"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Friday, March 04, 2005

Tonight, a friend and I looked at Molly, one of the sweetest hearts I have ever met, from across a few tables. He said "wow. She really deserves someone perfect for her. Someone wonderful." And tonight I knew that just because she is an amazing person does not mean she'll find her lover. She may find someone. But her goodness does not guarantee her happiness, as much as I want it to. I may never find someone. Some of my closest friends will be miserable either in their career, with their family, with themselves...
There's something that's happened to me, and it's not sad. I suppose it was just waiting to happen.
I remember at a cast party, we were all sitting in a circle playing truth or dare (let's take a moment to appreciate the sheer joy of playing this game ... thank you) and Kevin's turn came around. He had to tell us, if he could take anyone on the room anywhere in the world, who and where it would be. After a moment's consideration, he looked at me and said, "I would take Elizabeth to the Red Light District, because she would come back... different." He smiled mischievously, everyone had a good laugh, I reflected briefly on how innocent I must have seemed to them, and life went on.
Innocent.
Naive.
Young.
What does that mean? No one ever believes they are - until it's gone and they realize they were.
At the time I thought innocent meant nice. I thought it meant not knowing about bad things in the world, and yeah I was nice, but I knew about all the malnourished babies and AIDS-ridden humans and dads beating their children, so I secretly thought I really couldn't be any more innocent than the rest of them.
Now I know differently. The loss of "innocence" is not knowledge of circumstances. It is the loss of detachment to those circumstances. When one of your dearest friends calls to tell you she's just had a miscarriage from drinking too much and she doesn't know who to tell that he just lost a child, a part of you DIES as you realize that nothing will protect you from the world. Life hits you and those you love fiercely and without apology.
When you finally discover that real love means that you are wounded on a regular basis, and that you hold in the palm of your hand the tools to wound ever so deeply as well, and you have to honestly ask yourself, in a very solemn way, if the good is actually worth the bad, because you'll stop if it's not, that's when naivity flies out the window. It's incredibly easy to let cynicism creep in.
I was reading Kara's blog this evening, and I was struck with how beautifully innocent her heart is. I know that she has experienced more pain in many ways than we could ever begin to understand, but there is still a questioning, a hope that I admire her greatly for. It's so fresh - how quickly people dry up when they allow it to happen. Don't ever dry up, Kara. I love your spirit very much.
To speak simpy, I know in my heart that the world is bad. I also know there's enough somethings out there that sort of shine - not to eliminate the dark spots, but to glow next to them, to give us something to look at when we're shivering in the gray. Makes things more interesting. Makes us slide our legs off our sheets - most mornings. But there's no magic that dances in our souls. Just the best we can make of what we've got.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lillee said...

Ok, I've read your blog. And you are where I was at 12 years ago. I miss it so much. Eventually, with experience, you loose the innocence. And that's good in some ways, to be able to see what the world really is. And then sometimes, life seems so much easier when you are innocent. Good luck with your journey. Lillee

8:06 PM

 
Blogger Nathan said...

I love you

12:14 AM

 
Blogger Elizabeth said...

wow, thank you lillee. i feel blessed that you chose to share that with me - that's exactly how I feel.

nathan, you have no idea how much that means to me.

8:14 PM

 

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