Layers: Daily Prompt – Tuesday, July 5, 2016
*Photo courtesy of CFHA Blog.
When I was 22-years-old, I was once told I was liked because I was like an onion. A mysterious onion, with some surprising, bizarre little anecdotal atypical layers.
People are less predictable than onions, of course. Peeling through the layers reveals an intricate myriad of possibilities.
Breaking through the first few layers is easy. Sometimes, they’re so thin and transparent, they fall off without any work at all. It feels good to share, shed, and discard those superficial outer skins.
The next few layers require a bit of committed external effort on behalf of the second party. Barriers may break, but tears may well in the process.
Peeling through to the deepest layers, though, compromises that whole onion. Eventually, the onion’s not an onion anymore at all. It’s just a bunch of broken bits vulnerable to complete consumption.
In the state of being human, we cloak ourselves in new layers with each year, each experience, each emotion, each person, place, and thing that wafts our way. We end up on the defensive sometimes, building fortresses to protect our most precious pieces. We dig deep trenches to hide our truest treasures.
Some of us spend years diligently covering up the parts that aren’t so pretty, simply seeking someone to share our superficial surface selves with… Others secretly harbor an almost blinding inner beauty, buried so deeply in ancient layers that no one even sees anything worth digging for anymore.
A human being is a whole history in and of itself. The layers of one’s personhood, like the sediment of the earth itself, retain evidence of past lives lived. Friends, family, and lovers lost along the way remain etched on our souls, forever fossilized between all the uneven, rocky layers.
Photo taken by yours truly at Waimea Canyon, on the west side of Kauai, Hawaii
Each layer tells a story, but each layer is not the story.
What a shame that our individually unique prides and insecurities keep those hidden layers secret, forever leaving gaps in the most profound human stories of all. What a shame — all that buried forgotten treasure.
Indeed, it’s those broken, missing puzzle pieces we need to seek and find if we’re ever to progress our current state of being human. And it’s all those buried lots of true treasure we must seek and find and share before they’re lost forever.
“You’ve got individuality. Stay with it. These are the things that should be explored and developed. I’ve seen fossils of old tree stumps on the beach representing ancient forests — that’s a story worth telling.”