Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat.

For Leah 03.29.11 (c) C. Quintana 2011

What did I do with my Tuesday night off? Ate a bowl of Frosted Flakes for dinner, watched Eat, Pray, Love and proceeded to meditate.  An interesting combination, I know.  The movie was a little (I’m being generous) lengthy, but therapeutic nonetheless. I wish we could all afford to travel throughout the world to find ourselves, eat lots of spaghetti and meet a Brazilian.  Maybe that should be Oprah’s final giveaway?

Snark aside, there was a quote from the film that stuck out to me: “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” Why is it that we need to reach the lowest rung in order to be renewed? It’s a classic turn in Aristotelian story-telling.  At the end of Act II the protagonist is at his/her lowest point, but then he/she rises to the challenge in Act III.  Or doesn’t– but we’ll go with a tinge of optimism for the point’s sake.

My roommate has been out of town and I’ve taken to having music on ALL THE TIME. As I was coming out of the shower this weekend a Carbon Leaf song I particularly love was playing. The key line says, “You know the seasons ought to be, Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat.” If life comes in seasons, then this is certainly the truth.  If the only universal feeling is heartbreak, as my friend Julia so wisely suggested, then in turn, recovery must also be universal.

We’re resilient beasts we humans.  It’s amazing that we wake up every morning and keep going despite all the horror in the universe.  Not only do we rise everyday, but we continue to live and hope and dream.  We go on dating sites at age 90, despite the odds, we submit hundreds upon thousands of manuscripts notwithstanding stacks of rejection letters, we rebuild our houses that have been washed into nothingness– the list goes on in every direction.

In my short little life I’ve witnessed both a college and a city fall and rise again. I’ve seen what it looks like firsthand for a home to be torn away, literally and figuratively, and in both instances, I’ve come to understand what makes human beings so amazing.  Because it’s the ruin that forces us to fight.  It’s the ruin that reminds us that we’re alive.  It’s the ruin that shows us or reminds us how much we really care about something or someone.  It’s the ruin that reminds us who we are.

Ruin gives us the opportunity to rebuild.


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