January 31st, 2020
I see clouds.
A lot of them. I see them literally; people keep telling me the reason January has felt so long is because we haven’t seen the sun. And I see other kinds of clouds, too; a news story on the rise of suicides last night, more and more people in our communities, that we personally know, that we intimately love, taking their own lives and leaving us with black holes and heavier questions.
I think about death a lot. Not necessarily with a self-suicidal bent, but I often imagine what this world would be like without me in it.
I don’t like it.
I had a good conversation with my good friend earlier today, and I told him that our self-worth shouldn’t rely on our contributions to others. We feel worthless if we don’t feel like we’re giving enough, when in fact we are all invaluable and priceless, just by our continued existence alone. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. When we have something to give, it is amazing to share. When we don’t, it just means we’re human.
I see a lot of clouds, but when I really open my eyes, I see water.
I see it everywhere.
Last night, in my favorite scene of the remarkable finale of The Good Place, Chidi shared a Buddist view of existence:
“Picture a wave in the ocean. You can see it; measure it, its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through, and it’s there, and you can see it, you know what it is. It’s a wave. And then it crashes on the shore, and it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be for a little while.”
And earlier today, I saw a quote:
“Every storm runs out of rain.”
And I realized something: water is everything. Yeah, scientifically, blah blah blah, drink eight glasses a day and don’t die. But just like the exact same water cycles through lifetime after lifetime on this planet, so do we through our days.
We exist as waves. We’re all unique, but a part of something, the same thing, and we both start and end in it the same way. And as water, we all go through clouds. And just like anything else, like waves and rain and storms, clouds end, too.
If you’re in a cloud today, I promise you, it will end. And you will still be water on the other side.
I heard one last quote I wanted to share: “Sometimes, being a hero to someone is just about sharing who you really are.”
So many of you are heroes to me. And if you ever need help getting through a cloud, I hope you know where you can turn and find some sun.