We’ve all taken some injuries working our way through life because that’s unavoidable, and we all bear the scars from them, but injuries heal or at least scab over. The black dried blood drops off them and all you’ve got left are those white patches of skin which’ll never disappear. Each one has its own story.
Only others who’ve got them as well understand. What happened in the past can’t be undone or somehow obliterated from your memory and you’ll always carry it with you, but we have to make each day anew. Life goes on and doesn’t stop for poor little you.
Scars are nothing to be ashamed of if they’re scars you’d no choice over or ones of honour, a currently frowned upon word. Most of the deep scars aren’t on your body but inside you. Sometimes you’ve no choice but to take it, but for me the true definition of courage, and I hesitate to use that simple word which is also well out of fashion, is obviously not someone who feels no fear. It’s not even someone who rose to the occasion for the one blessed moment in their life.
It’s someone who right at the very bottom of the well of despair knows they can’t take it any more, they just can’t, but thinks they can at least hold on for the next thirty seconds or so before panicking. I can hold for thirty, I can, I can do that thing. That I can do.
They get to the end of that thirty and despite the fear, fright, shite, shakes, cowardice and all the rest of that shivering piece of meat called a body which constantly betrays you, decide they might just have it within them to do another thirty. And after that, there’s another thirty. Always, always, there’s always another thirty.
Some people open their eyes every morning and the counter in their heads immediately starts clicking down from thirty before they’ve even got out of bed. That is true courage, that is honour.
It’s about inches rather than yards or miles, and every inch is hard-earned. All you have to do is reach the next bloody inch. Hold on Kiddo, just hold on for another moment.
It’s all there, the terrible cruelty of people, the crippling illness, the unfairness, the poverty, the bad breaks, whatever and whatever and whatever, whatever the particular misfortune you’ve been hit with. You have to find a way to overcome such experiences, walk on, be better. Try and see the world with kinder eyes and not let the past and sometimes the present rot you out and dictate your future, because the future is the only thing left in your hands that you can truly shape.
Don’t ever feel you deserve some sort of break; you deserve exactly nothing. Your forebears all had their Garden of Gethsemane events, suffered and yet still got through, otherwise you wouldn’t exist.
However. All that is past. History. A done deal. Cemented. It’s only today, this very day and onwards you can change. After every sunrise, every time you get out of bed, every measured start of every day, every kick up heartbeat is an opportunity to shape tomorrow, not only for yourself but for all those around you that you love.
What’s also there, and never forget that’s what’s on the other side of thirty seconds, is the occasional kindness of people who gave you a chance. The generosity of complete strangers. Those fine people you were fortunate enough to have spent some time with. The ones you came to laugh with and love with a zest that’s beyond description and never realised it at the time. Such a sleep they sleep, all the men I loved. I have many things but I no longer have their company, and lordy do I miss it. Alone, orphaned and somehow lost in a world I never made though I, like them, tried to make it a better one.
The long Easter weekend is nearly upon us. Our kids and their partners and our baby grandson will all be staying with us. We’ll do lots of hugs and cuddles, prepare communal meals (which I’m useless at and’ll get me elbowed out of the kitchen), the newly hatched uncles will play with their first baby nephew, we’ll veg out watching a movie or two, argue about politics, rip apart some books and make the case why some rock group isn’t rubbish. There’s a roughty toughty fun element to it and I’m so looking forward to it.
I’ve seen what true horror looks like, and choose to walk towards the joy. Like horror, it does exist in the world. Make an effort. Make a move. Do something new for the first time with someone you meet every day. Next day, you never know. It’s only the ordinary people who take risks, cowards stay skulking safely in the bunker and live dull but ultimately terrified lives.
Every morning, grab that opportunity with both hands, lovingly, and never let go of it.
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