I am the canvas and you are the paint that leaves your gorgeous mark but goes on to do it again somewhere else. I am the messily pasted together book full of wrinkled memories you’ve moved on from. I am the mixed cd with scratches that rests on the passenger floor of your car. I am the statue that beams your greatness to the world, a marble mouth that has no original words to say. I am the song you’ll always know the words to, but you rarely sing these days. I am a hoarder of days past, a heart piled with have-beens so high you can’t walk a straight line. I am the vault that holds the things no one else would care to save at the end of the world.
I can’t help but dwell on the tragedy that occurred on the same night that I had claimed for myself as the “best. night. ever.” – not realizing the horror that was unfolding states away, in a Colorado theater packed with fellow lovers of Batman.
Going to see a movie – and one of the best films I’ve seen, I dare say – should be a safe and fun experience. Now the date that Batfans everywhere should have been able to associate with a simple sort of bittersweet joy at the ending of a grand trilogy is now marred by senseless violence and a surge of empathy for those who lost their lives because of one twisted man’s idea of a great scheme. What the hell was he thinking? What could he possibly gain from this act of pointless violence? How dare he rob twelve people of their lives, and wound fifty-nine others? How dare he steal people’s loved ones, break families apart, and cut off futures? Seventy-one people shot. And all they were doing was seeing a midnight showing. It’s unbelievable and horrifying.
I can’t begin to understand any of this, and I wasn’t even there. I can’t imagine how the people who made it out of that theater are feeling today. I’m praying for every single one of them, and my heart is still breaking over it all.
And on a lesser note, how dare this sick gunman take away one of the simplest pleasures of fandom – dressing up as the character you love? AMC Theatres have banned costumes now. I understand why, especially the fake weapons bit, and I don’t condemn them. But how is that fair to people with no malicious intent, who just want to be a proud nerd wearing the cape and cowl?
How dare this man try and ruin one of the greatest pastimes, something as beautiful and simple and enjoyable as going to a movie theater?
I can tell you that I will be going back. I’ll see The Dark Knight Rises again, despite the dark cloud hanging over the day of its release. I’ll still buy tickets to midnight showings of future films I’m excited about. I’ll still take my sister with me to the theater, and I won’t fear for my life or hers, because nobody should have to. I still love film, and no psychopath is going to take that away from me.
But did he take it away from those people in Aurora? Will they ever be able to sit in a dark theater again without that lingering fear in the back of their minds? It isn’t fair to them. It was completely evil, and senseless.
While I’m praying for healing for the victims, I’m praying for justice to be done.
And that this never happens again.
If you’re reading this,
I love you.
It doesn’t matter what that word means in context, coming from me, to you.
Even if I don’t know you all that well.
(In fact, if you’re reading this, I’d like to get to know you better.
…in a non-creepy way, of course. ha.)
I just love you. You matter to me.
I want you to understand that you are loved.
By me, yes.
But also by our Father in Heaven,
who created Love and understands its depths far more than I can comprehend.
It’s more than I’ll ever understand,
but I’ll give you what I’ve got.
I’m done with hiding inside of myself.
I’m done with keeping all of the love I’ve been given locked up tight.
These days, I am a mess, but I’m on the brink of something huge.
I’m having trouble making my emotions known, and sorting my thoughts.
Something I’ve always wanted is to earn my wrinkles.
I want them to be a badge of honor.
No preventative creams or plastic surgery for me.
More like, ‘fuck you, impossible standards of beauty.
I’m not ashamed of these lines in my skin. I’ve lived my life.’
I want to live.
I want to feel everything I can possibly feel.
I want the sun, the sky, the ground – the soil.
I want love and joy, life and death, chaos and peace, insanity and despair.
But mostly, love.
I want to be a new kind of selfish, a new brand of young and stupid: I want to love without abandon, without fear of disappointment or rejection. I want things to bounce off of me – I don’t want to be crushed so easily. I want to forgive and forget, and see people for what I love inside of them. I want to make mistakes, and not lose my mind because I screw up. I want to have experiences – tons of them. Life experience.
I’m a dandelion seed. Did you know that? Fragile, but so resilient. I can grow anywhere. I’m the one still clinging to the root, long after grubby hands have plucked my fleshy green from life-giving soil and have tried their damnedest to blow the seeds all around.
I want to be real.
I want everything.
I want to sing, and for people to hear my voice – the one You gave me to use, not hide.
I want to write, and let others read my words – the ones You made me to be good with, to know how to assemble and create beauty.
I’m done apologizing.
I’m not sorry I exist.
I’m not sorry for failing by not trying.
I’m not sorry for my weakness, my frailty.
I’m not sorry for being so human.
I’m not sorry for being beyond broken, to the point that I’ve been shattered.
Father, I want my pieces back.
I demand them back!
Show me where I have to go to collect them.
And the ones that were lost to me forever (believe me, I know there are at least a few) – replace them.
I demand wholeness.
I demand life.
I’ve done empty, I’ve done scared.
I’ve done it for five years.
I’m not going to apologize.
I’ve wasted time.
I’ve grown some even from that.
I’ve fucked up.
I’ve been lazy and afraid.
I’m young. It’s what we do.
I want to be young.
I’m tired of feeling ancient, and feeble.
I am sick of fearing my potential.
It’s this beautiful, bright, daunting, untouchable thing.
I’m terrified of it.
I don’t know if you know this about me, but,
I have immense potential.
And I’m so scared to touch it.
I used to look in that box and be warmed to my feet.
Grounded in what You had for me,
my heart pounding with life for the future in store.
I used to believe in me, in You, in us.
I want need it back.
I have to believe.
I have to touch it.
I have to open that beautiful, scary box,
the one that’s haunted me for so long.
Otherwise, I will never be concrete.
I will never be tangible.