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|Land of the Bloody Unknown|
12th December, 2013
|"To see a World in Grain of Sand|
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
|— William Blake, Auguries of Innocence|
Dancing, her life fills with light and sound as laughter escapes those who watch on. The childish glee burns bright in her dulled eyes, the milky green suddenly alight as the world around her forms.
It takes but a second for it to fade; her response? Try again. She slips, a tumble that her silken dress screams against in protest. A grin, and the glorious earth between her fingertips which bows to her, does her bidding. Cries, not of her own making; her mother's distress brings her back to herself as she is picked up and placed in her father's lap. She is chastised, and the world darkens as surroundings fade.
Into the ink she returns. Never was she to be strong nor safe. Only by the crutch of others should she be good and well, and the bitterness that bites her tongue may also burn her eyes as she bows her head in subservience. They dangle the freedom above her head, just out of reach as young hands they don't see searching. They fear her blindness will cripple her forever–they do not see it has only crippled them. Unable to witness, to stand and take and believe; unable to allow their daughter to be the strong woman she was–is–destined to be.
She moves around, the sunlight playing along her skin, hot and bright. She can see it, in the sound of the birds and the warmth in the air. Youthful naïvety has allowed her to form a picturesque view of the world. They do not allow her to see that which she should. She is blind, poor thing. The stresses of the world be too much for her young heart to handle.
Powerful heart. Giving heart. Pointless heart.
Young eyes. Gorgeous eyes. Dead eyes.
Renewed hope. Strong hope. Useless hope.
For her own benefit she is to be excluded, kept secret; a dirty secret as they try to clean themselves of the sins that gave them a weak child. She must grow up knowing only good, so the boundaries they push be forgiven.
Compressed; she cannot breathe, suffocating as she is in the prison they disguise as paradise. Her utopia is not safe and warm. It is harsh and brisk; the challenge to survive, as she feels alive. Bursting forth, the young woman in bloom grows not only physically, but introspectively. She sees more than they know, than she can understand. Incomprehensible; the spirits have a dark sense of humour indeed, as the precious girl's life is flaunted. Father; he can see but he is blinded. Mother can watch but she cannot perceive. Daughter can fight but she cannot escape. Three disjointed pieces of a higher power's sadistic puzzle.
And as she comes to him, the one thing she truly wants on her face and in her heart, he cannot see beyond his own rage at the thought. He has been blinder longer than she, and he cannot see her as she is. A girl, yes. But she is so much more than the bland definition.
She is strong and wilful; a harsh summer's breeze that can hurt or heal. She is a fighter, and a lady, and an earthbender. But most of all, she is his daughter.
That fateful night was one of many firsts. Her family, once oblivious, ate from the fruit and gained knowledge. She learnt the world was so much bigger than she had once thought. That some people were destined to be together. And, for the first time since she could see, Toph knew.
Sometimes, it was okay to cry.
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