As I’m writing this, the sun is streaming through my window. And after a long week of late nights writing papers, there’s nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon than what I’m doing now: sitting in bed, reading poetry, and writing the same.
It’s been a long, brutally cold winter here in Upstate New York, and I’ve missed the sun and the warmth. But, I’ve mostly missed the sun. The bitter cold and the walk across campus with the blowing snow would almost be bearable if the sun shone down.
Hold on. I think I need to start this poem again.
I saw the sun today. It looked like a cross. I was reminded of the Son and where I wouldn’t be right now if it wasn’t for him. The sun illuminates the earth, and the Son (capital S-O-N) illuminates peoples’ lives. And it is good.
It’s winter right now, but days like today remind me spring is on its way. Spring reminds me of fresh life and beauty. Summer reminds me of all the dreams I have. Fall reminds me that everything beautiful has an end. But ends bring new beginnings. Winter reminds me I’m still alive even on my worst days. Because some days it’s so cold, my lungs feel like they’re on fire, but in those moments, I remember I’m still breathing.
Speaking of breathing, I have asthma, and sometimes my lungs forget how to work, especially when I laugh. After 19 years of laughing, you’d think I wouldn’t have to practice. But I do, I practice everyday. Because life is ridiculous, and sometimes I have good comebacks and snarky responses, but often they arrive 5 minutes too late. but if you ask me for a pun, I’ll be so sharp, I’ll be banned from airplanes, which is a shame. 37,000 feet in the air is beautiful.
It’s my last winter as a teenager, and I’m trying to decide if that matters or not. I work as a Receptionist on Monday mornings, but I’m not very good at small talk. I do the “how do you do’s?” and I do care whether the weather is to your liking or not, but I feel much like the spelling of awkward, which is in fact, awkward.
I’m bad at making small talk, but I’m not bad at conversation. I could talk about the complexities of life, the importance of faith, what happens after death, or any other topic that’s as deep as the ocean, for hours on end. Those are the conversations I live for, that get my blood pumping, that remind me how much passion there can be.
Soon I’ll no longer be 19. Soon I’ll be 20. I saw a poster once about “20 things you should do before you’re 20.” I haven’t done many of them. I’ve made my own list.
I miss having a child’s sense of innocence. I asked a child coming into daycare once, “What’s your favorite color?” He responded confidently, “10.” And I’ve wondered to myself since then why my favorite color can’t be 10.
Society can tell me 10’s not a color. But I can see something in 10 different ways. And besides, if you’re a graphic designer, you know colors can have a blue value of 10, red value of 8, and green value of 4. So, the kid was right in saying 10 is his favorite color.
The best metaphor that ever exited my mouth was, “I’ve been down that road, and it ended in a cul-de-sac of regret.” The best phrase I’ve ever heard was, “Blood is thicker than water, but maple syrup is thicker than blood.” Because I don’t like pancakes that much, but one day, I’ll meet a guy who will make me want to eat pancakes with him.
If you can string words together to make a phrase that makes me stop dead in my tracks, I applaud you. Because everyday I tell people, “that’s the best phrase I’ve ever heard.” And every time it’s true. Because I speak in book quotes and song lyrics and metaphors, because language is beautiful.
I’ve been told that my writing is beautiful, but I don’t understand how my pain can be beautiful. There’s nothing beautiful about the way I feel, which is why I’m always confused.
Do you want to know what is beautiful? The sun.
I’ve missed the sun.
It’s starting to set now, which means it’s taken me two hours to think of the words to this poem. But it’s going to take you a lot less time to forget it. I guess that means Marx was wrong. He said that the value of something is equal to the amount of time a person spent working on it.
It took me two hours to put this poem on paper, but I’ve spent 19 years writing it.
Because life is a poem, composed of metaphors, and I’ve spent 19 years interpreting its meaning, analyzing the symbols of my scars and my pain, and contemplating what on earth the poet is trying to tell me.
It’s been a long winter. But days like this, where the sun is shining and it feels like spring, I am reminded that life is beautiful.