For the past few years I have been learning the lesson of Icarus. It was not until recently that I realized that – looking back, pretty much everything that has happened in my life in the past three years has contributed to that same lesson.
The lesson of Icarus was introduced to me by the tattoo ARTIST Jay Freestyle. Capital letters, you will understand as soon as you see his beautiful art displayed on facebook (first and foremost on humans, though).
I was curious when I saw the incredible tattoo ART of Icarus, and the words that Jay Freestyle wrote to accompany the image. I am 99% sure that I found it somewhere on Pinterest. I googled Icarus and read all that I could. He had a beautiful adventure. An adventure much like my own, in a figurative sense.
Photo/Post URL: facebook.com/…69373022408/621990711240273
Icarus had wings made of wax.
He flew towards the sun. The basic premise.
He got too close. He stayed too long.
His beautiful wings melted and he fell down.
Nobody got a chance to ask him if he regretted the fall.
My wings were made of love. The basic premise of my story.
My wings took me too high, too close to my own heart, too far to go back, and I was too convinced I could keep going.
No distance was too far.
The sun was hotter than I ever imagined.
More beautiful, inside and out, than I thought possible.
The sun burned me and tried to take my wings along with my soul.
Maybe it was not the sun’s fault, but the earth pulled me back and away and my wings were lost for a long time.
I might have been burned and scarred and broken, but I survived my fall.
If anyone ever asks me if I regret it, I would say no.
Not one bit.
There may be nothing in my life that I am further from regretting…
Though I try to push those thoughts away and be grateful for what the roller coaster of my life has blessed me with, during all of the highs, and the lessons it has taught me in all of the lows.
It is just like Frank Solanki said in one of our conversations; “Love brings with it all sorts of joy and pain. But it is an inseparable part of it. The joy is a mountain. Pain is just a molehill. We focus too much on the hill and forget all about the mountain. That is not how it should be.”
The only thing that ever did more damage to me than loving my ex, was loving the world.
The only thing more disappointing than realizing that my ex was a liar and never cared about me, was realizing that the world is full of liars and hatred and violence and pile upon pile of shit.
It still surprises me that any one person could have such an effect on me. Not so much surprising that waking up to many harsh and cruel realities could have such an effect.
My lesson is that it was all worth it. It is all worth it. Every day, knowing I will never be more happy or more sad than I am and have been. Every day, missing someone and wishing for closure. Begging for answers. Every day, praying that the person you love is happy. Every day, digging deeper and deeper for a truth that got uglier with each passing second. Every day, more horrified by humanity.
I guess it was all a bit too much too handle, all at once, and I was close to giving up.
I was close to slamming into the ground, at full speed.
My heart was so heavy.
The pieces jagged and bloody.
At the last moment, when there was no hope left, was when I finally felt free.
Free from every desire, and every worry, and every bit of pain and suffering.
I had nothing to lose. Nothing to gain.
In that moment, my wings came back, more magnificent than ever.
My heart became lighter than a feather.
I look back on that moment as the exact time I decided to chase all my dreams.
To stick around and use up every last remaining minute of this life on something worthwhile.
To love life no matter what, because the good parts would not exist without the bad parts. That is especially true in this case, although I meant in general. Maybe I would never have fallen in love with that man if we both had not seen so many of the bad parts.
It was the moment that I took back my will to live and my will to be courageous and loving and ambitious.
It was the moment I decided that no matter how hard my life (or anyone in it) pushes me down, I will just get back up again. Maybe that decision was bold; it seems it has been tested over and over ever since then.
One of my favourite quotes is, “The meaning of life is to fall down seven times, and stand up eight times.”
All the people who knew about Icarus probably thought him foolish for what he did. I have heard from my friends and family that I was foolish too. I do not think Icarus was foolish, nor do I think I was in this case. I think everyone flies toward their own sun at some point in their lives, and some get burned and some return unscathed. Those who get burned have the most beautiful scars on their hearts, even though they are often afraid to reveal them. Those who return unscathed spend their whole lives doubting.
Frank Solanki has a beautiful question about this. I tried to answer it. Rumi tried to answer it. Maybe you will too.
Frank Solanki’s Blog Post: franksolanki.wordpress.com/…/rabbits-and-cages-revisited
My blog post about mind versus heart: wherethereisloveblog.wordpress.com/…/brain-versus-heart
The lesson of Icarus can be summed up by a few words, so beautifully and gracefully inked into this lovely image.
I found this image on Twitter (@zim2918), below the words,
“Love needs two windows. Pen and Ink.
Words by @JohnJpshanley”
I am still learning the final part of the lesson of Icarus. This lesson is about the death of Icarus. Perhaps he was foolish afterall to let his love take him too close to the sun, but his foolishness provides a valuable fable. Perhaps if Icarus had not been so overwhelmed, he may have learned this lesson himself. Perhaps if Icarus had not gotten so close to the sun, he could have spent the rest of his life loving the sun, loving the sky, loving his flight. There is a limit to how close you can get to something that you love. There is a limit for many reasons. There is a limit to how much you can sacrifice. But only if you want to continue on loving this something for the rest of your time. You must be cautious, and not ignore your own needs in favour of someone else’s. I say this because love is all about simulataneous giving and recieving, it is about kindness and caring and also about sacrifice. But there are limits. Do not suffocate your love, keep two windows open. Do not let yourself become someone who is incapable of showing your love, incapable of helping and caring for your love. Do not get so close to the sun as Icarus once did.