I finally opened Ocean Vuong’s new book On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. It’d been waiting on the bookshelf to be read.
The first lines did not disappoint. Vuong writes, Dear Ma, I am writing to reach you–even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are. What do those words mean to you?
They made me a bit teary because as much as I love my mom, I sometimes feel that no matter how I explain myself, there are things that we’ll never be able to understand about each other.
Sometimes the more we say, the more distance builds between us.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been reading the Bible more often. Reading it helps keep me peaceful and focused. Sometimes my thoughts try to convince me that this or that is the right way. The word of God makes its way back into my head. It keeps me from doing stupid selfish things.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that sometimes I don’t recognize the person I see in the mirror. The eyes that stare back at me look livelier. Braver.
Has that happened to you? You change so quickly or change comes at you so quick that when you take a moment to look around, you feel like you’re in a dream or living somebody else’s life?
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it takes effort to see how everyone is fighting their own battles. We are all doing the best we can with what life gives us. Only we individually know how to make the most with what we have. Whether we end up doing things for love, justice, or our dreams.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had some good cries in the past few months. (This is not to say that I cry daily.) Those cries taught me to stop making assumptions. They taught me to tell and show people that I love them more often.
If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that I’m full of so much hope. I would tell you that I don’t ever want to give up.
Life isn’t easy, but it is beautiful. I’m curious to see where this living takes me. Are you curious to see where this living takes you, too?
If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?