Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Outside In

"When the sun comes up about ten in the mornin'
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you'll fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinkin'
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away."

Hasn't everyone felt like that before? Like a fly in a spider's web; you get caught, you struggle and struggle and struggle and the web only gets tighter and you just end up in an even bigger mess than what you were in to start with.

Time passes in leaps and bounds, then slows to a crawl and you're left thinking about what it is you wanna do with your life. You start panicking, thinking about all the endless possibilities of the future, about leaving your friends and family.

The thing is, I've spent my whole life thinking about my escape from this town and everything in it. The stereotypes, the judgment, the gossiping old ladies. All the while people are pushing me to do this, do that, go here, wait, come all the way back over here. Well what if I don't want to? Who says I have to conform to life's rules?

Who says I have to be the same?

Who says I can't be different?

Who says I can't be the president, a writer, a doctor, a mum? Who says I can't fall in love with whoever I want to? Who says anybody can't do any of these things?

When life gives you the lemons... squeeze them in people's eyes and run.

Granted, not everything has happened the way I had it planned out. Josh died from cancer (he's been gone a year now; time is relative to suffering) and my other friend killed themselves. I don't know why they did it and I don't think I ever will. I can't imagine not seeing beauty in the world. I am afraid to die. But I'm not afraid to admit it.

But... despite it all, everything has come together. I'm taking it one day at a time. The future isn't so scary if you look at it in increments.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that YOU have to be enough for YOU. Nobody can tell you what you're worth, where you're going or why, except God. So why are you worrying? Who cares what everyone else says? They don't know you. They can't see you. The only people who can see you are God... and you.

How is it that we spend our entire lives worrying about what people think of us? As a race, aren't we past exterior and more interested in interior? Apparently not.

Because the two boys that were taken from me were my best friends. And I tried so hard to hold on to them. It was like holding smoke. it stays in your hands for a while, looks substantial, and once you open your fingers, it's gone.

Don't take anything for granted. Travel, see the world, love with a heart that's full an unbroken because you've only got 100 years to live.

Feels like everyone else's got the answers
You got shadows, they got light
You just got a heap of questions
While they got everything right

Feels like someone made your body
Somebody else your mind
A mismatch in so many ways
You were always one step behind

While the other found each other
You were left alone
A magic ring around their world
That kept you from their zone

You try to settle in your shadow life
Don't know where you end, or begin
But you wonder, sometimes, if they feel it too
Inside out and outside in.

-A Solitary Blue

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lest We Forget

The 25th of April. To most people it's just a day off school or work. They enjoy the day because it's Easter weather which means sunshine and cool air.

But the 25th of April is also ANZAC Day. ANZAC - Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Decades ago, the ANZACs fought for Australia and New Zealand's freedom from oppression and they won. Our land is OUR LAND because they lay down their lives so we could live ours. They laid down their lives for people who hadn't even been born yet because they would rather die than see their families enslaved by tyrants.

In Flanders' Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The Larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce hear amid guns below.


Take up the quarrel with the foe;
To you with failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, yet poppies grow
In Flanders' fields.

But ANZAC day doesn't just stand for those who have died. It stands for those who are fighting, every day, to stop people like Gaddafi from spreading from Libya and into our countries. There is nothing more powerful than the heart of a volunteer, and that these people will lay down their lives so we can live in peace and freedom is something that needs to be acknowledged.

I don't support war. But I support our soldiers. There's a difference. My heroes don't fly through the sky wearing capes with their underwear on the outside of their tights; my heroes walk through war torn countries in battle fatigues wearing dog tags. My heroes have families, children, parents, waiting for them to return home. My heroes spend sleepless nights traveling from village to village, waging war against terrorists and extremists.

My heroes often end up dead. Their weakness isn't Kryptonite, the Joker, or Catwoman - their weakness, and their strength, is their love for their families, their countries. The reason they go to fight is their families. Their families are the ones targeted however indirectly by the people they're fighting. And this doesn't just go for Australians or New Zealanders; this goes for EVERYONE. War isn't honorable but soldiers are.

When I was on holiday, we went to the Australian War Memorial, a place where a flame was lit and burns eternally in memory of the courage of all the soldiers that have been and will ever be in service of our country. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in a secluded chamber; he was a boy - seventeen years old - whose body was never identified.

And then we visited the walls. Two huge walls inscribed top to bottom with the names of every serviceman who ever died in every war fought by Australians and New Zealanders. The poppies on the wall symbolise their continuing memory - after the fighting had ceased, poppies grew in the wasteland that had become the battlefield. They were the only thing that grew. It reminded people of what they were fighting for.

This is only half of one of the walls.

Today isn't a day of glorified celebration of war. Today is a day of grieving for all the people who were lost and all the people who will be lost just because a few politicians don't know how to live in peace. I lost both grandfathers to this war. I have no doubt others have lost more than that. We'll all lose more.



-A Solitary Blue