"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
He remembered Alejandra and the sadness he’d first seen in the slope of her shoulders which he’d presumed to understand and of which he knew nothing and he felt a loneliness he’d not known since he was a child and he felt wholly alien to the world although he loved it still. He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.
– Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
There is a delicate and stunningly beautiful flower running its vine through my vertebrae, wrapping its leaves around my heart, and blooming silver petals in my tired blue eyes. This flower is myself and worth fighting for, worth everything, because it was planted and has grown steadily by the same warm hand that lit the stars on fire.
I anticipate, with perhaps the most tangible desire I’ve known, myself not as a single flower hidden between dry bones, but of a garden, a garden bursting and singing, my colors dancing with the colors closest to me, and my seed growing and sitting above my roots, our roots, all our roots tangling together in the deepest, richest soil, so rich no one would believe it could ever fail to nourish us.
I see the person that I am, the person I long for, the person I haven’t been loving lately. It seems that she criticizes me for being weak, for failing again, for hurting more people, the very people I wanted most to love. But when I listen closely, that voice is not hers at all. I’m not sure where it comes from, it disguises itself so quickly – I am your mother, I am your father, I am your friend, I am your love, and you have failed me, and I don’t want you. No, that can’t be her. She wouldn’t say that, and she doesn’t believe it, the way my transluscent flesh absorbs it sometimes. Her skin is pink and scarred and warm. Her eyes are fierce and her laugh gentle, her voice bold but her hands quiet, and I don’t see her, but I hear her calling for me. I hear her tell me that she loves me. I must have walked further from her than I imagined, chasing a mirage, perhaps, or mirror, in this desert.
And that’s precisely where I’ve ended up, it seems. Everything seems, here. My garden vision has led me here, where all I can see clearly is how small I am compared to the flower in the garden, the flower mingling roots and colors and spreading seed. But I am still a flower, and my spine is tender, but I am still green so the planter must be close.
I see the woman I am and she is absolutely stunning. Her arms are full of children, her voice singing loudly because she loves her voice and her confidence makes the little ones giggle. I watch how she peers into the eyes of her friends and desires so much, so much that her heart aches, to hear them and love them and make them laugh because there is one joy and she cannot bear to keep it to herself.
I have not loved this woman well. So I’m going to find her, a single flower and her maker who loves her best, to keep walking until the desert sand becomes darker and deeper and transforms utterly into the soil, the same soil on which God has promised a garden.
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