“I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.”
~ Walt Whitman
There are many things on this earth that are precious, and even perfect. The condition is that these moments are ephemeral, so abrupt at times you wonder if they actually happened. Another downside is that these perfect moments can be tainted, destroyed so unexpectedly that you are left standing in the rubble, like the lone survivor of a terrible earthquake.
Let me give you a few examples. Say, the feeling you get when you’re starving and you put your favourite food in your mouth. The feeling you get when surrounded by happy friends. The feeling of a comfortable silence. The euphoria you get when you swim in the rain. And last but by no means least, the feeling you get when you meet someone’s eyes, just for a moment, and their eyes are beautiful, and you may not feel anything special for the person, but you still want to stop time and carry on looking into their beautiful eyes.
All these special moments. And that’s what perfection is, something wrapped around a moment. A fleeting glance, a brief silence, a dream.
Perfection is something everyone wants on a permanent basis. We spend so much time lusting after this idyll, this vision, this fairytale, that we dismiss perfection for what it really is.
You see, as much as I hate balance, it remains to be an undeniable feature of life. What goes up must come down, and without hot we would not know cold. And it is this law that prevents the idea of permanent perfection from being made a reality.
So I advise you to open your eyes. Sit up straight, pay attention. Look around you. Admire the pretty little weed growing on your patio. Smile at the colours on that pigeon. Look someone in the eye. Acknowledge the beautiful person that just walked past you. Appreciate beauty for beauty’s sake. Put your phone down. Shut your computer off. And reflect, just for one second, on the perfect moments you’ve had.
You probably know already, if you’ve read my previous posts, that I am a terminal pessimist, endlessly sarcastic and generally downright miserable. I am in no way trying to enlighten anybody here. Heck, just writing this I’ve been pondering the fact that if all perfection is so transitory, I’ll probably be living a good half of the rest of my life being a miserable asshole.
But that doesn’t really matter, I’ve decided countless times. I’ve said to myself I’d rather experience the good things and put up with the bad things, and life is worth living. There have been just as many times when I’ve said out loud, “I don’t give a shit about happiness, I always find myself back here and I don’t want to exist anymore. I’m done.”
Still, recently the first outlook has been winning out, and when I’ve lost it in the last seven months or so, I’ve still clutched a little speck of sanity in my hands, and it brought me back here to this middle ground I have discovered. That, I believe, is progress. And I didn’t get here on my own. I’ve been lucky, much as I loathe to admit it.
I’m afraid that my next post is probably going to be about the worst day/year of my life, because I feel like that needs to be put out there. And so to wrap up this post, I’d like to tell you about what I think was the best day of my life so far. And instead of telling you all about the best bits, I’ll tell you the shitty bits as well.
On here I can give you the honesty everyone deserves.
It was a pretty dreary day. The sky was grey, and I don’t remember much of it because I’m beginning to think I have memory problems. So I’ll begin where I remember. And just as a disclaimer, this may not even be one day. This was one day from about three of the best months of my life. Bearing that in mind, let’s get started.
So me, my sister (not by blood, but truthfully I’m wary of those that share these crappy genes) and my parents were going to get shopping in my sister’s car. It was festival season in the country I live in, and with my crippling social anxiety, this was not good. I’m assuming we got to the shops and did all that successfully, because I can’t remember.
The part I do remember is when we went to our favourite cafe. Now, the kids in this country have an unhealthy obsession with fireworks. Seriously, the amount of money these people must spend on the things is ridiculous. But let me rephrase: not fireworks, bangers. Loud noises trigger extreme stress for me. My parents always complained that it was supposed to be them telling me to turn my music down, not the other way around.
So we sat in this cafe, waiting to be served. Across the street there was a bunch of teenage boys (a big trigger for me) setting off bangers that literally made my ears ring. I jumped out of my skin every time they set one off, and started shaking. My sister’s dog had exactly the same reaction. It must have sounded like a nuclear bomb exploding in her head, if their hearing is as good as the science people say.
After only a few minutes, I started crying. I was not only freaking out, I was furious that they had no consideration for the dogs around the place. I couldn’t prevent the tears, and they came plentifully. I pulled my beanie down over my face and curled up in the foetal position on my chair. To their credit, my parents got me out of there pretty fast. My sister was comforting me, telling me she used to be exactly the same as me. We got to the car and I wilted from relief.
Me and my sister share a love for swimming, so we drove from there to the beach. I was nervous when I heard bangers coming from the houses near the beach, but nevertheless, I changed into my swimming costume in the car park. This was something that I would never have even imagined doing before my sister and I met, and I’m pretty sure my mother commented on it at the time.
It started raining, and we ran down to the volleyball nets, draped our towels over them and ran into the sea.
The sea was like glass, it was so calm, and it was a beautiful green colour. The raindrops rest on the surface of the water for a while, and it looked like we were surrounded by tiny diamonds. Trust me, there is no better swim than a swim in the rain.
I dove under the water and let my anxiety be washed away. I danced and floated, and swum around joyfully. Have you ever floated in the sea? Some people physically can’t, but luckily for me I’m not one of those people. It’s like being weightless, and you’re sacrificing yourself to the very power of Mother Nature herself.
I haven’t experienced happiness like that since, although I’m sure I will. I cannot describe the beauty of the ocean. It will forever be a part of me.
And this moment was completely perfect. After our swim, we changed into warm clothes, got in the heated car and put on our favourite music for the drive home. At home we lit a fire and had a night of laughter, food and crossword puzzles.
That was the best day of my life. And that day, in itself, explains what I said about balance. Life is a series of ups and downs, downs and ups, successes and downfalls.
I will not let that day be ruined by the fact that it started so badly. I will accept the bad, but I will let the good reign over that memory.
All I ask of you is that you do not let your perfect moments be tainted. Remember the bad, but let the good take prime position.
Because I may not believe in myself, but I do believe in you.