This is the story a girl who got her heart tangled up in a world she never imagined would welcome her.
I never thought it would be me: the one enraptured by beauty.
The one who is forever searching. High and low, in the sun and rain, on every street corner, in each pair of longing eyes. Who sifts through pages to find it. Who runs out into the middle of a cornfield to see it. Who writes late into the night to create it.
I nod fervently along with C.S. Lewis:
“We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
Not only do I want to see beauty but I want to become one with beauty.
I want to create it. To become it. To know it.
You are a writer Mikayla, She told me.
The reality of the words wash over me. Me? No, not I. No, not this very ordinary girl.
But, perhaps. am I?
Maybe my longing to create beauty, the urge that sits right inside of me- can be fulfilled by my stringing of words together.
I take people, moments, nature, objects and all the things we pass by without a second glance- and I sprinkle them with grace. I staple words to the things that have remained silent for too long. The grace of words gives a voice to those things that cry out to be heard.
Language is a gift we too often take for granted. How incredible that we are able to articulate all these emotions and ideas and passions. How amazing it is that combinations of circles and slanted lines can form a letter. Each one with their own sound and each with their own role to play in the complexity of a word. On paper, stitched to a melody or used by our vocal chords- we all, as English speakers, somehow know the pattern & abide by it’s rules.
Never ever, would I have thought words could so capture my heart. That constants & vowels & the simple how of letters sound in combination, could wrap me around their finger. That the combination of nouns, and adjectives and verbs, all strung together in a set of words could somehow tell such beautiful stories. That the art of writing, of capturing things into something so concrete like ink to a paper, like keyboard to a screen, could promise such a purpose.
What keeps me up at night. I wrap myself up in studying their harmony, learning their rhythm, practising their place in paragraphs, in phrases. A desire has been ignited in my soul to not only read and loose myself in pages, but to create beauty of my own. Enthralled with the possibility of creating my own masterpiece of words, designing my own story of the heart & grace.
As though I’ve developed writing epilepsy. Words hit me at any given time, always unpredictable and often inconvenient. The middle of worship on a Sunday morning, I drop into the pew, scramble for my notebook and rush to scribble my thoughts on paper before the disappear from my head. On the tennis court, about to serve and when my mind starts churning. I struggle to win the game as quickly as possible, so I can hurry to my notebook on the change over. Finding the limits of parabolic functions, graphing them into the X and Y axis, when the words come to me. I etch them along the outside margins of my Calculas homework.
All over my school work, my notebook, letters and my phone, I find my thoughts splattered in unfinished sentences and incomplete paragraphs. All the beginning works of beauty and the stirrings of my heart. Because I can never write about emotions, thoughts or stories as well as I can in the height of their being. Talking about how when he talked to you felt like you heart was beating loud enough for people on the other side of the equator to hear and your stomach flip flopped through all the possibilities. Talking about how when your friend said she is considering ending her own life, your heart physically hurt and a cry to injustice screamed inside of you. Talking about how last night, you couldn’t even look in the mirror because you so despised the face that stared back at you.
Because talking about it is never the same as the writing.
I speak but everything feels so trite when it comes spilling out. Suddenly it all seems so insignificant…and unsubstantial…and unimportant. Because the voices are much louder in your head- they scream and pound their fists into the walls of the brain. In your head, they are much more menacing, far more destructive. They break you, they destroy you- they really do. But when all the emotions twisted inside are released into the open air, they change colour. Like blood turns from red to blue.
And the whispering thoughts begin: it’s not actually that big of a deal, his words didn’t hurt that much, the confusion isn’t that real.
When the words come tumbling out- the condemning begins- you shouldn’t have said anything, just keep it inside it’s not that big of a deal, no one really cares.
Even though there are days when you feel like breaking.
Even though some moments you actually do want to die.
Even though last night you meant it when you say you can’t imagine spending one more day on this earth.
In those moments, the winds are blowing 100miles an hour and you cannot hear anything but the torrential downpour and roaring thunder that surrounds you. You fear so fiercely that the crashing waves may truly swept you away with them, and take you to a place where you’ll never be the same again, where you can never make it back whole again. The storm is deafening & menacing in the height of the emotions. But then. just like that. it passes and you feel okay again.
And so this too shall pass.
As things always do, they proceed like this: It hurts and then it is okay. You break and then you mend. The storm rages and then it passes.
And so this is why I write. To somehow take one step closer to beauty & freeze-frame those moments: so I never forget the emotions I felt so strongly at the time and the lessons they teach me about myself & this ever churning, all-too beautiful life.