For a long time, I was sad because of things that happened to me. I was discouraged because of things in my past, things that I never told anyone, things that no one would guess happened to me.
"Jessica is the quiet, innocent one," people will say. But that only makes me even more sad. If they only knew.
I found a poem a couple weeks ago that I became obsessed with.
right through the walls
right out the window
to any place but here
- Charles Bukowski
I liked this poem so much that I made a painting inspired by it. The painting was of birds. I imagined myself as one of them, flying away, running away, forgetting everything.
Everything that happened to me was terrible. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. When I think about it all, I feel so overwhelmed. How can so many bad things happen to one little girl? I get angry and sad and so tired. I want to fly away, run away.
I know that running away wouldn't help anything. The memories are still there. The effects of my past are still there. The scars are still there. But just the idea of flying sounds so wonderful. To fly. To be free.
I don't feel free at all. My past haunts me. My mistakes haunt me. Things that were never even my fault haunt me. It's like I'm standing here, trying to live my life, but a big gray cloud has surrounded me and is slowly turning into steel bars. I'm caged in.
I was at an open mic night tonight. One of my friends sang the old song His Eye is On the Sparrow. There is one part of the song that she sang so beautifully that I nearly cried. It inspired everything that I am writing about; God revealed so much to me through just two little lines of the song. "I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free."
Here's the thing. I am free. Everything that happened before, it hurt and it was terrible and it left the ugliest scars. But I'm out of that situation. I'm out of the abuse and the fighting and oppression and the lies. I am free.
I feel haunted because I think about it. I entertain thoughts. I lie in my bed and wonder how life could have been different. I cry over wasted years. That big gray cloud that is hindering my vision and that huge cage that is holding me back - they are not real. They feel real; they feel so heavy. But they're not real. There is nothing holding me back. I am out of that situation. I am free.
I'm still sad and mad and frustrated about the things that happened to me. And my scars are still just as ugly. But they have no control of me anymore. I am not caged in by them. My past is not a part of my life anymore. I have grown up and moved on.
That painting, the one that was originally inspired by Charles Bukowski's sad, hopeful poem, has now taken on a whole new meaning. I still imagine myself as one of those birds. But instead of flying away, I am singing and flying and dancing and living because I am free. I am soaring through the air. I am flying toward the sun. I am happy.
So let me sing and let me fly and let me dance and let me live. I am free.
(Photo: original artwork inspired by Charles Bukowski's poem)