I love the mornings. I get up hours before my children and my husband when the world is still breathing steadily through the night. When the first rays of dawn haven’t yet turned my world a thousand shades of blue, and the quietness is a song only seen by those who are lucky enough to feel it. I like that first cup of coffee, and that first taste of nicotine after a night filled with all the voices of my dreams. It is relaxing and allows me the privilege of hoping that today will be as beautiful as the night promises.
Maybe it is my medication that allows me to see hope each and every time I am awake within the quiet night. Maybe the cleansing dew that works so hard to bring us beauty, or the gentle breeze the takes the smells, the emotions, the rusted battery of dreams away from us so that we can start fresh gives me that hope. Maybe the hope comes from the promise of the night; the silence waiting for that first breath, or the blinking eyes of those that are forced to find their reserve of energy to finish the night’s work, that gives us that hope. The world, so still and quiet, has even in its solitude worked so hard to bring to us a new day, a new promise, a new hope.
Reality always sets in. The truth of this life and the sheer disappointment that is as much part of life as the nightmares that haunt us, always set in. But for that brief moment in the early dawn, I can forget. The images I hold tightly in my arms in order to deal with the daily distress of my life: the smile of my son, the off-key singing of my daughter, the laughter my children give without thought, are held so tightly in a vain attempt to hold off the disenchantment for as long as possible. It very rarely works, as the feeling of evil, the feeling of pure defeat is so much greater than the shiny peals of laughter of those that I love most in this world.
I can handle disappointment. For despite the fact that each morning I wake up with hope, it isn’t what I choose to hold onto. Instead it is a nice feeling that I reveal for a single moment and then simply let go. It is like that brief moment of flight. A couple of weeks ago I went on a roller coaster for the first time in years. I am usually the one holding all the bags while everyone else goes on the rides. I don’t mind as it makes me feel useful; something I desperately need in my life. But this time, I went. I sat in that single seat and allowed the wind to blow through my hair. I closed my eyes, and pretended for one moment that I was flying as freely as the most majestic of birds. I was free from earth’s gravity and able to see a world that had no mortal boundaries. And although it lasted but a second, and it was not a feeling I could share or make others understand, it gave me one second of perfection where fear, where the sense of displacement or disappointment, the sense of failure wasn’t prominent. It felt like the dawn and then I let it go. But it was a feeling, that while couldn’t replace life’s truth, allowed me for one moment to be encapsuled in a world that wasn’t held by those demons.
Waking up this morning was like many mornings. Quiet, serene and hopeful. I allowed my soul to relax as I took that first cup of coffee and that first cigarette out into the night, to watch the world slowly stretch itself awake. The thousand shades of blue had yet to break the horizon, and the birds were singing not in verse but in single notes. I went through my routine easily, and found my own morning notes. I went to open my car door, to listen to the sad notes of some song on my journey to another day, and all the images, all the peace I had, shattered.
I didn’t get to begin before my tranquility was shattered. I only got seconds this morning to feel serene before the realities of my truth knocked me down. And while I realize that all realities knock us down, that truth by its very definition can not be what we hope it to be, there comes a time in one’s own life when you have to question if this life that you have built is worth the simple moments. Had I not had those simple and profound moments of silence and hope, would the absolute horror of my reality hit me as hard? Had I not seen the beauty, would I have seen the ugly?
I often wonder if my insistence in believing that everything is going to be okay, my insistence that the life I choose is all that I need is the right path to travel. If this was my daughter, what would I tell her to do? If this was someone else’s life, what would I recommend? At what point would I tell someone to walk away, to give up hope? At what point is it more important to understand the reality, rather than live with the hope? Because there has to be a point.
I know others that are in much worse of a situation than I am. I know others who would look at my life and question the very sanity that I live with. I know of others who wouldn’t understand what I am complaining about, and would turn away in disgust because the problems that I have are so small compared. But when they are your realities, your truth, the pain is greater than can be easily set aside. At what point am I allowed to cry? At what point am I allowed to scream? At what point am I allowed to look around, and find the hope that I feel so briefly in the mornings?
Today, my disappointments began before the sun. Today the truth of my life, my situation was once again beaten deep into my soul, and took all of the quiet, all of the calm, all of the stillness far away. This morning before the dawn even had a chance to repair the rips in my soul, my reality once again intruded. And all I can do is smile sadly, hold my head up high, and remember to breathe through one more day. Tomorrow I will find the darkness before the dawn, and I will sit in it’s arms and hope of finding what this world doesn’t give; perfection.