Haul your lanterns
Airbnb's can deceive you and they will. They will give a thousand promises then drown you in them.
If we stare out across the expanse of our history what crawls itself into the now? What old memory do you make anew? What distant hurt brings itself closer?
This morning, I woke up in a bed that wasn't my own. I had a wedding to attend and had to do the Airbnb dice roll. You can't convey comfort in a photo accurately, and despite its pleasant appearance, the mattress felt as though it had been pulled from a dumpster and jumped on by a group of eager children for a good ten solid years. Then, there were the sheets. The one thread count sheets or two, if I am being generous. They were the sort of sheets that a ghost had lived in for a few centuries. It is easy to not make your pictures smell overwhelmingly like bleach and it's a strangely accurate analogy for our modern world. It is no hard feat to appear happy through the likes of social media or even in person. As the world moves forward, I am seeing smiles used as shields more often.
The Airbnb had this hidden benefit of presenting me with this old ache, one I used to be able to shake off, but I am at the age where my aches use their outside voices and keep shouting until they make themselves silent. With such age comes the experience of good & bad times. I know it is hard to look at our darkest days and find a new light. One of the toughest arts is carrying something into a place that no longer exists, but we can haul lanterns into such places, and it is all a matter of perspective. We are those heartbeat ghosts. The living visiting dead places. The deeper I fall into the well of this great place, the more aware I become of how close I am to the sun. This is an estranged way to say it is easier to appreciate the little flickers of light after you’ve been to the places light doesn’t even have on its maps. Knowing what I have made it through is the evidence I need to ensure that I can conquer whatever mountain range considers me a homeland. And there is the big question:
What if the only way here was going there?
It was my darkest days that caused me to seek out a life course, and through that life course, I gained a fiancé, a brother, and some friends that I will treasure forever. If I was a pirate and I was constructing a map, they’d be the X. The weirdest part of it all is that it was all because of depression. My sadness sent me seeking, and if I was happy or content, then I wouldn’t have felt the need to run wildly away from a fire screaming for help. There is a certain necessity to hurt. It seems we must go to the uncharted places to discover our true desires. I have reached the conclusion that I can make my pain laugh. Honestly and wholesomely. I can cast my mind back to an old heartbreak and still feel the sting, but my heart can now laugh about it a little. I have this added luxury of being able to transform agony into poetsong, and more often than not, my mind is a karaoke bar.
If I asked you to haul a lantern into a bad day from the last month, can you pull a positive out of it? If the answer is no, I urge you to treat this like practice. Become a hunter of silver linings, no matter how small. Being able to take joy from all instances is a power we should all harness. Even those little annoyances have niggles of joy nestled in the cracks. Wherever you might be right now, whether that is in the midst or in the aftermath, I implore you to observe your surroundings and make a conscious effort to find the peaks of your mountains. Did somebody give you a hug and remind your heart it was a home? Or did somebody give you a compliment? Take them, pull them close and do not forget those feelings. Fires start as sparks, and we, too, can become flammable for the magic of little moments. We are the haulers of lanterns. Dare we carry them into the darkest of places.
Coming soon. The first-ever edition of the static. Featuring all of the things I have been listening to, reading and generally loving.
I simply searched Airbnb on Spotify, and this was the only tolerable song.