What Makes the World Beautiful | Teen Ink

What Makes the World Beautiful

March 16, 2009
By Julia Edelman SILVER, Roslyn, New York
Julia Edelman SILVER, Roslyn, New York
6 articles 11 photos 1 comment

You know those days when you can't fall asleep because you're so awake you've forgotten how to close your eyes? Just those ordinary things you do all the time, but never stop to think why you do them because you can't explain it. Well, those speculative days that you question the things that you ordinarily do without a second thought, without hesitation, I was having one of those days. And then you're like me, and you're feeding the hungry ducks at the pond a few streets away from your house, wondering about the meaningless, random parts of your life that you never thought to consider. Why are the best tasting foods always the worst for you? Why are librarians so angry all the time? Why do people tend to choose grape candy as a last resort? Why do people always associate lonely people with cats? Why are people so quick to judge? Why do genuinely good people usually suffer in the end? It's all so senseless, and at the same time, it makes all the sense in the world. I think the best questions are the kinds that lead to other questions. I know you're not supposed to have all the answers, and I'm pretty sure that part of life is figuring them all out, or at least that's what I hear. But all these inevitable questions with the dark, lingering ques tion marks and nothing to follow, it all seems to get overwhelming sometimes. And it makes me want to cry. Why are so many things in life unanswered? I looked down at the funny looking ducks staring back at me eagerly, and felt guilty at the realization that all my bread was in fact gone. I shrugged my shoulders, apologizing to their questioning eyes, and then crumpled the empty plastic bag together between my fingers, throwing it into the closest trash can. I walked over to the old wooden bench and took back my favorite hat which lay at the edge of the bench, feeling reassured as it settled in place over my thick hair. I waved goodbye to the ducks, leaving them behind as I got onto the seat of my bike. My feet rested on the hard ground as I buttoned my coat. It wasn't too cold that day, but It was a new coat and honestly, I liked the feeling of the new, smooth buttons against my fingers. Another feeling I like ' moving my fingers around my CD played blindly as I find the button I am looking for, ready for a new sound to enter my ears. I pedaled forward, not so much wanting to return home but to fly through the town peacefully en route.

Ah yes, possibly the hardest question of all. Why did I leave everything behind ? I don't exactly know myself to tell you the truth, but I'll tell you how my grand departure came about, and you can make your own conclusions. If I had to start from the very beginning, I'd have to say it was the day that I discovered my small, however seemingly prodigious world, was enclosed inside a compact glass bubble. Imagine my surprise! My entire life I had been living inside a bubble of glass. I had discovered this solid wall of mystery when I was nine years old. And it brought upon me certain questions I had never thought to ask myself: What if there were other secrets about the world that I didn't know about? And then - How much of what I did know was a lie? And ultimately ' Was it accepted that I stay in this ignorant state, this bubble of bliss, with no consciousness of the world past the hard sheets of glass? Did this new recognition make my entire life one horrible lie I had never understood? Or could I continue living inside the bubble happily, protected from anything around me. It was a good five years after that I finally realized my eyes wanted to see what was beyond this bubble of glass, this protective layer of ignorance. But it wasn't just plain curiosity that made me want to leave. I was deeply unhappy with the world. It felt broken, and I was helpless. The World is such a beautiful place, and I think that people forget that sometimes, which is just depres sing. People seem so lose hope so easily, and are so quick to believe the worst, to kill all the optimism, that it's overwhelming. They lose faith in the universe. People are so ready to doubt everything. It's like Oscar Wilde once said almost perfectly, 'Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.' I think that sometimes human beings take themselves for granted. And it makes me sad, because they don't even realize it. They try to fill the void with material things, with other people, but I feel like there are two people inside of me sometimes and that's all I need. As if my thoughts are one person, and my body another. I can just sit here, right now, and think to myself one single word, any word really. And it's so clear, so definite. But it never even passed my lips, it was never spoken out loud. It never even broke the awful silence around me. Thoughts are beautiful.

I know that I shouldn't feed the ducks; I know it's wrong. I actually didn't even know it was that bad until some man quietly reading the paper one day put it down, lowered his eyes, and told me that it made them dependent on people until they would forget how to find food for themselves. He said that's how animals become extinct, they depend on people for so long that they forget how to live without them. So why did I come back week after week, after I knew it was wrong? Is it because I simply feel that I can't just abandon them and let them starve, even though I know knew what the right thing to do was? Or do I like the power, the dependence on me? No, no, that thought sounds so evil. But everyone wants to be depended on in some way.

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