Wednesday, February 22, 2012

There's a Finnish proverb that I like, one of the ones with more vowels than seems prudent, that translates approximately to "don't paint a demon on the wall." In some cases it's a calming directive, a reminder not to focus on worst-case scenarios and insulate all of our walls with worries. At other times it's used to break the superstitious fear of something that's been spoken aloud, knocking on wood to clear out all the monsters. It seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world, not to paint demons on our walls, but quite often it's really the hardest.

I woke up yesterday morning after too few hours of sleep feeling insane, heart shuddering inside my ribs as though you could fold your hands around it and calm it like a bird. As though I had been spending my dreams only in running and falling. It could be that the dissonance is getting to me, all the time spent in revelry not the sort I want most, all the time laughing and drinking and still watching the door, waiting in the quiet late nights for footsteps that don't appear. So often it's true that my walls are covered in layers of demons, demons upon demons, having little demon dinner parties and playing demon board games. What I am starting to suspect is that the opposite is just as bad, crafting best-case scenarios and covering the walls with scenic vistas and unicorns and whatever else that are just as unlikely to come true. It's something of a surprise to have to fight my best-cases just as hard as my worst ones, but perhaps it shouldn't be when they turn out to be the same thing, demons disguised as unicorns and showing up to the party all invited.

Maybe the only thing left is to build a room with no walls at all.

1 comment:

Kerri Anne said...

I like the idea of no walls at all. Or if there must be walls, I think I'd like all of mine to be windows.