Thursday, June 22, 2006

Beautiful Ferocity

It’s not that the world is full of pain, or that it’s unjust. It’s not that timing and fate and biology often make us feel as if we were created to be the universe’s personal in-joke. Or worse, its whipping boy or girl.

It’s that there are sometimes these people in it. So many more of them than you realize.

Born with minds quick and clever and delightfully odd, hearts purer and more perfect than the most rarified air. Good beyond even the limits of even their own imaginations. Beacons of light, born into a world of dark mirrors and hulking shadows.

They start out, innocently, openly displaying all that they are, unaware of their own magnetically attractive qualities, of how darkness is drawn to envelop light. They’re not given a warning, a lesson; they’re put out there, untrained, unprepared for the desire and jealousy, the angry neglect and disregard their perfection can inspire.

And so it begins. They stand there, gleaming china figurines in a bull shop. Feeling the ground shake beneath them as hulking, brutish figures stomp by, reach out, handle them far too roughly, until the cracking begins. The chipping, the breaking in half and gluing back together. The shattering into many pieces and left alone to reassemble on one’s own. So hard to do, near impossible—resulting in their putting back their own pieces all mixed up, confused, so that they’re still there, showing some kind of resemblance to a whole, but one so jumbled and confused and so apparently unlike where they started that they begin to not even recognize themselves.

They forget where they began, who they are, truly, at the core. They begin to believe that they are ugly. And that it’s their ugliness that continues to allow them to be crushed and broken. They begin to believe their definition has only ever been ugly and broken.

So they revel in that. They glue themselves back together each time, a little more en mass, a little more confused and disordered, but in a way that appears to be more solid, less likely to allow for major damage. They deliberately make themselves more dense, more grotesque, to perhaps make it so no one will see anything good anymore; no one will pick them up again, call them beautiful, and then smash them into the ground. It becomes a matter of pride. Who can be the most grotesquely damaged? Who can be the hardest? Who gives a fuck? You can’t make me worse than I already am. Bring it on. Throw me. Break me. Just try. If you do, if you don’t…it means nothing.

And behind all of this, this callousness, anger, bravado, deliberate ugliness, pride, challenge…behind it all, only two real things: the fear of yet another rough, unlovely hand leading to rough, hard floor; and the painfully strong longing, despite it all, to be picked up, caressed, valued as the thing they started as, still hidden down there somewhere at the core. To have some observer hold them, look closely, gently, and say, “I see you. Love.” And lay them back down again, gently, like the rare, precious thing they are. To not let them fall.

Those people. The way they fight, despite only lingering memories of what was good and right in them, to not give that old, vague hint of their own perfection and worth up. That tiny glowing nucleus of intense power inside them, that makes them keep building themselves back up, despite the odds, just in case…maybe, maybe. That un-nameable thing that ensures, even should they be smashed into powder and stomped into the ground, that they push themselves back up from under the earth again, as something new, pale, wet, and green…always rising up.

That beautiful ferocity, the refusal to give up hope of recognizing themselves again; of being recognized. This, for me, is the closest evidence that the word “miracle” has meaning.

These people are all around you. You’re one of them. You’re that fucking beautiful.

And I guess by default, that means I am, too.

(Photo credit: Sapling, by scragz)


Blogger Vieva said...

damn. you made me cry.

well said.

6/22/2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

HeartShadow: Thanks. It's not exactly as perfect as I wanted it to sound, but I'm glad if I got what I was trying to say across.

6/22/2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Darkhawk said...

Went around and made a bunch of people read it. (Like Heartshadow there.)

Damn fine writing.

Expressing that sort of thing is never, as far as I can tell, exactly as perfect as it is before the words ....

6/22/2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Darkhawk: "Made" them? I must know your technique, seeing as the stat counter's been a little low lately.

Assuming people haven't been driven here by cruel brute force, though, thank you for recommending me to others and for the compliment.

You are the stevia in my coffee (which, sadly, I've stopped drinking of late, but which I dream of fondly).

6/22/2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger Evil Minx said...

I'm blown away. That was such a beautiful piece.

I was moved to tears, Syl. You write like an angel. A fucking beautiful one, too.

6/22/2006 11:12 PM  
Anonymous naiad said...

Thank you.

6/23/2006 12:32 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Minx: Yes, I am beautiful when I'm fucking. Heh.

On a more serious note, thanks for liking it.

Naid: Thank you for stopping by. Come again.

6/23/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Tory said...

Next time you think maybe you could put a little bit more thought and heart into it?

simply amazing as usual Syl.

6/23/2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Tory: Thanks, and glad to see you. You'd been quiet lately and I'd wondered if you were okay. Happy to see you are.

6/23/2006 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Hiromi said...

that was lovely. thanks.

and quit making me giffle!

6/24/2006 1:25 AM  
Blogger spcknght said...

Joining in with the damp eyes...

Syl, this reminded me of a Theodore Sturgeon short story that was done as a segment on the update of The Twilight Zone back in the mid-80s: "To See The Invisible Man", where people who were found guilty of "Coldness" were sentenced to a year of being invisible.

If you can find a copy of the story, or of the episode in question, I highly recommend it. No one should be taken for granted, as I've been reminded recently, as we are all beautiful, no matter what we think or feel.

Thank you, Syl, for letting us see your beauty once again. :)

6/24/2006 10:18 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Hiromi: Thanks. The most recent post should get your bile risin' up just fine again. And I actually have an idea for a funny one in the works, though lord knows when I'll have time to write it.

Spcknght: Good to see you. I was getting a little worried because I hadn't seen you around on the blogs you usually post on and your blog was quiet. Hope everything's well.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not a big sci fi afficionado, so I've never heard of it. I will try to search it out.

6/25/2006 2:55 AM  
Blogger Cherrie said...

Isn't it sad that people can't treat each other with care and respect, so this sort of injury is minimized?

And isn't it wonderful that many people prove adaptable enough to heal and thrive despite their scars?

Here's to you as a survivor!

6/26/2006 12:09 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Cherrie: Here's to everyone. You especially.

6/26/2006 11:25 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

i often write about this. your work here is amazing. i am in awe. don't ever stop writing. heartbreaking and real. thank you for this. i am standing beside you.

7/05/2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Wow. Brandon's never wrong when he recommends a writer, is he?! What a beautiful piece.

7/05/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous savia said...

I really needed this today. Thank you.

7/05/2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Amanda: Thanks so much. Unlikely I'll ever stop writing, even if people start begging me to(!)'s more inistinctual than learned behavior.

Eclectic: What a great name. Lucky you got in there first! Thank you very much for visiting, and for the compliment.

Savia: I am so glad if I was able to help. Thank you for telling me I did.

7/05/2006 10:28 PM  

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