holding violets

I sniff words the way other people sniff flowers.

Roses can be red, but not read.

Violets are rarely blue, but most of us can’t say the same.


I still cry, like every awful thing that I ever lived through just happened, but also–

I still laugh, like every good thing I ever witnessed just happened all over again.

I’ve noticed more and more of the laughter in myself lately and I know it is because I am holding more and more joy in my arms.  My old happiness is a glass flower vase, still broken into shards, but I have begun to think the flowers survived the fall.

I have begun to think I survived the winter.

I still don’t know what to do with the vase.  I can’t put it back together.  I’ve cut and calloused my fingers trying, and it’s only made it harder to hold my violets.

I can’t throw the glass out.  It means too much, and I like to look at it and think of the colors of the garden it grew.  I like to look at it and think of how strong it was to hold so much of my world, how brave it was to be so transparent.

I like to look at it and think how lucky I was to have such a gift.

And some days, I like to let the broken pieces cut into me a little bit.  A penance, I think, for knowing that I dropped us both and only one of us shattered.

But it’s hard to cut when my hands are already full of violets, and lately they are always full of violets.  A vivacious bouquet of purples, never blues.

And a rose from yesterday, because it turns out it is still a very kind place.

And I find myself whistling again, and I heard myself sing again, and it turns out my own hands make for a very nice vase.

And it turns out, I’m happy.

It’s been so long, I was worried I’d forgotten how to hold it.