The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.
Superman. It’s always been Superman and it always will be. A good Superman story is hard to find. They’re rare to the point that I can make a comprehensive list of them off the top of my head. But when one does come along… A good Batman story is entertaining and bad ass. And it makes you think “Batman is cool.” A good Green Lantern story is generally fraught with emotional peril but, at the end, you’ll wish you had a power ring. A good Superman story fills you with awe.
It’s the mythology of a sun god who wished he was a man because he saw something so great in us. It’s the story of a hero who could move whole worlds and see through stars and hear a whisper on the other side of the planet… who fell in love with a storyteller. It’s about a man and his dog.
Every single day, you can turn on the news and hear about something bad happening. People do terrible things to each other all the time. And, on the worst days, you might just sit down and get cynical, thinking thoughts like “maybe we are inherently evil. Maybe there’s just something wrong deep down in our hearts.”
And then there’s Superman. Looking down at the world with an unfathomable sadness. Waiting for us to join him in the sun. All the while, truly believing something only an impossible man could believe.
“If you knew how you are loved, not one of you would raise a hand in rage again.”
There’s a psychology to storytelling. It’s really quite simple. When presented with something light, we look for darkness. When presented with darkness, we look for the light. It gives a story depth. In a world without a Superman, we made one for our fiction. To guide us and make us feel brave. To let us hope.
You will believe a man can fly.
My second grade teacher liked to ask us,
“How do you feel today, on a scale of one to ten?”
Ten always meant I’m super, thank you
and one was always not today, Mrs. MacAuley, not today.
But I never liked numbers, they would always
twist and rebel against my mind so I chose
to speak in colors instead.
January third - I am the color
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
but I’ve eaten all the chocolate chips.
I am calm.
February seventh - I am a bruise of
blues and violets today. I think it would
be best if I sat by the window.
These are unhappy colors.
April eleventh - I am turquoise, I am magenta,
I am every color in the rainbow.
April thirtieth - I am gray, I am silent.
May first - I am orange, the color of melting
creamsicles on a beach in July.
June twelfth - I am as yellow as the school bus
that will bring me home to summer. I am free.
Twelve years later, I still use colors.
The winter makes me feel cobalt blue, the ocean
turns me a seafoam green. Violets and purples
leave me uneasy and scarlet is a fever of fury.
Some nights I drown in shades of navy, denim,
and cornflower but other nights I meditate in forests of
harlequin and shamrock.
you leave me a blinding white followed by a soft yellow:
the color of sunlight after a period of darkness.