a funny thing happens

I have too many worries to be blogging. They’re weighing me down. 

I want to write about something happy, but a funny thing happens when I’m writing.

I start to tell myself the truth.

As soon as I start typing, I know that I will be led astray. Somehow my words always take me to the truth that wants telling, rather than the stories I want to share.

But untold stories don’t want to live inside me. I am a bad host, an infertile garden. Stories don’t blossom in my heart, they need to be spoken into my world.

My heart is heavy lately. It is not a garden, it is a jar and I fill it with things. I fill it constantly.

I don’t want to write because a funny thing happens when I am blogging.
I start to remove the lies.

The careful little ones that decorate my atmosphere. The ones I tell myself I believe. Everything is going to be okay, my jar is labeled. But if I write enough words, that label might fall off.

There are few beliefs of my own that I can count on. Common ones, like how I know that I will defend my friends to the very end. Uncommon ones, like my love of balloons.

I went over to the Daily Post for a prompt idea, so I could post something superficial. Something that will end happily, something that won’t scrub the jar-that-is-my-heart so much it bleeds off the labels I applied.

The prompt made me think of helium balloons, and how they’re going extinct. It’s a complex thing, relating to economic systems and caps, byproducts of products regulated by places outside of our control. It has to do with the availability of a resource that will need to be so expensive that it creates its own extinction.

It made me think of rarity.

Rara avis is Latin, for rare bird. I’ve shortened it to Ra Avis and I use it everywhere as my name, though my real one is inky and distinct– centuries old, and centuries young. It will exist far long after I am gone.

Names are not so fleeting as the things I have loved:

and boys.


I’ve loved balloons my whole life. The giant kind. The tiny ones. The ones that are filled with confetti and the ones dipped in gold. I like the kind that are plain and simple, and the ones that you can get from grocery stores and realtors just by asking. I love balloons, yet I never have any problem letting them go. I just open my hand and trust that it’s the right thing to do, for me.

I’ve never wondered where my balloons go.

No one has asked me if I ever regretted letting go of the balloon before I made tiny replicas of them inside my body. No one has ever questioned if I’ve really let go of the balloon, or if I’m secretly holding onto it in ways that prevent me from holding anything else. No one has ever judged the reasons I chose the balloon, the type of balloon I chose, why I chose to hold onto it, or how long it took me to let it go.

Balloons are beautiful.
They’re lighter than air, the way the worries should be.
They’re shaped by their insides, the way we are.

Balloons are fleeting, by their very nature, but circumstances of the world around them are making them extinct.

Our children’s children may never know what it is to hold one that can fly.
They may never know what it is to fill one.
They may never know what it is to let one go.

They may never know that sometimes you don’t let balloons go, sometimes they just slip away, and the only thing left for you to do is be okay with it.

Yes, sometimes balloons let you go.
Be okay with it.

The balloon tied to your birthday table wasn’t your birthday. It wasn’t your year or your life.  It was just a moment, and moments are fleeting.

The balloon tied to your car wasn’t your wedding. It wasn’t your marriage or your happily ever after.  It was just a symbol, and symbols live even when they are gone.

The balloon you loved so preciously loved you too, but it had to go.  It was headed somewhere, even if you don’t know where.

You’re headed somewhere, too.
Even if you don’t know where.

Don’t worry.  Love goes with you.

Everything is going somewhere. The world is in constant motion. One day, in the future, balloons will no longer be lighter than air.  They’ll be filled, like us, with hot air and love and heavy moments.  Tomorrow will be very different, and yesterday will just be one more fleeting thing we’ve had to let go.

Yesterday is on its way to Today.  Today is headed toward whatever it is going to be.

It’s going to be okay.
Everything’s going to be okay.

Well, look at that.

I was so afraid to write, afraid of where I was going, but it turns out my heart knew all along.  Hearts are such funny things.  They get heavier and heavier from the love they store, and somehow that makes them lighter.

Lighter than air.
The way worries should be.

The way worries are, if you are just brave enough to let them go.

Tomorrow, I might be brave.


