been up long enough to see the squirlies swimming in my eyes, I can still march with my mind and body moving forward because I know that, how others may judge, or what circumstances occur that may pose as obstacles, these are nothing compared to the power of determination in the struggle to survive. What happens when the weak get trampled but they do not die? They sometimes come back with abilities that extend beyond the strengths of the ordinary, where the world may watch, and wonder. Maybe I’ve been forgotten by them, but I’m okay with this, because I know I can never forget; I can’t help the way I feel. In some ways, I feel this was meant to be, because maybe I wouldn’t be who I am now if I had actually been helped back then, so I am feeling this was all meant to be in this way, a sort of preordained way of looking at the matter if you will.
Such is the spirit I encounter, and the spirit I wander amongst, and I carry on until the world tries it’s best to stamp me out; and I move around from under the rubble to appear undaunted, and ready to prove the stroke was not enough to keep me down. I shake off the dust and I shout, “is that all you have?” I don’t try and siphon strength by draining others, but through the myriad haze of my attempts, I do try and gravitate toward like minds, and my mission is on schedule.
But if I find that I only have room to place my shoes on a mat that is not even a bed, inside a room barely larger than a sardine can; and if I learn that all the work I did over the break was useless because the instructor took a sudden leave of absence, and that we’ll be doing Gulliver’s Travels instead of Jane Eyre, the only thing I can truthfully say is:
Actually, I was quite pleased to have read Jane Eyre because the part where she hurriedly vacates after discovering the truth about E.R. provides a vivid, (and for me, excruciating) description of her flight, dredging up painful memories of my own that I should view from time to time; a passage of reading to place my life into its proper and modern perspective. (The section was so vivid I actually felt my stomach reacting on the memory.) Aside from that, having crawled into the mind of Charlotte Brontë gave me an interesting POV when I learned of her pent-up, slightly acerbic review of Jane Austen’s work. I could understand where she was coming from, but I think the layering of the years has provided the maturation for people to understand the genius of Austen’s work, knowing carefully well that Brontë was no slouch at writing herself.
But with all formalities and distractions set aside, the incoming fire keeps me on the frontlines and the war, climbing with seemingly no end in sight, wages with the tide hopefully swaying in my direction, and one day, one way or another, this situation will end up where it needs to be: a full 180° from that cold, nightmarish day in the rain.