When you have to step forward even knowing full and well that it will hurt like you know it will hurt. Imagine you have done 150 air squats and it is the day after and your DOMs is so profound that when you use your quads (The large muscles on the front of your upper leg) they feel like they might explode. Sure you take some Advil and do some stretching but you know that no matter what, the pain will be there. You can’t avoid walking and standing so you simply endure. You literally grit your teeth and use those muscles for what they are intended; to stand, to walk, and to move forward, despite how much pain they inflict upon you.
There is a rustling of movement outside of the room. I here tiny voices and I am up and getting dressed enough to referee my children as they get ready for school. Clothes adorn bodies, teeth are brushed, snacks are had, bottles of water fill with saved hydration. I am cooking eggs for myself and the kids waffle back and forth between childish optimism and the acrid stench of early onset teenager. A grind is slowly formed and we move into the groove because it gets us from point A to point B. We love and cherish each other with coos and laughs and looks and words of love. Right now though I am held above the groove.
There is a calling on life and a knowing like aching quads that the movement will be forward. Eventually. Who moves forward recklessly; with a broken body or broken outlooks? The answer is everyone. We can’t but move forward. My children grow in front of me and I anticipate their every new bud of ideas and realizations like one might watch their favorite rose bush. There is so much hurt in this; hurt and beauty. Even decaying things hold a wonderful beauty about them. Otherwise a fascination with urban decay would not permeate the explorer in all of us.
To say that melancholy has been a close bed fellow this week would be the understatement of the year. I see through this present fog, to a reality where moving forward is also met with intense pain. Pain of stiff emotions, and tight drives that can only be revived through practice. Perhaps I am writing right now as a man who is simply talking to himself. Perhaps I am whistling in the dark. There is prose here, there is a pleasure in writing these things down for you and me. I don’t pretend that what I am saying is even right or that what I am thinking in this moment will be thought salient by future me.
What I do know is that there is a great beauty to life even in its darkest tone. When you paint you paint the shadows and then you put that small amount of white paint on the highlights of the eyes. Then the painting, then life is alive but only because you look at the whole thing and declare that there be pain and there be pleasure but ever will there be glory to the Painter.
Also published on Medium.