I reach out to him but he says no, don’t touch me. I think to myself, we don’t have to spend too much time apart. I think to myself, we shouldn’t have. I’m covered in symbols, head to toe, I’m covered in symbols. Sometimes it’s a Celtic knot, sometimes it’s a forsaken stone. I say to myself, this is who I am, I say to myself, this is who we are. Surrounded by words and letters, clouds and dreams, hazy- it gets so hazy. We walk around town, we look at things, we feel together but we’re separated. I think to myself, how lost do you feel when you sleep at night? I think to myself, I’d stay there, I’d not let go. These past nights, I had all these dreams that told me strange things, and I searched for myself and I saw him. Hold my hand, baby, hold my hand, said I, in my dream. I’m asleep when I’m awake and awake when I’m sleeping, life gets pretty confusing and here I have a pair of wings, and I set off, high. I still see him but he’s a little far now. The shadows ain’t so scary baby, I say to him, the dark is pretty, I try to tell him but I fly so high. Lights glimmer out here baby, I miss you. Wish I’d told him a secret before I flew, wish I’d told him more. Then, think no more, right into the sky I fly. Soon, we’d both forget, I know.
I am falling in love with you.
I am afraid, and ultimately I realize why. Because I fell in love with you as the night passed by. Because I saw the grief you hold inside. You told me not to say a word, you told me to keep my silence. And I was afraid so I didn’t speak, I was afraid so I turned away. I don’t have an explanation, I have nothing to say. I don’t have the answers and I can’t solve this riddle. I spoke words of love to other people before you and my storms were not any less in their intensity. I sang to other people before you and my voice may still haunt them, and this I won’t hide from you. I loved before you and I will love after you. But I am, in the end, still at the beginning of my journey and what I wouldn’t give to walk it with you, what I wouldn’t give to wake up with you.
But life has taught me that spring is not eternal. Life has taught me, if nothing more, that summer showers seldom last. Life has taught me, clouds turn to wisps and eventually disappear. Life has taught me, life has taught me, there is hopelessness in our hearts and there is an end to every beginning and the honey from the beehive, the water from the streams and the life from the flowers eventually dries out. Barely scratching the surface of our infinite passions and promises, which in the moment are heated like ore from the core of this earth and only tomorrow, wither away like the blind flight of a gypsy moth.
Gone are the dreams of the girl who was barely awake when life took her in its grasp and shed her down, sped her down, wore her out. Gone are the notes on which her hopes rose next to the music that dawned with every new day. Gone is the laughter that traveled far on the wind, that embraced and swallowed and allowed and let her become. Gone, gone are the sounds, the bloom, the water falling on scattered rocks and breaking into a million gems before accepting that brittle and broke, there is nothing more.
One last time, I saw you, one last time and then I turned and I walked away, and you walked away, and all I saw was your silhouette, the back of your head, your long stride, your wonder and your sadness, all I saw was you walking away from me.
Let me tell you something, my friend.
Life is so very long. You close your eyes each night, you close your eyes and you wake up to the glowing sun. In those first rays that skim your face, do you know how many years pass by? In my heart, somewhere deep inside, I see the real you. There is an aching loneliness here, there is an aching cry, which pierces me. It pierces me. Let me tell you something. I know what it feels like, when you’re broken, all cut up in neat and orderly triangles, right in the center of your soul. You struggle to make sense of things, so you put them in neat little shapes. There, everything is orderly, everything is set and you walk the straight line.
There have been those few times I’ve glimpsed something, leaving as suddenly as it came, flitting across your face like a million thoughts; confusions that you keep bottled up. I always say, our love for someone is a reflection of ourselves inside them. I always say, I couldn’t save myself, maybe I could save you, maybe I could help you. If only, if only, if only time lets me; if only life doesn’t flit past without giving me a chance. Will I ever board this train again? Will I ever see the sight of those hills, of those towers as I cross them? I told myself, this time, this time no goodbyes, this time no surrender. But lord, do I ache for myself and for what I’ve lost and did I weep for you and your sadness… All my life, I only needed one chance, I only pleaded for this one thing- belief. Believe me. Put your trust in me. Hold my hand. Because I have needed you as you need someone, but you won’t look, you won’t dare, you won’t. And my test to myself fails. My test to myself and what I feel for you is all but a fluttering goldfish in a drying pond. So help me god, I told myself over and over, so help me god, I will not give up and I did. I got pushed and I got shoved, and I stood my ground and fought my battles. Tried and tested, I have been tried and tested. If only I could wave my brush and clear away the pain from your canvas. If only I could draw you a new life in which you would be happy. If only, if only and only ifs… I have nothing to give but myself and my words and what use are words, unless you use them for burning coals and burning fire?
