“You’ve been fooled into thinking that the finishin’ end is at hand.” ~ Bob Dylan, To Ramona
What if I told you it was all providence, that the dice were loaded from the start?
Would you believe me?
Every encounter, every twist and turn, every fracturing reality, all designed specifically for you; by hands assembling constellations, spinning the wheel, knowing precisely how you must be shaped.
Would you still stand there, on the side of a dirty road, leather hard, instigating civil wars, throwing tantrums, demanding roofs and walls and forevers? Declaring you will be happy when and if all of the wantings of your heart come to fruition.
Wanting is better than having, darlin’.
You want big love. I know you do. You want English roses growing in gardens, and a pretty little house to call your own. You want joy singing the streets a serenade. You want a home for all the empty spaces you carry between your ribs.
What if I told you that love looks like the woman who cheated on you with a man, hands as black as coal? Or the man who puts you on the bottom of the list, every damn time, running all over hell’s half-acre for everyone but you?
What if love looks like your Mama, making you feel not good enough—or your Daddy tannin’ your behind with his hard leather belt.
What if I told you that these were your lessons?
That they must anchor themselves into your bones like tattoos. That there is grace here. All of these people who wronged you, and left you, and bloodied your insides…these are your unintentional teachers sent by the deities to help you learn.
Your loneliness and grief are a topography for only you to explore, and if they take you to the depths of your soul and demand reckoning it is up to you to follow them all the way down. Tell stories about how you ached and moaned, about ghosts and skeletons, about how forgiveness was found on both sides of that road meeting in the middle, daring to lay new ground on the yellow line.
But please don’t dwell here too long.
There are other lessons you must learn.
And just when you think you have it all figured out, you will learn it again, and again, and again.
Author: Jacquelyn Taylor
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Forest, magic, girl. DeviantArt.