You waver on the tightrope splitting the stage, (all the world’s a stage…) A moment ago you were certain, rigid, muscles taut, knew exactly what had to be done. You did it wrong. A tremble from the left calf sends the arms flailing, and you’re trying to catch yourself, and there’s a moment. A moment where you believe you can catch yourself with a shadow of doubt that must not see the light of your conviction.
There’s a part of you that paints that doubt up as graceful. Here poised for the fall, legs overlap, arms god knows where, and briefly it looks intentional, dare they say…noble. This is your bow of redemption. Dust catches in the spotlight. A light breeze reassuringly kisses your fingertips. You wouldn’t have to stand up here anymore. You did your best after all. You can finally let it go. Let go. Muscles clench in contradiction. No, that doesn’t sound right. It’s the principle of the thing. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. But not every battle is one worth fighting for. It could backfire, you can still fall, the longer you stay up here the higher it gets. You could stand alone forever and what would it even matter?
One tiny piece of dust would not have mattered. It’s the combination of dust in the light that makes it noticeable. And here, now, this is a piece of dust. This battle to be fought is not for a point. It’s not to prove anything to anyone. Except to you, in the grand scheme of your moments in the spotlight, what will you do in that dust? Will you fall and let this moment be one more to add to the collection of memories? Where you half assedly tried to look not too invested in the outcome, but kept watchful eye on the light threatening to go out above you like the fight in your eyes? Or will you catch yourself, and for once, try to grasp the tightrope. Not with your hands, or your toes, but with your whole sense of being. And when the light does go out, and the dust does collect, where the hell will you be?
You know you will not win every battle. You need to balance with your arms. You know that in the eyes of everyone else the isolated moments never add up properly. Big moments are the ones worth paying attention to, but everything big can be broken down to something small. You need to breathe in and shift your weight to the left. And you have only ever seen the small moments. The ones that make the difference in between right and wrong. The ones that make you fall in love with something, anything (the sweater at macy’s, the cashier who rang you up, that simple cup of coffee, yourself), the ones that make you uncomfortable but you don’t know why yet (how the pattern plays across your shoulders, your chest, your stomach, the other cashier you rang you up for the return, that thing you said to Brian last week, yourself). The little moments always count because they lead you to the places you end up and in this tiny moment, you will waver, but you will not fall.
Turn. Reacquaint yourself with your legs. They have become strangers in the familiarity of standing still.
You will look at yourself in the exchange of judgment you observe in others. You will go along with a show that does not make sense to you for the sake of being in the show, on the stupid stage, with stupid people who cannot add properly. (They are not stupid because they are wrong through and through. They’re stupid because they are wrong for you and will not take you where you need to be.) You will tell yourself you are crazy (you are confused, tangled with potential, caught on possibilities). You will take comfort in familiar (I guess this bundle of whatever is kind of a like a blanket…). You will always wonder what it’s like to perform on a different stage, with a whole new scene and characters, and you will look into the spotlight. Just for a second, and remember all the tiny moments and find strength in when you did something for you.
When you wavered on the tightrope splitting the stage, you could have just let yourself fall and no one would have blamed you. (Or maybe found you unpleasant because you kind of seem like…weird with that whole pride thing no one cares about any way. People are a mess of variety. Do not use them as a constant to justify the standard you hold yourself to.) But you caught yourself and found you were better in your own eyes for it.
You can have all the accidental grace of a fall and you can have all the fight to stay standing.
The only person who decides if something worth applauding is you.
Until next time,