Disproportionate Experiences by Devika Brendon
It’s what we focus on that we make significant.
We can drive ourselves mad
By zooming in on the brutal brevity of human joy;
our small quota, what we are stingily allowed.
In comparison to the extended ordeals
of fear and regret, and sorrow.
But we are the filters and curators:
the discriminators and discerners
of our own life experiences.
In our own hand is the power.
I know this, now.
I can dwell on the assault at the age of 4.
The betrayal of trust at the life stage when a child is just individuating,
or the unexpected swell and surge
of desire, that I slowly allowed myself
years later when I could separate it out.
I could decide to leach away the shock and the shame
And leave only the joy and the innocence that eventually washed clean.
I could winnow the harvest
with the wisdom
Of an agriculturalist’s hand.
I could choose to cut away the smoke;
shatter the mirrors;
be only the pure flame.
Someone told me once that he had discovered the cure for depression:
That he had observed his sister
Torture herself by placing too much significance on the things that hurt her.
And the impact that had.
So, he suggested we all do the opposite:
Take every shard of happiness
And expand it till it fills us up.
And no sorrow can enter
Or occupy any space we do not allocate.