It's early. Too early. But isn't it always?
I park my car and get out. It's the middle of nowhere. The sun has just risen over the hills, the thorny bushes just beginning to stir. I have always wondered if thorns go to sleep. Like, do the sharp edges soften with the cool air and the rising of the moon and the twinkling of the stars. Do the tips get caressed by the soft evening breeze, gently coaxed into acceptance? That sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn't hurt to be soft.
I want to touch that thorn before the sun hits it. Before it has had a chance to remember that it is a thorn. So I walk towards a bush. I spread my fingers and let a couple of them graze the palm of my hands. They prick. I lift my hand to a neat cut that is now bleeding. I fell the pain. I bite my lip. I asked for it. I wanted to test it, I wanted to know.
Now I am bleeding. Now I am in pain. Now I know.
As I watch the blood trickle, I gasp. At the similarity between this moment and my life. Especially the past few weeks. I do not wipe the blood. I do not wince. I welcome it. I hate pain. I avoid pain. This time, I sit on the a stone and watch as my blood decides its not worth wasting itself and the bleeding stops. It does stop, eventually. The bleeding.
I wanted to experience . I was told, like the thorn, it will always have its sharp edges. But the thorn, oh the painful pleasure I longed for. I touched, I experienced. It pricked. I touched some more. I bled. I watched the bleeding, and hoped that the thorn would soften one day. That the touch of my hand, the gentle kiss of my lips, would convince it to, if only for a moment, not hurt.
But i loved the hurt that came with the pleasure. I loved that it hurt as much as it made me happy. Until my hand had no places left to poke. Until my hand was the picture of Dorian Grey. A shameful representation that was my careless abandon and shameless indulgence. My hand cried out to my heart. To stop. The heart experienced more fulfillment as my hand hurt. My mind? It was torn. Both such beautiful experiences, both so ineffably sublime. One more destructive.
The thorn had to go. It did not become soft with the evening breeze. Or I had to walk away. Walk away I did.
With my bleeding hand. The thorn, still as majestic. Still luring. Who gets lured by a thorn? Me, that's who. I see the whole in ashes. I see the the beauty in destroyed. I see the flower that was the thorn. And that's the softness i try to coax out.
And my hand, it still bleeds. But the bleeding, it does stop.