Wind chimes in wind chimes. Seven pieces of colourful glass sing together in the oh so cold evening wind while the last rays of light falling through the tinted glass beam to then disappear. Seven beautiful pieces of something broken dancing in light. I stopped believing in beauty in things as broken as the world, so I made the wind chimes. I started again so I’ll smash each piece of glass on the cold hard concrete.
The red piece, the first one falling, sounds of anger when it shatters, but distant, not anger I experienced, anger she experienced Sounds of the time you and me tried to turn the living room into an autumn forest to play hide and seek under colourful leaves, under blankets of bright colour, leaves crowning you princess, crowning me your wife. Sounds of the door slamming when your father comes home, doesn’t sound of him laughing with us, though that’s a sound I clearly remember, sounds of what must have happened afterwards, of him screaming and screaming and screaming, sounds of the bruise on your cheek, the tears in your eyes, the bite in my lip, the blood in his throat.
The dark blue piece, number two, shatters like the voice of a girl faltering, the voice of a girl I spent a night with in a psychiatric hospital when my sleeping medication failed me and her organism failed her as well, and they let us stay awake, out, because for both of us darkness meant monsters we weren’t quite able to fight yet, monsters that might as well have killed us for what they actually did. And we talked about the white, the pink, the red lines on my thighs and she could not understand how I could have done this to myself. When she showed me the lines on her back, the white ones, the ones her ex boyfriend left there with his belt in a dark, drunk night, I understood.
The yellow one nearly turns to dust as I jump on it, again and again, pieces stuck in my heels, will crunch under them when I walk, as snow did on that winter day they were 18 and on their way home from the library in the evening. They will never again be able to hear snow crunch and think of sledding and holidays and joy as the did that night. It started with endearments, went on with slurs and ended as the worst thing they ever experienced. They will never forget about the feeling of the snow against their tight-clad knees, the scrape of their left hand fumbling for something to hold onto, the smell of the breath of the man taking so much. They will never forget the sound of their feet on the ground running, and the heavier ones of his feet chasing, the consistent crunching of snow changing from quiet and slow to breathless and fast. They will never forget the sound of their feet slipping, the sound of him stopping over them, the sound of defeat. But it’s snowing again and they are fighting, everything but defeated.
The light blue one shatters as silently as I did, no sound audible at all. I did not talk for weeks, I did not want what happened afterwards. I did not choose trauma. She is the one who got me to talk again.
Pink is strong, barely bursts at all, as you were strong, are strong, so strong. I heard you, I hear you and I will never stop telling your stories, our stories. I listened to your cries for help, to your fear, to your loathing, to your pain, to your emptiness, to your cold. I hear you and I come, but I’m staying for a certain reason.
I stay for your strength. I stay for you going on, no matter how. I stay for you talking about what happened and for you keeping silent about it. I stay for you trying again, for your love, hope, for you deciding against better judgment, deciding fearlessly again, for your sleepless nights, for your carefulness, for your carelessness, for you tearing things apart to keep it together, for you. I’m staying for you. And I’m staying for you staying. I can learn so much from you.
And fuck it, they might tell you it’s different, but not everything needs to be destroyed for a new start. I pick the pink piece back up and put it in my pocket. I’ll keep it on my bedside table.
The green piece of glass is the first to shatter after all the light has left, the moon and the stars hiding. It shatters with a scream, and a silent whisper afterwards, because this is what it’s like, a scream in pain, then a whisper, what it was like for me. I was barely 13, but I still haven’t forgotten what his hand felt like on my arms, my hips, my ass. By now, I’m not sure I ever will forget. Forget how he tried to rape me. There, I said it. No poetry in this one sentence. He tried to rape me just streets from a busy mall and when I struggled and he didn’t manage to, he didn’t run, he just walked away, turned around again and smiled brightly into my face. I remember it being a kind smile, a real smile. Aren’t you happy that I want you? You should be, just look at yourself. Only then he realized how young I was. He didn’t care.
The purple piece, the last one, was always my favourite. Purple reminds me of blueberry mouths, of princesses and their princesses, of your lips and your nails and your hair. I don’t remember what my favourite colour was before I met you. But I remember making the wind chimes thinking of us, of two girls who’ve lived through something, but didn’t quite overcome it yet. Of how I did not believe in beauty in things as broken as the world, as us. Eight pieces of glass for all of us, made from something broken, but beautiful. They just need a bright light to start shining.
The last one, the bright one, the clear one was the one I made from a broken vase.
But I learned. We are not broken, not at all like vases shattered on the floor. We’re whole and we grow fuller by the minute. What fills us is experience, wisdom, hope. We don’t always see it but we are not glass that needs light to shine, we’re the source of the light itself. We burn and burn and burn and they can’t ever stop us. We’re infinite, we’re giants, we’re worlds, fucking universes. Nobody can imprison our size. And they might be able to tear some parts of us down, but a universe is always whole and always expands. You’re not broken, you’re healing, you’re growing. We’re born without a past and reborn with a brighter future, we’re winter children, freezing or frozen, coming or going or gone.
And I look down at the mess I made out of glass, out of my old believes and I resist the urge to put my hands in because I don’t need to be hurt, don’t need to see blood to feel strong, alive, to know that really, I’m invincible.
And I slowly walk away.
Kyra Weiß is 19 years old and currently taking up a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She’s working to overcome her fears by for example helping to set up a Lady*Fest in her hometown. You can find her mostly quite depressing words turning brighter on her tumblr blog rainstormnights.