Two Nights, One Summer

There are two nights this summer that I remember fondly, and deeply, and boldly.

The first night, I realized with a crying force that dreaded responsibilities are written in the laws of the universe. The second night, I experienced a dizzying happiness that resulted from tears and recent strangers whom I now shared a piece of my life with.

The first night should have made me a happier person. And it did, but only for that one night. Hereafter, I slid into a slump that I wish could be explained in a simple syllogism. You see, I’m the kind of person that worries about upcoming deadlines and tasks constantly. And I used to comfort myself by telling my mind that all would be better once I am able to complete my check-list. That night, on my bed, I smiled and laughed because I realized that I should give up on dreading because life will never stop giving me a reason to dread. It was a soft, incandescent lightbulb moment. So why did I disintegrate after the sun rose? I think sometimes when the mind suddenly knows it realizes that it knows so scarcely the voids of existing.

The second night is one of those nights you capture with a shaky videocamera and then filter with muffled tones of warmth and blur. It was five days into a seven day camp centred around human rights. The night was given for us to present our experiences and learnings to the sponsors of the camp. It was supper, and the groups before ours were taking longer to present then we expected. Our turn was up, and the room was too cold. But it was one personal story that took a lot of courage and many broken pauses to tell that moved us all beyond shallow emotions. And so we were all there, twenty-three kids and one large group hug, in the middle of a room surrounded by very rich people and walls made of aged wood. Afterwards, we went back to the residence by school bus. We were loud, boisterous, and so senselessly and genuinely happy. The songs were off-key and the air was laced with dampness, and all was incredibly in place.

And so now I am here, the last day before the start of school. Forever grateful for those two nights and all the others I do not remember as vividly. For me, words are so hard to render genuine. Yes, the ink flows from the pen that resides in my hand, but I wonder what my mind would manifest if freed from all interior and exterior motives? I’ll never know if the expressed feelings in this post are completely untainted, but at least I’ll always have the words to bring my ideas together. One summer, two nights, four hundred eighty-three words, and an even larger amount of glorious split seconds of incomprehensible emotions.

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