I am in love with the sky, in all of its glory.
I am friends with the sun; I am having an affair with the moon, and the stars tug at my cells, trying to draw me up in the sky to dance their ephemeral waltz.
Sometimes it feels like I have to secure myself to something tangible, something here, so that I don’t just fly away into that vast void. I’ll be sitting outside in between Sadler and the main BC building, on one of those awful concrete benches, eyes closed, listening to the water sounds, and I’ll find myself scraping my fingertips against the rough face of the stone until they’re raw. If I don’t, I start to lose my weight; I begin to feel unanchored, like I’m drifting.
Part of me wonders if anyone else feels like this; most of me doesn’t care.
I remember another time I felt like I was about to lose my anchor on reality; it was night, nearly midnight, and I was driving home from the college. The stars were burning bright pinpoints of light into the sky, and I was so busy staring at them that I nearly drove off the bridge. I wasn’t scared, not in the moment – in the moment, I just remember feeling weightless. There were no thoughts or emotions within me at all; in that moment, I barely existed.
I feel light; I feel hollow, sometimes, and it’s so much preferable to the way I felt at the beginning of this year.
You see, at the beginning of the year, I felt weighted down. I was carrying so much; I was carrying brokenness and bitterness and sorrow. I’d lost so much, and losing made me feel heavier.
It’s funny, in retrospect, how the absence of something in my life made me feel heavier, rather than free.
Know what else is funny?
The way the moon looks when it’s dissolved into a crescent. It’s there in its entirety; we know for a fact that, even though we can’t see the whole thing, the moon has not lost any mass.
I think that’s interesting, because we can compare ourselves to the moon in that way. We’re all made of stardust anyways, so we’re already tied to the cosmos, but sometimes ties of a more symbolic nature have more emphasis than ties of a literal nature.
We all have a side we don’t let everybody see; we all have parts of ourselves that we like to hide away sometimes. And I’m sure the moon gets tired, you know? Shining at full strength has to be exhausting, and everyone deserves a break.
I feel like I’m constantly running, chasing the sun as it rises and sets, only to rise again once the night has passed.
I need to be like the moon; I need to hide away for a little while, but I only know how to shine bright and hot and hard like the sun at high noon. I only know how to smile so wide they can’t see past the joy to notice the red-rimmed eyes and flushed cheeks from crying in my car, hurtling down the highway as I race the low-hanging clouds.
I get reckless under the wide-open Texas sky, when the air is cool and the sun is transmitting warmth into my bones.
Close your eyes. Imagine it. Imagine the grass beneath your feet, the birds singing, the trees whispering secrets to one another as the wind whistles through the branches that drop leaves to the ground with every motion, no matter how slight.
Fall is my favorite season, which surprises people any time it comes up in conversation. They think I’m a spring kind of girl, and I used to be. But life happens and you change your mind about things, like the sky as it changes colors in the morning. It’s so beautiful, the way it begins such a deep, royal blue, and then goes through silvers and pinks and reds and yellows and oranges and golds – and everyday it is in a different order; no sunrise is ever the same.
Back it up; rewind the day. Send the sun back below the horizon, and put yourself to bed. The covers are up to your chin; the window is letting in the gentle blue-tinged light that casts itself in before the sun shows his face. Everything is hazy, misted with shades of gray and blue.
However, it is before that hour that secrets are told. A switch goes off past midnight, and inhibitions are removed entirely.
Have you noticed that? People are much more willing to pour out their innermost thoughts when the sun has gone and the moon keeps guard over our side of the world.
Most people romanticize her, but I think she whispers our secrets to the stars. I think she can’t keep them to herself, and she gives them away whenever she is asked. I know people like that; people you can’t trust. It hurts, you know – giving someone a gift so precious, so sacred, only to have it passed around to whomever may be near enough to find pleasure in it as well.
I know a girl like that; she knew things about me that I didn’t want anyone else knowing. I trusted her, and she went – like the moon – to tell her stars, and that was when I stopped telling anyone anything of any importance.
I feel like that’s how it is with a lover; you can fuck them, but you can’t trust them. The commitment isn’t there, and you never know when they’ll choose to leave.
The moon may be my lover, but the sun is my friend. The moon asks for your secrets, but the sun is constantly giving, it is constantly pouring out warmth and strength, if you only pause long enough to accept the gift that nature so easily and freely offers.
I know a few moons, and I know so many stars. I know enough people to create constellations made of blood and breath, rather than fire and smoke.
For a long time, I thought the world was full of stars. I thought the world was full of hurting people who lived their lives inflicting their hurts on others, who lived selfishly and bitterly, refusing to give off anything but a far-away cold light.
Then I met a few of the rare and precious suns.
It is strange how you may know the sun is shining in the sky, but one day you look up and realize just how heavily you depend on it, how desperately you need the warmth and strength that it instills in you.
It is strange to orbit so closely, to be so entwined, with a group of people, when ten months ago you barely knew any of them, at least not the way you do now.
It is strange to try to remember what it felt like to live without them, without the blaring music and long car rides and hours spent in bookstores or laying in the grass at sunset.
Before, it was like being in the middle of winter. You know what I mean? The dead trees, branches bare and leafless spread like lace against the gloomy gray sky.
It gets beneath your skin; it turns you cold.
Then the first day the sun comes out, everything changes. Everything looks new and fresh and clean and bright. Everything thaws; life can begin again.
It was like that, the first time they all showed up without warning.
It was life beginning all over again.