His resting body is salve for the ghosts that flutter about my mind like curtains in a breeze.
He is real, he is solid, he is God’s promise of the future, and God’s deliverance of past prayers.
He, above all ghost and rampant thought, is love.
I wish I could wear all black today.
Wish I could wear a hoodie, with the hood up.
Instead, I wear the mask that grins and lies.
Jarringly mismatched: a room sans cobwebs, thick layers of dust, or overturned, old furniture, yet besotted with ghosts.
Full of streaming yellow light and fresh air from a large, open window, the room is silently occupied by ghosts, moving ethereally about the space, consumed in their own preoccupation.
My head, to date, is a room full of bright air and laden with the heaviness of ghosts. Its new ideas, new desires, they all continually crowd the space already populated with the ghosts of old memories, old ideas, old places. My head retains ghosts like a bed retains a lifetime of shed skin.
The ghosts are in motion; swirling about, trapped in the bright space. Old hurts have become persistent haunts. Long-ago anger still churns. I find myself missing things that no longer exist. Seeking justice from people who never cared. Wondering, eternally. Wishing, for them, the fleeting glimpse of my life now, the chance to see that I made it, without them.
The ghosts continue to dance, pushed against desires of new sights, a new existence, to be living each day, in every minute, as though it was inexpressibly important. Against the desire to be free of haunting.
You know, once upon a time in 2008, I was doing a happy dance because I was graduating from school a year early.
Now, in 2011, I’m trying to claw my way back into someone’s class. Anyone’s class. (Even an online class.)
I miss school. I miss learning. Part of me even misses homework. (I know, I’m sick as hell.) I didn’t take advantage of many of the opportunities my school offered. All I wanted to do was get out. I was heartbroken (if I could go back in time, I’d slap myself and tell myself to get over it), I couldn’t stand the town I was living in, I wasn’t hanging out with too many people (at least not until the end, really), and all I wanted to do was get out. Had no type of plan, just knew I wanted to write, and that I wanted to get out. Didn’t even really give the school thing much of a chance, just made up my mind that I wanted to get out. And so I did. Cum laude and a year early.
Well, even writers and other artists have to have a plan, now don’t they?
I’m glad I graduated when I did—I would not have had the experiences I’ve had, nor met the people I now know if I’d stayed longer. But I will not pretend that I don’t wonder where I’d be now if I’d gone to France that Spring Break. If I’d studied travel writing. If I’d taken on a minor like my mother said I should have. If I’d studied Journalism. If I’d loosened up a bit and done the things I pledged myself so against.
We can never go back and change the past, but here’s a lesson for you today, if you happen to be able to benefit from it: don’t rush. Always have a plan, even if you don’t stick to it. Do what you’re afraid to do. Have fun. Don’t be so serious. Enjoy every second of where you are. (That’s something I have a very hard time doing.) Always think of the future. Never be in a rush for the “real” world. (I don’t know what’s so “real” about it, besides the very real stress of it all.) Before you decide yourself so ready to move on, remember that this moment you’re living now will not happen again.
And if you happen to be sitting in class, doodling on your notes and falling asleep in the back of the classroom, if you can fathom it, think about the fact that there’s somebody out there in the world that would long to be in your shoes right now, back in that class, with the chance to do it all over again, and do it much better than before.
In short: when you look back on your life, there should be nothing you wish you could change; nothing you’d want to make better or different. Do it your best way the first chance you get. (For it may be your only chance.)