“You’re gold when you’re a kid, like green. When you’re a kid everything’s new, dawn– like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That’s gold. Keep it that way, its a good way to be.”
I woke up this morning with the intention of sharing my recent Seattle trip, but as I sat down to put pretty photos side-by-side and match them with tales of my travels, I just couldn’t shake a peculiar feeling in my gut. Media released news that remarkably talented, beautifully inspiring comedic icon of our time, Robin Williams presumably took his own life from battles with depression yesterday.
Can we reflect on that for a moment? A human being who possessed an overwhelming amount of talent, who brought joy to the lives of countless, who was living out what we can safely presume was his dream, and who is survived by a wife and children took his own life. The gold somehow faded for the man who once told the world through his role in Good Will Hunting, “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good you weren’t paying attention to.”
Over the past few years, I’ve realized more and more of the nitty gritty and of the things that tarnish the gold we possess. A beautiful family I’ve photographed since their blossoming beginnings has been given recent news accompanied by fear and heartbreak as they endeavor bravely into the unknown with the birth of their second child. Broken marriages, heartache, loss, loneliness, aging, disease, addiction, infertility–the happenings of life that we sometimes want to pretend aren’t occurring in our back yards, in the room next door, or perhaps to us personally–all because the gold fades.
Or maybe even because we fear that it will fade if we endure what’s really there..
Life breaks hearts. It wears us down. There are times when there’s no way to tell if you’re broken down so much that it’s bound to throw you something marvelous for your preceding valiant efforts to merely survive or if it’s revving up to give you ten more good kicks to the gut first. Oh, if only you knew how much I get it. I do.
BUT! But, there’s always a but, or a butt; and either way, my husband says that’s a good thing.
You know what’s more breathtaking than a shiny, vibrant new gold necklace pulled straight out of the Robin’s Egg Blue box from Tiffany’s? How about a great-grandmother’s gold pendant given to her by her young, vibrant, and loving husband. A pendant that she clung tightly to every night she stuck by his side, despite the addictions he carried with him in coping from the war–not because she wanted to stay in an abusive relationship, but because she knew that he had a glimmer inside of him that life had tarnished.
Or how about the gold engraved tag the owner placed on the neck of the pup that stood by his side through the loss of his job and the downfall of his marriage–a token after his best fur buddy’s passing that would forever be a reminder that their always exists some good in the world.
Yes, life breaks hearts. That’s not gonna change, ever ever. And while the golden innocence of a child is one of the most delicate, precious creations this universe has gifted, the ability to see glimmer in the gold that has been tarnished is the most precious gift of them all. “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.”