Life feels like a delicate balance of just trying to hold yourself together. One moment you’re a mountain, strong and permanent, resilient and only changing over thousands of years, but then the world collapses and you fall into a sea of your own tears. You’re reduced to rubble on the ocean floor. Sometimes life won’t let you hold yourself together.
There’s pain and then there’s agony. Pain I can handle, from needles pricking my skin to bone breaking within it. All of it seems manageable when agony comes.
Agony belongs to my heart, my soul. It’s the tears that burn down my face and that don’t let me catch my breath. Agony is drowning in the fullness of the human emotion that I keep bottling up and hope to see washed up on someone else’s shore. It’s my heart breaking itself over and over again in a matter of minutes, seconds. It’s unbearable. But mostly, it makes me feel like I’m dying, or something close to it.
I used to think there was nothing I feared more than death, but that’s not so true anymore. I fear agony. If death is nothing, agony is everything and not the everything that I hope to have some day. Not the world in the palm of my hand and not the faces of every person I hope to love. It’s the other everything that I hoped to never see again. It’s what I lived with and it’s what I build a wall around. After all this time, I should have known that it would find its way up. I should have known it wanted to swallow me whole enough to come find me.
There’s an overwhelming majority of parts of me that want this agony to disappear, to leave me alone forever. Maybe a quick lobotomy or a drug fueled bender to numb the pain, but then the intelligent part of me knows that this agony is good. It’s necessary. Pure even.
It’s doesn’t feel good to feel, but it’s good to feel. To experience the full range of the deepest parts of you is what makes every part of you whole. There is no existing without pain and sorrow because without pain and sorrow there is no opposition, no balance would be needed to keep them at bay. No happiness or ecstacy, no love or peace. There would be nothing. We would be nothing.
There’s a song I used to sing in the walls of a church that I remember so fondly and still hum on occasion to remind me in my agony to look forward to laying my head to rest in the midst of the pain. It’s so simple and beautiful and it reminds me that life is just a balancing act we try to hard to tip in the direction we want it to go.
Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.
This is what I cling to on my worst days, the days that I am allowed to have and to dwell in. Today may be agony, but maybe I’m one sleep away from peace. Maybe joy will come in the morning.
Though sometimes it does not. Sometimes it takes a week or a month or a year. Sometimes mornings come in the middle of the day in the passing smile of a stranger. Sometimes mornings come with distractions only to bring about night as soon as those distractions are gone. Even then, the sun would not be so beautiful without the darkness of night and even the night cannot escape the warmth of a billion trillion tiny suns burning their way into our field of view to remind us that the light that will ease our agony is only a short time away. Agony is just a reminder that there are better days ahead. Though it may stay for a while, joy can only surely come.