Sunday, June 18, 2017


One of my favorite parts of going to Seattle is the bus ride. Living in Tacoma, I’m close enough to Seattle to get there pretty fast but far enough to make it still be a trip. And, when I take the bus, we ride along an industrial corridor filled with street art. Some of it’s bizarre, some of it’s realistic; there’s a young woman lying on the ground in a daze with dark water pooling out that I resonate with particularly strongly. But my favorite is one of the last paintings; where, written in bold white letters on a solid black background, it reads
I remember being awestruck the first time I saw it. It’s cheeky, certainly; Seattle is known for its constant drizzle and people talk all the time about wishing for it to stop. But, moreso than that, it’s triumphant. Resilient. It speaks to months and months of darkness and then, in a moment, the light breaks through and everyone lives anew.
I haven’t always had a good relationship with sunlight. In my younger years, I could barely tolerate it; practically the only thing that soothed me was rain, because it was the only time the outside looked the way I felt inside. And even now, sunlight usually makes me feel guilty, as if I should be enjoying the world more, making the most of my time like everyone else instead of spending it as I always do (in the dark, in the shade, in the shadow).
But, in recent years, that’s started to shift. I still like the rain. Seattle’s “The Emerald City” because the rain brings so much verdant growth, like tears into arid skin. But there are some days when the sun feels less oppressive and more like life. Some days, even if just for a few moments, I want to be alive just to feel the warmth of it beating through me. And even though it’s still dark inside, has been dark, will be dark for so so long, perhaps someday the sun will come out again and the rain, having nurtured the earth, can give way to the bright and beaming.

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