BRIAN M KANG

I AM CHICKEN LITTLE

2014

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”

-D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

I really do sympathize with chicken little. I am the type of person who freaks out when an acorn falls on my head. My logic is that when the smallest acorn drops, that means an entire tree, or worse a sky, is about to fall. And then I panic. But I know skies are not going to fall. Because what I learned is that when the skies really do fall, one doesn’t really know its happening until it has crashed.

The time when my sky fell, I didn’t realize what was happening. Acorn after acorn would fall on my head and I would ignore them. First, I started to sleep thirteen hours a day. Then I started to think of depressing, yet dramatic ways to die because I hoped that then maybe I’d have a spark in my life.

The day I realized my sky smashed into millions of pieces was when I told my parents about my depression. No one saw this coming. That day my sky finally shattered and remained broken.

During this period, I switched violin teachers. My new teacher pushed me physically and emotionally. She dragged me out of my shell and made me look at the world. But still, I always somehow slithered my way back into a depressed state.

I remember this one lesson where she called me out on something greater than not practicing. She asked me why I was acting so selfish?

She called me out on my depression. She said only the selfish are depressed. The selfish are the ones that don’t think about their friends, family, and consequences. The selfish are weak because they cannot see the glimmer of hope because they are too concerned with themselves to look up.

I left that lesson with my violin soaked in tears. It felt like millions of acorns had fallen and were now suffocating me. But in that moment, I felt something different.

I looked up at my shattered sky, and smiled.

Now, I smile at the shattered sky because then I know that there is hope. With every acorn that falls on my head, I get ready for more because that’s just how life works. The rain, the shards of the sky falling on my head, just remind me that once the storm passes the sun will shine.

In the mean time, I will dance upon the shards of the sky. I will look up and smile. Because I’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.