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:
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.