Memory is a funny thing.
I remember the first time I saw Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Italy…
The trip was down a very long hall of a large museum, past 10 or 12 other statues of his — much more raw than the boy, gods emerging from rock, half-formed. I remember, too, that no one really paid attention to these gods and monsters, heading straight to the young, naked valiant under the glass dome at the end of the corridor.
There was no glass separating the marble from our warm flesh.
I’m here, again, in Florence. In the same spot. Twenty-five years later. Alone. (I came with my younger brother, the first time around.)
I am overwhelmed.
It’s not the masterpieces themselves, though they are magnificent.
It is, instead, my memory that overwhelms me, and the revelation of its fallacies.
The museum reveals itself to be small, with immediate access to the hall of my recollections, which is shorter.
There are only six half-formed blocks of stone, not the almost dozen I’ve sworn by, and they are not the tortured, fierce beings that once stunned me with their angry strength. They are prisoners, not gods, and far too vulnerable ever to be considered monsters.
David is bigger than I remember, and glass keeps the coolness of his carved skin from seeking fingers. (It was only a week after my first visit here that a man decided to chop off David’s toes with an ax, thereby creating the need for this barrier.) His delicate, youthful perfection is far more captivating now than it was in my own youth.
His hands are unquestionably fetish-worthy.
But none of these changes and revelations are as shocking to me as the unexpected, unstoppable welling of emotion that overtakes me when I step into the place. I actually have to immediately find a place to sit along the wall, breathing deeply to mitigate the outpouring of tears from becoming loud, messy sobs.
Emotion doesn’t need a label, just a release.
I have no idea why I’m crying. It isn’t sadness that’s causing this rain, at least none associated with a coherent thought.
Rather, it’s simply an extreme release. A metamorphosis made tangible. A profound recalibration of the mind with new impressions vibrant enough to transform the old.
Tears happen when we step deeply into our selves.
The journey I’ve been on these past few months — after having uprooted and shed my old life, and cast myself into the unknown as I follow my own purpose and play — has been a deep awakening and a fully conscious stepping into my truest identity as a vibrant, passionate woman.
Funnily enough, while the external factors of this phase of my life have a pattern to them resembling the trajectory of a silver pellet in action within a pinball machine, my internal life’s path has far more clarity now than it possibly ever has.
In this moment, my brain has triggered the boldest acknowledgement that I am currently LIVING POSSIBILITY rather than simply dreaming it. And my thoughts, impressions and feelings are more defined, and more nuanced, than before. My perception of the world, as well as some of the 600-year-old statues within it, is breath-taking and beautiful rather than scary and full of threats.
Memory has given way to this moment, and a dam has broken.
So, I rejoice in the arrival of the waterworks.
The tears of living are to be celebrated, not feared!
In fact, the tears are, in themselves, the release of fear — fear too old and amorphous to be anything my conscious mind had thought to define.
I sit. I breathe. I let the tears pass. And I begin to chuckle at this unexpected gift.
The stones themselves may not be crying, but I’ll take the miracle of growth any day.
And I pose to you this question:
What memory are you ready to test?
Write it down (share it below, if you’re ready!). Determine what needs to happen for you to begin your experiment. And do it! I’m here with tissues and pom-poms, should you need them. And complete confidence that you’ll not regret the action.
p.s. I have a new course coming, all about Living In Detail to bring more joy into your here and now. If you want to be among the first to get further details, sign up for updates here.