The difficult moments in life can remind a person to break free from boxes and to explore the unknown.
By James Parr
I limit my writing to what I can fit in a very small box. It is safe there. The darkness outside the box says otherwise. There is a voice that tells me the topics I normally would not put on a page, yet stay on repeat in my mind and linger close to my heart, are what I am too scared to share. Is the voice something I make up in my mind, or an actual presence? Either way, it will not fit in a small box. After all, I strive to be as “normal” as possible, even though “normal” is no such thing. What are the things I am scared to share with the world when I write?
My love life tops the scared list. Followed by how I feel about the girls who infiltrate my life only to eventually leave. This then leads to when will I meet that certain person who stays? Which spurs thought about the future and what it entails for me, my family and those I hold dear. I do not write about things that really bother me or what I find chilling to the bone. This includes myths I believe in and the stories I often create in my head that at times weirdly become reality. Like the day I told myself that after one year and six months if either person was going to leave, it would have to be her, because I decided at the ripe age of sixteen she was the one I would marry. A week later she left. Two weeks after her departure my head delivered a dream where I met my soulmate. Now I know exactly what she looks like and exactly what she sounds like, but I do not know her name. I do not know where she is or when we will meet, and of course given my previous thoughts that result in reality, I believe she is real, but I do not know she is real.
These are things I would like to write about and share with others, but are too large for the very small box. I fear seeming insane or head over heels for someone who does not presently exist in my world. Maybe though I am not crazy. Maybe these are thoughts that all sixteen-year-old humans think about? I was taught that if you truly love someone you make it work. If this statement is true, then every girl who told me they loved me and then left does not matter when all is said and done. They may in fact be people to spend time with during the in-between, when I wait for the one person who makes my world stop. I hold a thought that someone is out there, someone who will someday know my every fault and every talent and love me for each, until the end of our time. Maybe we meet these others and do not even know we have met them, all while a higher power waits for us to acknowledge the light they shine.
When I stroll around the woods at night, as someone like myself frequently does, I feel the urge in my gut to run from something that is not even there. I call him or it “the man of the woods.” It is another story my head makes that only I can tell and only I know. Yet whenever I feel the man of the wood’s presence, I do not run because I know it is there, it is real and I take it as a sign I should be more vigilant of my surroundings and be aware of what I am doing or where I am going that may result in a detrimental outcome. Each time a girl has left, I realize I experience the feeling and sense the presence of the man of the woods. I know it is providing me a lesson. The man of the woods tells me the best way to learn more about myself is to walk to the dark of the woods, dig deep into the unknown, break the very small box and find the new, whether it be on the page or in life as in love.
Photo: “mood v3” by Hannes Flo on Flickr