Saturday, September 29, 2012

light & dark & the in between

It's raining outside. Or maybe it's not anymore; I'm not sure because I closed the door to the side porch and now I can't hear the raindrops sifting through the trees and plummeting to the ground, and also I can see now a small gap of blue in the sky when I look out the window that wasn't there before.

Maybe it's strange but I always dread that moment after a storm when the clouds give way to the sun. I like rainy days and I like sunny days, but that's the thing, isn't it, I like my days to be rainy or sunny, completely, one thing or the other, not both, not one melding into the other. It's like the sky is getting dressed and it makes me feel strangely sad and uncomfortable to witness that transition.

I'm like that with a lot of things in life, wanting to fit them into clean cut boxes that'll never be their homes. It happens with weather but more often than that it happens with people. People never just stay where you want them to, do they? They're never one-dimensional, which is partly what makes them so wonderful and partly what makes them so aggravating. I say them, I mean us. "We" is my least favorite pronoun; I'm not fond of the way it fits into the grooves of my mouth, of the way it makes my lips work just to create a sound redolent of a ghost. Of course, I say that to be pretty, but what I'm really hinting at is I'm afraid of its implications, of somehow creating a false sense of belonging with that innocuous one-syllable word.

See what I mean? Everything is more than it seems.

It's so stupid. In all the stories, it's 'he loves me,' 'he loves me not.' There is no petal for 'maybe.' But life is not a storybook and I've always known that, the way you know that someday the Earth will be engulfed and transformed into just some other particles of energy floating around in space or something. You've learned it and all but you don't constantly think about it, and when you do, you're sort of like, oh. Why?

Because it seems most things in life are maybes, mixed with some possiblys and unlikelys and a good amount of "who the hell knows?" (I don't.)

People aren't simply good or bad, and they're not just nice or dumb or pretty or whatever the first thing is that comes to your mind when you think of someone. They're the product of all their loves and fears and thoughts and actions welded into something...human. It's not just people, either, but everything on this earth, and maybe beyond, that's a blend of tragedy and triumph. Feelings, emotions: they're never just happy or sad; they're "content at the present moment but slightly scared and slightly excited for the future, simultaneously wanting two contradicting things, etc. etc. etc." or one of a million other variations. Nothing is black and white, it's chiaroscuro, it's a million shades of everything in between. It's so much more complicated and convoluted than anything your mind, your beautiful and powerful mind, can fathom. It resists simplification, but simplification is the only possible way to ever sum it up.


It's dark again; nighttime dark now. A fair amount of time has elapsed since I started this and, as I ate my dinner in the interlude, I wondered why I even felt the need to reiterate something that everyone probably already realizes, that yes, stereotypes are bad. I think it's because we all forget sometimes. I do. But when someone makes you cry, remember that someone else has made them cry once as well. When someone does something that annoys you, quickly remember the swell of pride in your throat you get when you watch them excelling at something they love. Remember, remember that no one is perfect, never, but that you love them for a reason.

I am not inherently nice but I think there is a being somewhere within me who is and if I allow him to speak through me I can get across what I want to, I can swallow an extra breath when I want to shout something horrific and I can, maybe, maybe I can open my mouth and say the sort of kind things that make me want to melt when other people do. Is that God or am I crazy or what?

I can't say for certain.


  1. This. Is beautiful. I've felt the same things so many times, but you just expressed them perfectly. You are such a talented writer!
    Kristin @ The Great Perhaps

  2. I love the line "when someone makes you cry, remember that someone else has made them cry once as well". That really stood out - wow, wow.

  3. Oh, Kendall, your articles are so gorgeous, you always manage to find the right words to express some very clever thoughts.

  4. Good lord this is officially my favorite post of yours ever. Please go write a book and knock the socks off of all of us (okay, you've already knocked mine off). I can identify with pretty much everything you said...and I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that's sad when the sun comes out after a storm. I like things to be either completely one thing or completely the other...I can't handle mixed. Anyway this is really wonderful and I wish I could find the write words to express how much I love this, and you.

  5. Hi I chanced upon your blog and I read some posts out of curiosity. You are a really good writer in my opinion. But that's not the main point. I feel like there's much much more to the simplest things when i read your entries. We are about the same age I think but I've never thought of stuff as deep. Sure i overthink a lot and i like to think that i am very insightful but it's really hard to do it. It's hard to take the time out to do something like this. And I admire you for this. I like this post so much mainly because of your description about the rain and sun. I love rain and i definitely do not like how the sky is so bright after rain. Like you said, it's either this or that. But i would prefer rain over sunny days.... Anyway, I would love to read more but I have a major exam tomorrow! I will be back I promise! Kendall right? (Is it a pen name?) I will be back soon! Hopefully!


Hey, you. Be nice.