we are always children caught in adult bodies

i want to make beauty with my life. i want to shape beauty from my life and leave it behind, perhaps as a means to soften the blow of my existence—to erase my sharp edges, the blades that others have cut themselves on whilst loving me. there are things that i have done, the weight of which is quite astounding. quite suffocating.

how there were times where i have made decisions based on what i thought was the right thing at that moment, often with no guide, and no oracle at my side. it does not mean that i would do the same things again. there are many things i would run from now. as i sit here, i can think of so many, but there are also others that i can call to my side by their rare names. names you will not recognise, because you have not had to hold them up to your mouth to taste them with your unwilling mouth.

i did these things in the midst of a hurricane, caught in an avalanche of emotions and circumstance, with nobody there to show me how to eat the risk—how to butter the fall-out and consume it as bread. as sustenance. some of it still matters. there are ripples, and ripples, and ripples that circle out from my greatest failures. most of it has mercifully faded away. there has been grace in portions too great for me to ever finish. it is piled on my plate, and overflows onto the table. even when i have turned my face, when i have tried to refuse the kindness and the love. especially then.

what i mean to say is this: we are always children caught in adult bodies.

we are constantly struggling our way towards something that will fill the hunger and ease the ache. we hurt others. we hurt ourselves. there is beauty everywhere, ready to soften the sharpness we surround ourselves with. ready to knit a soft covering for the edge of the razor blade we call our past. when we make things, and when we create something from nothing, or from very little, we are writing a story. we are giving our own lives a life. we are holding what was once hidden, up to the light as it falls through the kitchen window. on some endlessly grey afternoon someone, perhaps a stranger, will stumble across it unexpectedly. in that feathered moment, their words might not know how to get dressed, or what to wear for this occasion. all their sentences will stay naked and silent, caught in the back of the throat. they will look at it with their five-year old eyes. they will exhale. recognition will break through the cage of their chest, breaking the bars of the prison. stooping low to gather the holy dust from the ground, they will carry it with them for the rest of their days, pulling the memory of it from their coat pocket every now and then—that day that they were seen, when for a singular moment they were not alone.

i want to make beauty with my life. i want to shape beauty from my life and leave it behind, perhaps as a means to soften the blow of my existence—to erase my sharp edges, to leave tender letters in the wild for another struggling body to find. not so much as to be understood, but to allow another to understand their own shape. this might be my two small coins. this might be the heart of it all. this might be enough.

© liezel graham 2022.

{image by Shttefan on Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/k0zFPxuQTok }

a few thoughts condensed from the last few mornings writing practice.

i always glean so much from going back over my morning pages, wandering through the words and the sentences until something makes me catch my breath.


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