This space belonged to me, even though I had forgotten for a long while now…..I come back to feel lines and wrinkles on my face that I had forgotten to trace, to feel the extra bit of flesh around my waist that softly protrudes and jiggles while I move about, to see the many extra grey in my hair….I have come back to re-inhabit this space that is me.
Maybe that is a good thing, knowing these last few years blew the wind out of me, but I still took painful breathes that got me here. I got here telling lies to cajole myself out of that drab and dank place inside my head, I told tales of bravery and courage so that I could feel it as well, I spoke of fidelity and friendship I could have if I came out of that little room where no light passed through.
In my absence, I saw the one who inhabited this space belonged to someone I hardly recognize now. Very robotic, forgotten and forsaken. Full of fog and empty breathes, she waded her way in deep current that pulled her in every direction, but home. Even on a good day, she managed to sink further and away from that light that could be her salvation….in that ever-growing malaise of a world, she grew blind with desperation, wondering if the light will ever return.
In that space, that one flame was everything. I remember how the flame would get weaker and weaker, and I would watch unable to muster a breathe to burn it a little longer. In that space, as I lay, unable to move or muster the courage to ask - while watching that light slowly fade dimmer with excruciating numbness - I would have those bursts of wind that blew unexpectedly and the flame would burn stronger and brighter. In those moments of brightness, the stifling feeling of no air and no hope lifted to allow me to find in me some appreciation of this life. These bursts of objective awareness faded after a short while, but the memory of me thinking outside of myself remained. It grew stronger over the many flickers of light that it lit up the abyss.
The bursts, if I could liken them to anything in this world, were like fireflies…...magical yet real, they gravitated towards the flame and fueled it with their wings to burn brighter and stronger…. It was then that I realized that fireflies are fairies of this world. Fairies from a world that isn’t dark but understood darkness, isn’t sad but understood sadness, isn’t lonely but understood loneliness…fireflies that understood chaos, but used that chaos in their magical dance and enthralled you to see the music. Fireflies lighting up the meadows after dark to show that the darkness, though all-encompassing, can be pierced and torn away with light…that’s how it felt.
To those who came when the darkness was at its blackest, those who flapped their wings even as the flame grew weaker, to those who became momentarily blind with me while crouching in the dark world, those who cut through that fog to get to me, those who suffocated so that I could breathe a little deeper and stronger….my fireflies, I now join you in your dance.