I never believed that the act of living happened in black and white. I thought it happened in all the shades of gray, the spaces in between, the cracks and caverns and hidden places. These past few weeks, I have felt life happening in all the colors that live inside the marrow of my heart, seen that the hidden spaces aren’t grey at all. Through blindness, I have learned to see the colors and contours of pain and grief, love and joy, so much more vibrantly than when I was simply looking and unaware of what could bloom from the shades of grey, what lurked inside. It seems cliché to say that through blindness, I have learned to see, but it is true in so many ways. I have not become enlightened. I have not become kinder or smarter or better. I have just stopped looking, and in doing so, life comes into focus so much more clearly than when I took my eyes for granted, or time or space or love. In just this week, I have felt desperation, compassion, depression, anxiety, affection, love, joy, contemplation, appreciation, despair, bitter disappointment and gratitude. I have wanted to die and wanted to try to stay alive one more day. I have wanted to venture beyond what I know and I have longed to stay perfectly still. I have done something new, and fallen back into old patterns that feel familiar and safe. I have lived so many colors in just one week, not because I strived, but simply because I continued to exist.
In my years, I have come to know that you can’t truly see what vibrant looks like if you haven’t allowed yourself to see what thrives in darkness. You can’t appreciate the beauty of darkness if you haven’t tasted the colors that live in the light. There are no shapes in black and white, but when you slip into the grey and then allow the grey to bloom into color, the textures of beauty come to life.
Tomorrow is my anniversary, and this may seem different from my past anniversary posts, but for me, having the courage to see beyond the shades of gray, is connected to all the ways I love Joe. Some say that it is more courageous to be alone, that in being alone we can truly discover who we are, but I have found that it takes much more courage to be with a partner, to lay out your bones and show who you are beneath the layers of your years, to show the beauty and the horror of your scars, to be joy and rage and power, to be broken and mended, over and over again. To trust, to truly trust, is to be truly brave.
I Love you Joe! Thank you for being brave with me!