Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why



Maybe it's to be inspired.

To seek out the sunrise within those quiet pockets of night
when everyone's asleep and you feel like the only person left in the world.
Maybe it's to be unique
to stand out, leave a mark
prove there's a purpose after all and we're not just here to float
meaninglessly
through time like it's an empty page.
Maybe it's to stop the clock
to press down on your own beating heart until it's finally
silent, still and totally alone.
Maybe it's time to speed up
keep running
keep pushing
fly faster, harder, get stronger, move ahead
bemoredomoreseemore.
Maybe it's nothing and like dreams
all in our heads
or maybe it's glitter and glitz, glamour and the hazy light of golden days,
the way you hugged your grandfather for the last time
and the way that empty room feels ever afterwards.
Maybe it's cerulean, petit fours, bellisimo
words that roll off the tip of the tongue like snowflakes
the way you collect them between the pages
like dried flowers.

I know it's not the suit you wear on Monday morning
telling people they should live their lives by a chart
six graphs
and a sixteen ounce Americano-
make that a double shot.
It's not the money you make to spend on yachts and watches
the oil you use to drive your car
the factories you take pride in operating.
It's not the letter grades on your high school transcript
your college degree
the certificate that says you're finally good enough.

Maybe it's the lives you touch, the people you love
the dreams you inspire and draw into reality.
Maybe it's the smile on the face of your favorite niece
when she realizes she can run and dance
spin around in circles until she's dizzy enough to drop to the ground,
let the sky twirl in colorful circles around her.
Maybe it's the bridge you cross
walking to work every day
where you can see the seasons change, reflected in the water running beneath.
Frogs leaping between stones in the summer
autumn leaves floating downstream towards the
icy touch of frost on the banks in winter
so birds can shake off their sleepy wings, break into an evergreen spring.
Maybe it's a thick mug of hot chocolate
whipped cream memories that make you laugh
a spontaneous dance through the kitchen
music playing from the radio on the counter.
Maybe it's all of these things
maybe none of them.

And still I know what it's not.
It's not the layers of makeup you paint on each morning to hide your face
the number of calories you taste in a week
how many hours you spend in the morning telling yourself not to reach for that
second piece of toast because you weigh enough
too much
already.
It's not the slogan you have printed on your shoes
the brands and labels of our consumerist society,
not the way you can talk about the stock market
"invest wisely"
or spend your days at a desk in a windowless office
trying to think of the AC as a cool breeze
because you haven't been to a park in months.
It's not the people you manage to impress with
numbers and data presented on paper
black and white
resume
suit and tie.
It's not the people you intimidate
scare into submission
the workers in your foreign factories who are paid a dollar a day to live in poverty
while you count the zeros following the numbers in your bank account,
slip your black credit card back into your wallet.
It's not the color, shape or make
of the car whose windows you've tinted to ferry you from place to place
without interruption.

Maybe it's the streets you see through the window when you take the bus
or go for a walk on your lunch break
a run in the morning
the sound of the city as it wakes before dawn.
The color of the paint you use to put your passion into practice
the feeling of your hand wrapped around pens and pencils as you scribble
mold your dreams into tangible things.
Maybe it's the clouds and the stars folding into lively shapes
as you lay in a field of fresh grass
breathe in the scent of the sun and the sky and this world you're lucky enough to live in.
Maybe it's your favorite perfume
the scent of your mother's cookies
or the way you can tell it's autumn when the memory of rain
clings to golden, orange and auburn leaves.
Maybe it's nothing more than being present, here
in this moment.

Maybe this is what it means to live a life.

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