The Green Lenses

'The Green Lenses' Ink and acrylic paint on paper. Created by Jina Wallwork.

The Green Lenses - Jina Wallwork

 

She looks toward me with disdain. She has fooled herself into believing that my success leaves a bitter taste in her mouth; really, though, it is her saliva that has always contained a naturally horrid taste. She is incapable of removing her green lenses and viewing the world without a jealous gaze, since bitterness has become a defining aspect of her personality. Those lenses make it impossible for anyone to perceive the process of success. They focus only on the sweet results and ignore all the steps that were taken.

While learning to fly, I constantly fell to the earth as the world’s most persistent failure. I braved humiliation and ridicule only to pick myself up and try once more. They laughed as I healed, and I continued to focus on the blue skies. I gambled everything until I had nothing left to lose. I continued beyond their cruel words, which often fueled my efforts more than kindness ever could have. When I felt that all was lost, I continued anyway. It ceased to matter whether I would fly or fall. The act of making the attempt had become the core of my life, and results were immaterial. The path of your greatest failure will lead you to stumble onto the smallest pieces of success. I know this process too well.

She sees my flight and claims a friendship that had drifted into obscurity long ago. She pulls it into the present so she can ask for my assistance. She wants to glide through the skies with haste. Is she asking me for a map of the runway? She asks me not for the process but only for the results. She wants me to repeat the process on her behalf, but I cannot spare the years that would be needed. Does she honestly believe that another should carry her into flight?

She grows angry with my lack of assistance, demanding that I explain how I achieved success. Through her green lenses, she cannot see the truth behind my words. I tell her that she must be persistent, she must work hard, and she must accept failure and humiliation, because she will greet them many times. I tell her that she must hold on to hope, because eventually something will work.

She looks at me with surprise and yells words that I choose not to repeat. I sense that she feels betrayed, as though I’m hiding what is rightfully hers. I’ve given her the map that she so clearly desires, and I’m greeted with visceral hatred. She slams each door as she defiantly walks away. From a distance, I can hear her speak of the stupidity of flight, which she now condemns as nonsense. Then she talks of the magnificent grace that only walking can provide. She asks why anyone would choose to do anything else.

'The Green Lenses' Ink and acrylic paint on paper. Created by Jina Wallwork.