Dar Williams says it like this: One day you will realize how lucky you are, because every person in their natural state is like East Berlin: You have this Wall, and all you know about the free world is their fireworks and the sound of their radios. But then the Wall comes down, and you see the punchline of the joke, which is that all those people are stumbling around, bumping into shit just like you, and most of all they are calling out, just like you, to be known. That every connection you are brave enough to make, within yourself, pays out tenfold in the connections you can make to everybody else. That loneliness is the biggest lie of all, because it's the first and last thing that unites every single one of us, so any victory over it means a collective shout for all of us.
For me, it was more like... Do you know this thing about The Sailor's Choice? If you wear too many clothes, they'll drag you down and you die. But if you start taking things off, you'll freeze to death. So you're stuck in the middle of the ocean, and way above you everybody else is having a great time, everything is just right, and down below you everything is dark and you don't know what's down there, but you know it's bad.
And one day the pressure from up there is so heavy that you either kill yourself or you swim down, down past everything, every single No, and you get to the bottom. Where everything is too large to even talk to, and just swims by with its own gravity. Unconcerned and uninterested and deeply, deeply loving. Not too nice, not too mean. And there is something very special and very private and very beautiful down there, where things are hot and sweaty and scary and red.
And if you can grab that thing, maybe grab some other things while you're down there, the world flips itself over -- it was designed just for you, just to do this one simple thing -- and you're swimming toward the light. And maybe it takes a while, maybe it doesn't, but eventually you reach the surface, and the light is on the water, shining, and you realize that you are beautiful, and that you get to say Yes, finally. Yes, and. That nobody is actually watching you to make sure you follow orders and keep saying No.
And it makes a bit of a splash, and the world will continue to break your heart afterwards, and you will eventually realize that nothing has really changed besides you, besides everything, and if it's the gay thing or something on that level, maybe it will cure your chronic ailments like it did mine. Whatever it is, it's precious and private and none of my business. But on that day, something divine speaks to you, just like on the day you were born the first time, and this is exactly how it feels: