Gentle Reminders for When Things Break (Because they Do)

By Jacquelyn Taylor


You want answers, I know you do.

We all do.

Life can be so damn hard, day after relentless day.

You want to have it all laid bare before you, so it feels safe.

So it makes sense.

You want every crossroads mapped and every heart thesis written.

You stand facing that mirror every morning counting fine lines and cursing the skin you’re in.

Wondering what you’re going to do with this so called life. Looking to leave your mark. Your legacy.

Walking wounded. Feeling broken.

I want you to come and sit with me a minute.

I need to show you something.

I’m not entirely sure how to do this though, and maybe I’m not even the best person for the job, what the hell do I know?

My hair is salted with grey, and there are days I don’t even get out of my pajamas. I’m a stay-at-home Mom, if I didn’t have children, I’d just be unemployed. Lately, I drink too much coffee and not enough whiskey.

And yet… I still see it. The beauty. In you. In me. In everything.

In your irrepressible desire to be true to yourself, no matter what the masses say you should be.

In the way we keep getting up, after being thrown down by circumstances time and again.

In the way you hold your breath sometimes, just so your lungs remember how to breathe.

In the way life ebbs and flows, drowns and rekindles.

Things break darlin’. Daybreak. Waves break. Wind breaks. Break-ups. Breakdowns. Bones break. You can break a horse. A record. A promise. A home. A heart. It’s what we do with the pieces that matters. This is what is beautiful. The mosaic is the masterpiece.

It’s true. I don’t know you. Not really.

I don’t know the shape of your scars.

I don’t know the people who hurt you or made you feel not good enough.

I don’t know the cruelty you endured when you were bullied on the playground, or violated in your own house.

I don’t know the lover who shattered your heart, or the death that aches deep inside your marrow.

I don’t know what color your darkness is, or the striations on your heart.

Let me tell you what I do know though.

I know mountains grow because of their fault lines.

I know lakes turn that gorgeous shade of turquoise because of their silt.

I know jewels are formed under pressure.

I know trees can grow through rocks, and rivers can break canyons.

I know there are 120 crayola crayons to choose from, so you can color yourself any which way you like.

I know the earth smells fabulous after a hard rain, and I know she breathes.

I know out of the destruction of forest fires, new and stronger ecosystems can emerge. I know there is life in the deepest depths of the ocean and her tides can soften stone. I know there can be no shadows without light. I know the passion is in the risk.

I know time heals, and most things will be ok eventually. I know you are made of the star stuff, and I know out there somebody loves you; exactly the way you are, even if you haven’t found them yet. I know all these things, and tell them to you- in case you forgot to remember.

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Jacquelyn Taylor

In my former life, I wrote marketing plans and business proposals. Now I prefer prose. I am a stay-at-home gypsy, a photographer who hates having her picture taken. A contradiction in terms, I suppose.I spend the vast majority of my life breathless; air expelled from lungs in the admiration of beauty that surrounds me, in awe of the two halves of my heart who have changed me profoundly since their births, and in that tight- paper-bag-anxiety of wanting and aching. Words are trapped where breath is supposed to be.My time these days, is spent teasing them out; looking for the narrative scribbled in the margins, between the sheets, written in the stars, and finding my version of truth somewhere within the intricacies and intrigues of life.

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