  1. this is beautiful and powerful and spoke to me so strongly as i am struggling with the end of a relationship with the man i love right now, but know he has to go where he needs to go and so do i.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m sorry, chica. Grief is in so many things, the losses we can’t help, and the losses we choose for ourselves and the ones we love. I wish you peace in the moments your heart feels overfull, I already know you are brave.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. How did I not know this about balloons? My 14 yr old has very interesting summer reading for high school.. I feel like this could be in one of those books.. (as in my parents told me all about balloons… much of these books are post (insert some horrible war) here)

    Well.. it will make them that much sweeter when we get them for birthdays this year. After reading your posts today, my perspective is shifted, as it usually does. Which is important, as it needed to shift. ❤ ❤ ❤ Ra ❤ ❤ ❤ Here's to a good week.. with love, smiles, light, all the good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In fairness, it’s actually just helium. There’s a great article on it over at Wired. And shifting, yes, I think that’s part of getting to where we’re going. ❤


  3. It might just be me, but I don’t like the balloons. If I let one go, it would beautifully fly into the sky, only to fall as a bright piece of plastic somewhere on the ground or in the ocean. If I don’t let it go, it will wrinkles and die in front of me.
    (Boy, am I in a cheery mood today…:) )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My baby bro felt the same. They make super biodegradable and tiny break ones now, though. Not like the thousands of balloons I let off in my youth. The wrinkle death of a balloon in hand is one of my least favorite things so I’m with you there. ♡


  4. Once again, you’ve used your words to weave silk from (dare I say it?)a sow’s ear. Just goes to reinforce that what you have inside you is good and perceptive and supportive to those around you. Fly, Rara!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Sparkly One, even before I got to the bit about the balloons, it was the imagery of your heart as a jar, with a label (probably ‘Hunny’), which put me in mind of the 100 Acre Wood, and the time Pooh wanted to give Eeyore a present, which turned out to be a useful pot to put things in. And when Piglet’s balloon burst, Eeyore nonetheless had fun putting the deflated balloon into the pot…and out of the pot…and into the pot…and back out, and that so very resonated with all of what you said. Somehow, in a magical, wending kind of a way which made sense in my brain at the time, but may not make sense here, on the page.

    As to letting balloons go…no, I’ve never done that except with the ones in competitions where you tie your name and address to the label at the end of the string, and see whose balloon gets furthest. I cried when I lost balloons. I’ve learned how to pop them safely now, in a way which doesn’t make me jump. But I can’t stand losing them. It makes me feel ever so forlorn.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know you don’t like to be sad when you write but when you do write for us look at how happy you make us! (and yourself for that matter after you wind in the different directions your mind takes you.) I received a delightful animal/foodie postcard in the mail from you on Saturday. It made me smile from ear to ear! I have it propped up against my computer screen and it makes me smile every time I glance it at, so THANK YOU! You are a true treasure. xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always believed that love, once lived, never dies. How can it? It’s real, it’s emotion, it isn’t possible to grasp and control and wrangle. Your love is not fleeting. I don’t think. How can it be? It’s real. And we can’t grasp it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “I don’t want to write because a funny thing happens when I am blogging.
    I start to remove the lies.”

    That is an *excellent* way to put it. The same thing happens with me. I start writing a post and the truth just unfolds. Thanks for putting words to it.

    As far as your post goes, it gives me so much hope as do many of your posts. Hope rises, just like a balloon. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad that you write. I never know what it will be about, but I know it will bring me joy or pain both, intro & retrospective. A literary roller coaster, both liberating and terrifying. For one brief moment I stand on the precipice simultaneously exhilarated and afraid then the plunge into your words. Splash. The words are all around me balloons, helium, life, death, freedom, incarceration and prose. Helium will never fully understand the buoyancy of your words, although I do. Like helium your words are buoyant, BEHOLD the power to lift and eventually gently put you back down. Comfortable, because everything’s going to be okay.


  10. “I love balloons, yet I never have any problem letting them go. I just open my hand and trust that it’s the right thing to do, for me.”

    I have been thinking a lot about letting go this week, of accepting that life is constantly changing, of worries about the future. How liberating it would be to let go. Thanks for reminding me that love does follow us, even if we let go. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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