chaos has a wandering hand
I am sitting in my best friend’s kitchen, clinging to a post-party cup of coffee. I am the only one awake. Yesterday reminded me of how much I love being around people and how much I love Halloween. I would probably attend a costume party every month, if such things existed in the adult world. We all need more whimsy, more silliness, more smiles, and more reasons to live — not just get by.
Right now, I find myself more reflective than usual. I’m beginning to think there’s something about my BFF’s kitchen floor that makes me introspective. The last time I stayed here, my mind was full of unexpected thoughts. Perhaps it is the quiet. Perhaps it is simply my restless mind. Perhaps it is my muddled heart.
Or maybe it’s this coming storm that I’ve been hearing so much about. I can’t help but feel like it’s the perfect metaphor for so many things, right now.
It is a force of nature. There is nothing we can do about it. All we can do is close our eyes and hope for the best. Destruction, unfortunately, is inevitable. Chaos has a wandering hand. And our lives may look a little different, when the rain stops, when the winds calm, when the debris is cleared.
Today, I feel like counting all the hours in it. I can feel the minutes tick by in my bones, a reminder of everything I want and everything I cannot control. We are so often just people in the middle of a storm, unable to see beyond the rain. Sometimes, we forget the beauty in it, the wonder of change. The possibilities on the wind. Sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to run from the things we can’t, or shouldn’t, that we lose something: potential, a chance, a piece of ourselves. That last one pains me the most, especially if I watch it happen to someone else, but I am powerless to stop it — just like I’m powerless in the face of this storm.
But there is also the moment when we find that we are the storm. That we are wrecking and rending and derailing so many things, perhaps without thinking, without proper consideration. Just blindly doing, without a pause given, without contemplating the outcome or consequence. Destruction without an endgame, without redemption, without a promise or a purpose. All chaos has its place, whether or not its easy to look at. All changes have a meaning. Sometimes, we lose ourselves to love, forgetting reason. Sometimes, we wear our reason like armor, not noticing that it’s rusted through, or that we cannot move, or that we do not really understand what we are fighting or who we are fighting for. That is a windmill moment, when the imagined monster is ourselves.
With all terrible storms, with all impending or happened changed, there is a sense of loss. It can rip through a heart fine as a razor, without hesitation or mercy. It is then that whole lives change, where people discover themselves. It is then that we either bury or unearth our courage. Only a madman would stand in the middle of a hurricane. Only a madwoman would sing her songs into that wind.
The most painful moments in our lives are often the choices we make. They are often the love we dare. No storm is a safe, tame thing. But as the bright leaves fall from the tress this morning, I remember that all things must change in order to grow. Just because the world looks different doesn’t mean things won’t be okay.
Today, I count the hours. I know each one by heart. I always remember, even when I cannot say a word.
Some storms are of our choosing. Others are not. You can try to brace for both kinds, but at some point, there is nothing to be done. There is simply waiting for the storm to pass.