Tear Stained Pillows


“What do you want me to say, Oliver? I feel, but these feelings don’t have words. Or perhaps they do, but when I start to write them down I just throw them away because they seem like cheap clichés.  

My mind churns over pieces of memories that don’t make sense, and I get stuck in questions that won’t go away. Like trying to understand people. It’s so easy to be good when things are good. But when we hurt, the tables turn. Tempers flare, tongues wag, hearts break, and bridges burn. Families are torn asunder as wounded souls stand at a stalemate, bleeding and broken but unwilling to change.

I lay awake and wonder, are we good beings with wounded hearts? Or bad creatures fighting against our nature to be something better?”

Elli waited for Oliver to answer as she buried her face deeper into the sofa’s plush pillows. The musician’s fingers brushed the metallic strings of his guitar in a quiet melody. Elli was used to his musical musings. In the months that they had known each other, she came to find the notes as the sound of his thoughts in motion.

“I think we were born with the wrong notion of what life is supposed to be like,” he said quietly over the Gibson’s tranquil tune. “We live for this thing called Love, and then we screw it all up. Our selfishness warps our perception and we get big heads over how we think it should play out. We get mad when things don’t go our way, and blame God thinking, ‘How can you let us hurt like this?’. But we don’t acknowledge pain as a part of life. No one promised us it’d be easy. But El, that’s the beauty of it. Love is the stuff that perseveres in spite of life’s pitfalls. It’s the white knight in your stories.” 

“If that’s true then why are there so many of us walking around with hurts and unhappy endings?”

“No one’s found an ending if they’re still up and walking, Elli Campo.” Oliver smiled at his pessimistic little friend. “The trouble is when we are too stubborn to humble ourselves enough to forgive each other. As a result, we don’t leave enough room in our hearts for Love to move. Fixing things means stepping up and being the bigger person, and it often requires sacrifices. Most people are just waiting for someone to step forward.”

“So if everyone’s too stubborn and stuck in their own pain to move forward, whose going to step forward?”

Oliver shrugged as if the answer were easy. “The one who wants things to change, and means it.”

 

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