Wednesday, June 29, 2005


"Ho! Ho! Ho! to the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree I will lie,
And let the clouds go sailing by."
- J.R.R. Tolkien
When I was little, I used to dream of becoming someone important, someone with a profession that sounded sophisticated, someone defined by their work. One of the things I wanted to be was to be an aeronautical engineer. Today I still can't tell anyone exactly what an aeronautical engineer does. It just sounded grand. I guess it still sounds grand. If I were to meet someone at some cocktail party and they told me they were an aeronautical engineer, I would probably be suitably impressed.

Back then, even I knew that a facade was important. Whatever you show the world, just make sure you show the right side of yourself. It took me a while to realize that sometimes, putting up facades also means living a lie. Pretending to be someone you are not. That it doesn't matter that you are dying inside, slowly killing your true self, so long as you don't show that weakness. The weakness all humanity is bound to have. That you have to pretend that you don't have this vulnerability.

When I was little, I thought I could impress my parents one day. I believed I could fly. It took me a while to realize that the higher I climbed, the harder I fell. That I couldn't fly because I wasn't made that way. It was a day of facing hard truths. Stone cold facts. It hit me hard. I don't know if I ever managed to pick up all the pieces that shattered that day. It feels as though I haven't, because deep down inside, I still grieve.

Sometimes I think there was a child. The child I was before I turned 17 and left home. There was this one little girl who grew up on a small island, who loved to run and played alone because no one else seemed to notice her. She hid in the library during recess and sometimes she sat in the stairwells, listening to the echoes of other children playing in the yard. Children who sounded happy and who did not invite her to join their games. She never made it past her 17th birthday, because she eventually died from a broken heart.

Half a world away in Toronto, Canada, there was this young adult who had no past. She had no memories except for the nightmares that haunted her. She grieved for the loss of a child she never knew, so she flirted with death, knew no boundaries in desperation. She lived alone because no one seemed to notice her. At 27 years, she had bounced through two countries before settling down, still flirting with death, still knowing no boundaries in desperation. Still grieving.

Sometimes I think about the death of that child. She has a name. Her name is Amy. Sometimes I think about Amy and I wonder who she would be today. I like to think she'd become an aeronautical engineer. I like to think that she is flying high, higher than planes can ever go, higher than any eagle can soar. I know Amy would be delighted with the thought of having such an important job. I know it's not important to her what the job entails, that it is enough to hold such a title. She is innocent, in a sense. Perhaps naive.

Sometimes I dream about Amy and her death. I dream of a funeral where Sarah McLachlan is singing Angel.

...spent all your time waiting for that second chance...
...for a break that would make it ok....

Sometimes I dream of a life she would have had, could have had.

...there's always some reason to feel not good enough..

Sometimes I want to hug her and tell her it will be alright, that she doesn't have to be perfect. were born from the wreakage...

Sometimes I want the grief to end, to bury Amy beneath mounds of sand, to let her soul rest in peace. As if seeing a tombstone with her name on it would put my mind to ease. find some peace of the arms of an angel

(Words in italics lyric from "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan)


butterflies said...

Beautiful post.
Amy is still there.Dont bury her!
Shes inside your soul and she gives comfort to you.She doesnt need to die sweetie..she needs to live with you.
Carry her with the wind on your shoulder:)

Anonymous said...

Polar Bear,
I to dreamed of growing up and becoming someone great.I wanted to show everyone that I was somebody.My parents would be so amazed and realize they were wrong.But then the cold hard truth eventually sunk in and I realized that they were right all along.
What a horrible feeling to realize that our destiny was never meant to be.All those hopes and dreams.It was devestating.
I know how you feel.Like a part of your soul had died,the most important part.
All of the things we needed most were taken away from us.They robbed us of our lives and then called us failures!

But I hope so much that we,ll be able to find that part of ourselves again someday.Find a way to love ourselves and believe in ourselves again.
I hope so much that you can.I hope we both can.

Take good care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

You are somebody great, you just dont realize it yet.


HeyJules said...

Hi Bear. I finally made my way back to find the "Amy" post. And here's what I have to say about all this...

Anybody can have a great job. Anyobdy can have a great title. Anybody can grow up to become the most important person in the entire world.

But it's the person that holds your hair back when you're sick or the one that spontaneously hugs you when you can't take another minute of the frustration of life that really matters. It's the person whose words make you stop to see something inside yourself you never thought was there or the one that shows up at your door with groceries when you can't afford your own - these are the really important people in life. And the good news is, anybody can be one of them - even Amy.