Outside the Box: What is Joy?

outside_the_box

Another anonymous post, from a creative soul friend.

Dear ****,

I’m not writing this for you, cause I know you’ll never read it.

I’m not writing this for you either, or you or you or you. I’m writing this for You, and I’m writing this for me.

Did you know I was at a point in high school, yellow light and kneeled prayers on my bed, please help me to be well I can’t handle this the rest of my life I’ve only been living this for four months!, and how did I still get the kind of grades I got that semester?

My freshman roommate from the start was a foreign creature but do you know the kind of embarrassment I felt when she asked me why it is I wash my hands so often!, she doesn’t know how it feels to hate yourself in the black and green of the mirror and wash your hands at midnight because of all the things you did wrong that day, hate your face in the morning fluorescent because of the way the lighting picks out the red on your cheeks when everyone else’s face is clear, stare quaking at your feet pointed toes in the library and unable to raise your head to the sky lit and clouded sky because your mind is turning turning please please help me can I know this is right which choice do I take cause something like a class schedule can obviously completely make or ruin your entire life!

Do you know about the times that I sat huddled in the corner of my room by the closet door at night all alone, knowing I was worthless and horrifically flawed because he talked to the blond one and not to me, cause from the moment I first heard his voice and saw his eyebrows he has held sway on a piece of my heart and you know that he holds it still.

(and yeah you know I still love him but there’s something different about you, something different, don’t worry).

I told my sixth roommate that my thoughts are a pressure cooker, that they spin and spin and spin the pressure clamps down harder, I can’t get out because I don’t know how I got in and she asked me how it doesn’t drive me crazy. This one was a nice boy but I couldn’t get out because all of a sudden he couldn’t compare to A— L—! Too many times I’ve loved a broken human being cause this wasn’t the first time but not the last either.

(and answer—it does.)

I don’t want to tell you about the times that I laid in my bed and I laid on the couch and there was sun behind the window but my ceiling was blue shadow, hearing a daybird sing in the first-summer twilight and listening to A Comet Appears and Pink Floyd’s The Wall way too many times until I couldn’t be anything but a tortured artist, cause the myth of the tortured artist is a persuasive one, you know.

I don’t wanna talk about that last dark semester, too many lonely nights with the light of my iPod at 2am in that strange dusty back room, my roommate was a perfect child with a secret and I never knew her in the six months that she slept five feet from me, ducking her head in the hallway and cripplingly polite as she was, she went to bed at 10pm and stood up at the first chime of her alarm in the morning and I sat and wrote in the dark and listened to her sleep. There was a quiet storm raging in the rest of my apartment and I knew from the first day and especially at the last that I could see the lights on the mountains and that everyone else couldn’t.

That was a semester of black and gold, under fire from heaven, on my knees by my bed but unable to think about anything but my next assignments. I was doing everything right but the formula for me wasn’t working, I was losing everything that’s so important to me and I tried to read thy words but instead I would bite my knuckles and my hands and wish I could cut myself open like a fish—!

My brother let me cry on his chest for three awful hours in between the trees and the streetlights. I could see the yellow light from the doors opening and shutting like matchbooks in the parking lot and I wished someone would hear me out there because my entire being was crying out and I just couldn’t believe that nobody could see it!

I was trapped by two boys that were like anchors on my feet. But when I went with you to the salt flats like I had dreamed every day for half a year, looked to the sky and asked what a terrible world what a beautiful world, walked in the pink and spun poetry from the air, and then when I came back those kind of anchors ceased to have any kind of relevance to my being—!

I’ve been writing like a fiend since the eleventh day of last December. I’m sounding the river of my being, in time and place like a rapid bioassessment and searchable by a magnifying glass. I’ve said a thousand times that my existence is not sustainable, that I am burning inside like a swamp gas, and I only write stories that are true.

I don’t wanna say this but there is something about you that fills me up with gold. I don’t need all that anger and those blessed twenty-one pilots expressing my broken relationship with my God. You’re such a help to me above and below, you’re so kind and special and so quiet but your soul is so so good, you showed me that you don’t have to be boring to be good, you let me soften my heart and fill my being back up with light. I’ve laughed to the sky a hundred times since the start of September, I tell myself that no one who gets this little sleep should be allowed to be this happy.

Some days I have the bones of a bird but I can’t tell you about all the mornings that I wake up with a sandbag in my chest. I can’t explain why but I’m doing better than I have been in years and years and years, I would never take away anything that has ever happened to me because everything in the world is beautiful.

And you know I had a moment in the green and the blue while I was walking under that bridge in Iceland, an insane trust in God that has been more solid and enduring than any trust I’ve had in Him before, despite the sunlight on the walls in that window-filled room and despite naps in the park and a firestorm in my brain just last weekend, there have been hands on my head and a peace in my heart as I’m kneeling on my deep blue sheets every single night, but now I think I get that You love me as I am, because for the longest time it’s been I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, but you know that right now it’s just thank you thank you thank you.

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