Claude Monet, 1864.
I’d like to convince myself to believe that perhaps the first rose that ever existed came without its thorns. It started growing its prickles when everyone reached out for it, for the aesthetic pleasure that the flower emit was too hard to resist.
Its beauty has not and never will be exclusive to a singular being, and anyone who braves to claim the proprietary rights to it gets greeted with spikes. It puts up a good fight, despite knowing its inevitable demise.
It is an archaic symbol of passionate, romantic love. Maybe the gestures are a bit overplayed, but a mesmerizing bouquet of roses still possesses the ability to color and tell a thousand words of one’s love in modern culture. The beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder in certain cases.
Perhaps – and this is to each and every one of us – we started out with nothing but total optimism and purity. The world seemed like our oyster, and we could roam and breeze around without a pinch of fear. As we tumble, or occasionally trip fiercely, it suddenly dawned on us that life isn’t without pains and struggles.
We toughen, harden, and quite often than not, close up.
Instead of running and jumping along the way, we start to tread carefully. Sometimes we stop along the way to examine our paths, and at times even get temporarily stuck at crossroads.
That is the precise moment when we started to grow our thorns. We mature a little, but also lose a bit of our dreams along the way. Or maybe we didn’t lose any of those aspirations, we just placed them at the back of our heads to avoid certain risks that would induce fears and insecurities while we go our ways.
There was, and possibly still is, I really don’t dare to think, a period of time where I saw you, your prickles, and a glimpse of the shadow of your fears and insecurities. In hindsight, I could say that you were trying to hide and resist displaying any signs of vulnerability. Would it be too presumptuous to say that you were scared that I would depart like others have if I were to see your unguarded self? It wasn’t fair for you to assume and to categorize.
It doesn’t, or it can’t, matter so much now, because it’s past tense and not the present.
However, if one day you were to think of me out of the blue and (somehow) stumbled upon my post, I’d like to let you know that I noticed. I was always aware of the rudimentary shades of your doubts and personal inadequacies. I did not delve and ask, out of respect and hope that you would open up out of your own volition one day, but it was very much visibly in existence.
I never wanted nor thought about being the cliched person to save you from your pains and worries or to erase all traces of your history. The bumps and paths that have led to all the thorns you have today. I simply just wanted to be there: with and for you.
I thought, and I still think, that despite whatever happened, you are kind and loving deep down. A walking contradiction, so to say, wanting to find comfort and love, but also frightened to feel deeply for someone, because that opens up a possibility to be hurt once again. Maybe it’s hard to trust and remember after all you have been through, but at one point of time, you were? are? truly (with your good and bad) the apple of my eye.