He Was Like A Piece of Art

Pascal Janssen
Pascal Janssen

I always saw something in him. And everyone judged me. Everyone teased me for loving the boy who was a little different. But I knew well enough that the people who are different are the ones who need love the most.

I was fascinated with how his pieces came together. I stared at him like a painting in a museum. I examined every line and wondered how those colors came together as they did. Sometimes though, learning about how something came to be it loses it’s beauty. Because anything that looks as wonderful as that, gets derived from pain.

I was too young to fully understand his story. Hell, he was too young to even have experienced half the shit I’d never know in life.

And like a book I couldn’t put it down. I learned more about him. But with every page and every chapter it was almost like I was being let into a secret world. I held the book close and didn’t want anyone else to know everything I found out. Because how could an individual endure so much and still stand tall. And still look me in the eyes and tell me I’m the one that was beautiful.

I grew angry. Not at him but a world I failed to understand.

And in my mind I went to bed praying and hoping he was safe. I thought about heaven, hell and earth and how they weren’t too far apart as we were raised to believe. Some people’s hell was living on earth. And he thought he was the devil for having survived in such a place. All I wanted to do was wrap my arms around him and protect him from all of this. But I was no angel. I couldn’t save him. Hell I could barely save myself. In fact, there were moments he saved me. How selfish it was of me to ask that of him. But he did. Time and time again he saved me and wanted so bad to save me from myself.

But learning some of the things he did, seeing the things he did, all he knew was we can only save ourselves in this world and hope that others are in it to do the same too.

Because we are our own worst enemies. But we too are that solution.

And I don’t know when I first saw him. I just remember being captivated by it all.

He was strong for having endured everything he did. But I wish I could have taken every hit and every blow and everything that ever went wrong in his life. I wish it were me instead of him. I wish he didn’t know suffering and pain. I wish he didn’t know struggle. But he did and through learning every secret and watching him as he overcame it all, it gave me strength of my own.

That’s the thing about art. Sometimes you come across a piece that speaks to you in such a way, just seeing it lets light you never knew pass through you. It’s a feeling you can’t explain until you live to see such a thing or interact with such people.

But there is something lovely about the things and people too complicated for average souls. Most will walk by not appreciating the art in front of them. But then there will be others who stand in front of an easel, wanting to know everything. More than wanting to know everything they want to experience everything with the artist, so they can get the full effect of the piece. And sometimes we just want to know everything so the artist knows they aren’t alone in this world. Because art is the greatest disconnect between people, which oddly enough connects us all if we were accepting of it.

People are the exact same way. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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