The world to me has become a collection of intricate smiles and tears. In my thoughts, I long to be in forward motion, and sometimes I am. But not always. There is so much grey in life, so many circumstances of ambiguity, which I and many others are hard pressed to wade through. As the man sitting next to me on the plane said, “You can’t always know who the good side is and who the bad side is. It’s not as simple now as it was then.”
I feel so deeply that complexity is beginning to color the world, and I oftentimes grow weary as turbid waters of uncertain interaction thrash against me, reminding me that the end is not in sight and that we are not all aligned. Then I wonder if alignment is truly what we are after… and I fall asleep each night with this question still unanswered. There is a throbbing heartache to be found in love for the world and for others. But without love, the pain would run even deeper than it presently does.
And there is still joy in the world. My aunt, musing on the time she spent in the village, recalls thoughtfully, “I miss hearing the animals at night, smelling the fires over which people were cooking, and hearing laughter in the distance.” This is the utter beauty for which we live. It is out there, and it lingers longingly in our minds far after the sounds and warmth have dissipated. This reminds me that there is such a thing as good. Isn’t it sad to be living in a world where reminders such as these are so desperately needed, though? But you have lived a life of love and care, I tell myself. And you are luckier than all of the stars in the sky to have such ambitious wishes for the world.
An activist heart is worth the weary days where even the sun seems too dark to re-ignite the light of the world and of humanity. So cry, I tell myself, as I drift into darker places unbeknownst to those who love me. Know that things may not be as bright as you wish in your lifetime. Know that there is remarkable hardship on the way to every shining destination. Know that you may never work through the confusion that blankets your mind, that its constant heat may always envelope you. But there is something else you must always remember, even when the thoughts are racing in your mind, the thoughts of why you were chosen to feel for everyone and everything that exists in this world, why you will never be able to separate yourself from and shake free of this beautiful, terrifying, perfect burden of love.
This is what you must remember: You may falter, but your love will not. You may get lost in your dreams of a different world, but your heart is still here. You may be consumed with confusion and tired hesitancy, but your spark will be waiting for you to re-embrace it and to find the places that need you and your resolve the most. You will always live this life of thoughtful care. It may be the most arduous task with which you are presented, but it is also the most worthy task of all. Remember that, and perhaps you will be okay.