Living at the shore is a double-edged sword. On sunny, fair days the view goes on for miles and miles. The gulls are happy, the fish are swimming, and the humans are boating and playing in the sand. The scent in the air is fresh and clean and beautiful. If you go to the shore on a pretty day, no matter what was bringing you down, you believe you can conquer it.
|When everything looks like everything else.|
But woe to you if you go to the shore on a dark and stormy day. Oh, the electricity in the air can be exciting . . . for a while. But then the gray sets in. And the wind. And you can’t really see anything. And everything seems monotone and lost. If you’re just visiting, you can drive away, but if you live there, you’re stuck. There are only so many times you can go for a ride. Eventually, you have to learn to live with the dark.
It starts to eat away at you. You try not to look at it. You try to focus on other things. You close your windows and doors, turn on the lights, blare some music. But it doesn’t work. The dark seeps in. It slips under the doors and through the tiny cracks in your house. Like a mist, it settles in, seeking you out with gray fingers. It swirls around you and enters your mind, your heart, your soul.
The dark demands to be recognized. If you live on the shore, you cannot pick and choose just the beautiful days. You have to accept the dark days, too, the days where the gulls lie low. You have to accept the days that bring you to the edge of your sanity and suck all the happiness out of your soul. It’s almost like a punishment for the beautiful days.
But the dark days make you more honest. They force you to acknowledge that nothing is perfect--not the weather, not nature, not you. All things are flawed, and the dark days make you look at the flawed things face on. The dark days won’t let you walk away. They won’t let you ignore things. They won’t let you pretend or put on airs. They force your heart and soul open, and even though it hurts to look at the darkness inside, it is far better than fooling yourself with the idea of perfection. In the end, truth is better than glamor.