Last night I finished reading “When We Believed in Mermaids” by Barbara O’Neal. Toward the end there was a passage that kept going through my head while I was waiting for sleep.
When I first read it, it sparked something in me. So I read the passage over and over again to process it.
“The revelation is soft, rolling through my body like a summer breeze. It eases the knots in my belly, unfurls the protective thorns over my heart.
“Maybe I don’t have to choose between Dylan as a villain and Dylan as my beloved hero. Maybe he was both. Maybe Josie was, is, both too. Heroine and villain.
“Maybe we all are.”
Contemplating This Idea:
As I lay there in the dark staring at the dim light filtering through the window curtains, I thought about this for quite some time. I tend to be very concrete and literal in my thinking. Something is usually one way or it is the other. And that’s how I reconcile it.
But a heroine and a villain are at separate ends of the scale. So how do you bring these two concepts closer together?
I thought about people I’ve known in my life who I’ve either feared or felt hate for or tried to banish from my thoughts altogether. Because they caused me hurt or shame or betrayal. Which ultimately severed the relationship.
But if I take the time to think back, I know there were times when they did good things too.
What the book passage says is that they can be both: villain and heroine. Maybe I don’t have to put them inside one word bubble or the other. Can they inhabit both?
We aren’t good or all bad. I’ve done good things in my life, and I’ve done bad things. I’ve hurt those I love, whether I meant to or not. But then, I’ve given them the best of my heart as well.
I guess, then, that that simply makes me human. And maybe we have to accept that things are just not as simple as we might have originally thought.