When all that was to be done still isn’t done. When the laundry hasn’t washed itself and relationships didn’t mend as easily as they should have. When you woke 50 minutes late, or 10 minutes late, or 5 minutes late and before your feet even hit the floor you know that an absolutely shitty day just began. When that happens three days in a row. When you don’t want to face your reality so you just go to bed and it doesn’t matter that you still have your glasses on. When you’re certain that love is a fanciful ideal. When the courage and wisdom that you developed as you grew older drain away and you’re back at your core beliefs. When there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel because it is certain that you’re not even in a tunnel you’re in a sink hole and they are filling in that void in the Earth. When your past haunts you and although you’re learned to live without regrets, if you got the chance to go back and change somethings you wouldn’t hesitate.
Remember this: Somehow, when all of these things are going on you should still know that it doesn’t last for ever. They aren’t that powerful.
When I lived in Barbados I went through a really bad bout of depression, not the worse but still too bad for comfort. At the same time, because I broke my parents simple rules for my time while abroad and possibly also because I wrote them a detailed letter of the events of my first two months in Barbados I ended up getting moved to on campus housing as well as having an even stricter list of rules implemented. One of which was that I had to be back on campus by 6pm and also that I wasn’t to leave campus unnecessarily- they deemed what was necessary or not.
The beach was almost never necessary, so getting to watch my sunsets on the beach or at the boy’s house was now out of the question. I searched campus for the perfect place to watch the sunset from on campus and there really weren’t that many. I wasn’t religious but watching sunsets to me was my everyday ritual. It gave me reassurance, hope and closure. It made me focus on beauty and gave my heart a reason to be full amidst my pain. Watching the sunset through a barbed wire fence further intensified the feeling that I was stuck and I felt trapped on that campus. After studying an afternoon I found a spot at the top of a hill in the grass where wildflowers grew at the side of the highway. It was the furthest thing from peaceful yet still I just zoned out every afternoon and watched the sunset. The day was done, what was still to be done was then the following day’s problem if it was ever to come. We had rotated until the sun no longer hit our spot on the Earth. Soon it would be dark but until then it was a period of peace, suspension and beauty.
I’d sit there golden in that light from the setting sun and it felt really good, really alive. The thing or things that I did get done that day pushed me closer to my goal of where I wanted to be which at that point was simply to still be alive the next morning and to finish the semester. It was such a great thing because some days it drizzled and some days it was a little heavier than a drizzle but I was still there standing in the rain as it fell watching this period of time that I had occupied expire. Somedays I was studying in the library or study hall, some days I was in class and I’d take off and go to my spot.
Looking back now a year and a half later those experiences seem so foreign. Almost like they happened to another person, years ago. But no it was me, I’ve got the scars to show for it and I’ve got the warmth of those sunsets that live on in me. I’ve got the wild flowers tickling under my knees. You could have counted on me, wherever I roamed, I’d be looking on, thankfully, in pain or happy, mourning the death of a friend, freaking out for exams, or pleased with my effort that day, as the time narrowed to the close of the day I’d be looking on by sunset.
It’s almost a promise and a congratulations prize. You got though the day and sometimes that the hardest thing to do.
This photo isn’t in Barbados but it was a sunset in London that really literally momentarily took my breath away.