In my mind, we dance together. Twirling around the hardwood floors, you lift me into a pirouette and set me flying for a moment. The wind catches my hair and sets it aflame. In my mind, we hold each other, sitting atop the clouds, and we leave the world behind. In my mind, there is laughter, I laugh and you laugh, teasing each other, tripping and falling, hearts beating very fast, the wind holds us two feet off the ground. Two feet, three feet, higher, higher, twirling and swirling, around and around like children trapped on a merry-go-round. Listening to the sound of the air passing through, listening to the calling of the inner child, my dream… In my dream, we hold each other. In my dream, the sun never sets. In my dream, you kiss me to sleep. In my dream, we hold and we touch and nothing can hurt me. In my dream, I care for you, I know your demons and I fight your ghosts. In my dream, in my dream, I don’t wake up. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night, feeling the empty space beside me. I don’t wake up at all. I swim with you underwater, I can breathe forever, I twist and turn in your arms, in your arms, I sing and cry and I draw with oil, rushing across the sky, the sky is my canvas and the music is in our souls. And we need no restraint and we need no audio. And we need no warnings and we heed no prophecies. And we need each other and we stay.
In my dream, we stay.
In chaos, I find salvation. Amidst the storm of this living, each day, with the rising; each day, the breaking of the new wonder. I saw a glimpse of the sun in the water; sat by the water and saw it glide and move; a steady rhythm. In his presence, I felt calm. In his presence, the earth wasn’t restless. Today, and only today, I whispered, I flew. In his presence, the world was all right. This side of the bridge, this side of the oneness, this side of the doubts and fears, the crumbling begins, the outer pieces falling.
In his presence, the world was all right. In his presence, the moon sunk low. In his presence, the night song grew and grew, into a harmony, an ecstasy; into the flow, the music, the words bringing together the worlds.
I wish not to wake up, standing outside, looking in; I wish it wouldn’t end; I wish I wouldn’t start the long walk alone; I wish it would last; a grip, the desire, a grim hope. And yet, in his presence, the world was all right; just for a moment, no tempests, no wildness untamed.
Just in this moment, the world was all right.
Beneath all the layers of my mind, there rests the universal question: who am I? I see countless people, every single day. I see them walking, I see them running to cross the road, I see them standing in line, waiting for the show to begin. Among all these people, I stray down a solitary path. I know who I am, and what defines me. I know, from the innermost depths of my being that I exist only to give love. In moments like these, I know my purpose, I know why I exist. Should I allow this vision of myself to be altered? Should I let it rest hidden inside the darkest closet? Or should I set it free?
They say when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. My life flashes before me every single day of every single week. What I did wrong, did my words make a difference, did my words hurt somebody? Someone told me once this could be a burden, this way of being is simply going to hurt too much- it cannot be sustained. I remember a long time ago, I was working with some children without any families. When you look inside the eyes of a lonely child, you see a different sort of wonder. Besides everything they have been through, they show a special resilience. There was a little boy there; he waited every day for me to come so he could play games on my phone- his eyes would go wide at the very thought of it. He worked so hard and then those last, small moments, he would save for this.
What haunts me is that millions of people live their lives without knowing the simplicity of feeling pure emotions. There are many words attached to it; naivete, in some people’s case I’ve heard stupidity. It may be purely Utopian to believe such emotions should be felt and treasured. Nevertheless, it is essential. My greatest nightmare is to walk the streets like everyone else one day, suddenly; to let my hopes die and see them scattered about me, flying away, piece by piece in the winds, until no longer seen.
Sometimes, the stories end, my words are cut short. Sometimes, there is too much to be said. Sometimes, everything is contained within a single jar of glass, keeping everything, showing everything. Some memories; lying free over the grass, watching the sun set; some memories, walking down the tracks, waiting to meet somebody after a long time; some memories, sheltering underneath a ledge to hide from the rain; some memories, grieving, grieving deeply for the time wasted, the time lost, the time spent shouting… some memories; quick and flashy, some long and bitter, some full of passion and struggle. Some memories, waking early to see someone lying next to you…
Life is short, too short for anything but living it with a passion incomparable; head on, jumping in, taking it, grasping what is yours, and then holding it steady, then taming it, breathing it, joining it and then…
Then letting it live inside you.
My feelings take me to the edge. The dark and stillness whispers, nothing is quiet, but always these talking voices. They go this way and that, twisting and turning, tumbling and weeping. How should I contain the way I feel? Because sometimes the soul is overwhelmed, filled to the brim, it aches, it throbs.
What actions make us human? What actions make us their dark replicas? How should we act? Is every moment etched in time like words soldered in iron or can it be erased? Is every moment like shifting sand? Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing, as if the memories have drowned in to the bottom of a vast ocean, but thrown up by a raging storm, catching the moonlight, and finding a way to enter my mind, rousing my emotions, almost as if the waves were playing…
What is there that scares me, hidden beneath the waves of the storm? What is there that makes me stop, and why can’t I face the smashing walls of an endless sea? It roars, surely it should give me power, surely it should make me rise out of the vast depths, rise into the sky, unafraid, facing my fears. Yet I am but the remains of a long forgotten boat. I feel that I have lost my fight, lost the will to fight the waves, the sea. I have the air of one who floats, just floats… And lets the water take myself, my rusted hinges, my lost oars- lets the water take it all away.