Sunday, October 12, 2008

the nature of recovery

For my eleventh birthday, my Uncle gave me a book called, "A Glow in the Dark Guide to Decoding the Night Sky". The pages were filled with maps showing the movement of major constellations throughout the year. Since I was born in the early fall, my constellation was Virgo. Looking at that arrangement of stars, it was bewildering to me that someone could have ever deemed them to contain the shape of a woman. I remember standing outside that night with a flashlight, running my fingers over the raised dots and their eerie, chemical glow...trying to compare them to the bits of colourless, old light in the vastness above me. For the life of me, I couldn't find that damn constellation and I guess you could say that it was my first lesson in that happy, old adage, "just because something looks good on paper..."

Every year since then, on my birthday, I go outside and look for it. Admittedly, I've never actually found it, but I've learned to be satisfied in simply knowing that on this day the sky looks, and will always look, exactly as it did the first night I arrived underneath it.

When I moved to Hamilton, the stars seemed to burn further away from me. The lights of the city suffocated their glow and so, two days after my eighteenth birthday, I had the shape of the constellation tattooed on my back. I know it isn't the same thing as finding it for myself, but being able to feel the ridges of colourful scar tissue with my own hands offers, if anything, a comforting familiarity.

It's funny, this mass fascination we have with looking above- be it to the stars or something greater- for comfort, for familiarity, for explanations. In a way, we're biologically predisposed to it. After all, eyes are designed to look in every direction but inward. It so wonderfully facilitates the laying of blame elsewhere, the avoidance of self-analysis and accountability.

Today, I'm twenty-five. For fourteen years, I've attached so much meaning to this constellation. I have a history with it, with looking for it, with wondering how much of me would be different if it were different. If I were born two months earlier, would I understand you better? Would I have learned, as you have, to detach my heart from the rest of my body in order to meet some physical need? Would I have traded in my present attachment to human emotions in order to regard people as disposable and interchangeable? Maybe I would have been less naive, less willing. Maybe I would have cared less, shared less, worn less of myself on your sleeve.

But maybe not.
Maybe there is nothing in me that was destined by my birthday. Maybe I would have been exactly as I am now, only two months older.

Now, despite earlier evidence, earlier symptoms of intelligence, every inch of your disregard is coming out of the woodwork, and as prescriptive as it may seem, your eyes could certainly stand some inward gazing.

And I know... we are who we are who we are, but at the risk of sounding completely ironic, you can't tell me it was written in the stars...


Blogger TiffanyBee said...

"Maybe I would have cared less, shared less, worn less of myself on your sleeve."
- baby, you've got it. don't stop your words. this is fabulous!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Obat Penyakit Lambung Perih said...

Im very hapy is not have your like the runaway

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Obat Penyakit radang empedu said...

I really like this article

9:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home