Forgive me, Heart, for I have sinned - it's been too long since my last confession, whispers the girl of summer, anxious for her secret to remain her own.
I've walked the desert for months, for years - mirror on my back, only a glass shield to protect me from the unwanted emotions discarded like food past its expiration date for fear they will cause some type of poisoning.
I've sat and shared courage in glasses, words uncounted and dreams unhidden with princes lost to the world and to themselves. But it was when I turned my back to them and the scorching sun that they recognized their faces in the mirror.
Too early. Too late. Who can tell?
I've been preaching your gospel, dear Heart, whispers the girl of summer, but it's a wasteland, baby and I don't think they're ready.
We celebrate many things in life – big, life-altering events like marriage, a coveted promotion, the birth of a child, closing an important business deal. Less often and less naturally do we take a break from our daily rush in order to acknowledge and turn into champagne moments milestones that would make us pause in awe at our own resilience, creativity and will power.
9 years on the dot. It’s been 9 years since I gathered the courage (or maybe it was just jumping in head first without a second though, I don’t really remember the exact feel of the moment) to expose myself to the world in the form of a blog that had no declared purpose or theme other than myself.
I almost gave it up a year or so ago.
Pain tends to distort even the bright aspects of our lives, just like black holes can bend light, space and time. If one is lucky enough though, one’s deeper nature manages to fight its way back to the surface and bursts into clear springs of newfound self acceptance. When you feel lost, you need to stop and, if all else fails, use the stars to navigate back to yourself; to keep running would only increase the chances of becoming more entangled in self doubt and possibly become forever lost to oneself. I was lucky, indeed, to have the stars on my side, keeping me dreaming even after dreams proved to be mirages in the desert.
These past few months have been very demanding of my mental energy, so I’ve been posting more rarely, but more purposefully. Today is no different, but I’m taking this time to celebrate the small feat of resilience and consistency that is this blog. When I started it, I had no idea what that it would morph into what it is today – a piece of myself, a means to communicate subtly the things that I’d otherwise be too afraid to say out loud, a confession and a love letter, a creative outlet and a space to reflect and to grow.
To the ones who’ve dropped by a couple of times and decided this little corner of the internet doesn’t totally suck, thank you for your visit! I hope it was pleasant enough to have decided your time was not wasted.
To anyone who’s been with me from the very beginning, thank you for sticking it out and watching the evolution of this girl!
And to the perpetual question I get from anyone who decides to do more than just gloss over a post, i.e. Don’t you feel vulnerable when you expose yourself like that? Yes, I absolutely fucking do, and that is exactly the point of it all.
I say too much and speak too loudly. Yet I manage to not utter the things worth saying or that another would need hearing. A walking paradox these days, suffering from an acute case of foot-in-mouth syndrome even when trying to measure my words by the millimetre.
When you mistake boredom for connection, and self interest for caring, that’s when the disillusionment gets transformed through a sort of alchemical process into a new layer of defense. The journey from within to outside of oneself becomes even more daunting, while the task of finding a way in for the Other an almost impossible quest to complete. Stuck at level 20, no way to upskill.
A maddening cycle, we make each other mad, we turn each other into cowards posing as careless brutes. There’s always more underneath, yet the masquerade must continue – it’s the best we’ve learnt to do, the best we’ve been taught to do. Education is more than maths and history, we’re only starting to acknowledge.
Hallow quotes, online lives and this wretched lack of willingness to listen to the person in front of you. Listening to reply and impatiently provide our own opinion (or comparison to our own experience) is the norm, listening to understand and create a meaningful link is the odd exception. By extension, the ones attempting this insane feat are the oddballs everyone laughs at with a slight tinge of pity.
I listen. But some days I wish I could be the one doing the talking. I wish I were brave enough to say ‘Look at me, here I am! Can you see me?’
It’s been established that I’m not a very good storyteller (different plot line, maybe I’ll tell you about it later). How about metaphor crafter? Image evoker? Feelings instigator?
Words will open up worlds of unexpected depth, reveal the true face of someone you’d not paid much attention to until that instant, and sometimes even the reality of pains you’d been avoiding to face. Just as easily and defiantly, words will cut threads that were just starting to be woven into a never before seen pattern and close doors that had been left ajar – forever? Who’s to know. I refuse to declare forever because permanence is something I don’t believe in. Growth and transformation are.
The instant right before discovery is the most frightening of all. Right before jumping the fence, hand in hand with your best friend Lack-of-Caution, you take a deep breath and make a secret wish. Your hope is to take a dip in the luring pool – water to cool your feverish summer madness and the stars above to keep you dreaming still. But there’s no knowing what lies beyond the fence until you’ve jumped over, so you clasp your buddy’s hand tighter and pray it’s not a big dog just waiting for a piece of your sorry ass to bite.
But pay attention, don’t blink, or you just might miss that pivotal moment. The chances of it repeating itself at the same intensity and causing a similar frisson will be extinguished quicker than candles on a birthday cake. Try to jump too soon and you might lose your footing while climbing the fence. Wait for too long and there’s no going back. Choose wisely. Or just flip a coin.
I’d forgotten that I, in fact, love the night. This slip of the mind must come with age – slowly, unnoticeably, we realise one day that mundane worries have begun to litter our dreams and anxiety is keeping us up when we should be resting, distracting us when we should only be focusing on losing ourselves in our lovers’ kisses and caresses.
The bloom is almost gone now, a cruel and fast fate the petals have had this year. Spring fever is almost a thing of the past. But that’s alright, since my month is about to begin, summer madness is round the corner and I intend to fall into it completely and unapologetically. Come, summer! And kiss me deep, make my heart grow wings again on nights like this.
Yes, I do love the night for the way it makes us drop our guard. The city is mellow and the air smells of warm tarmac, of grass overtaking every last corner of earth it can. Silhouettes are softer and feelings are deeper. I love how nights like this turn hopes into possibilities, all that’s missing is a sprinkle of courage.
Don’t you ever want to go out walking through the silent city on these maddening spring nights? Don’t these warm and fragrant April nights make you sleepless, wandering the streets for something you know you’re missing but still almost untouchable, still unsure if you’re ready to look it in the eye?
‘Don’t die from feeling too much,’ is what he told me a summer ago. As if! Then he got into his car and drove off to a life of not feeling too much, pretending problems weren’t problems, and solutions were non-solutions.
Can you stop yourself from feeling, really? Or is it just another kind of high you’re chasing, a way to stop the flood of emotions when it gets in the way of maintaining the day to day routine.
Everything’s in bloom and my heart is bursting because that’s what spring does to me, making me show myself as I am more than in any other time of the year. But I hope my heart won’t burst, because I so do want to keep feeling.
These nighttime walks under the shower of white and pale pink petals are a waking dream. Or it could in fact all be a dream I’m losing myself in without realising I’m fast asleep. I might need to pinch myself now and again to not forget what’s real and what’s naive fantasy.
Been quiet. Been mulling. I could say I’ve been busy, and I wouldn’t even be lying. Been sifting through enough thoughts to last a lifetime, trying to find ways to make them settle down. Been desperately wishing for spring, for something new, for comfort and thrills wrapped in a single package.
Spring fever, they call it. I call it life bursting fearlessly into how it’s supposed to be if we dare let it – joyful, colorful, bright. I smiled at the blooming trees tonight, stopping in the middle of the empty street to let myself be surrounded by the mellow scent filling the warm evening air.
In that instant I wanted to take everything in, to drop every barrier and be transparent in the best of ways. Had anyone walked by, they would have seen me like only a handful have. The smile on my face telling you I’m right here, so present that I don’t care about yesterday, a month ago, 6 months or 10 years ago, I’m not thinking about tomorrow, a week or 2 years from now. This moment right now just feels too good, too right not to be in it fully and without fear or judgement.
‘Do you ever stop thinking?’
Rarely. But if you’re really looking at me, you’ll know exactly when that happens. That which makes me smile with all my being will be obvious. The whats and the whos with that kind of power over me are unmeasurably beautiful.
I remember you, March. I know full well what you are and remember what you feel like better than what the coffee I had this afternoon tasted like.
Odd how some memories, instead of fading with years passing, become clearer and more vivid, as if to keep those red connecting threads intact just to spite time and geography. The ones that mattered, that brought meaning and instigated growth. The ones that deserve to be remembered.
The cigarette smoke in that dark bar that no longer exists, the annoying sweetness of the Pepsi light (not Coca Cola; they never had Coca Cola there, but I was stubborn in trying my luck every time), the uncomfortable tree stumps posing as chairs. ‘Come on, man. I know your back hurts ’cause of these chairs, I don’t mind trading places with you.’. Complicit smile follows. I must be imagining things, I’d almost think I’m drunk if I didn’t know I’d been sticking to Pepsi since we got there.
The unusually cold March 31st afternoon and the frozen ground at 7 AM that April 1st. The small kitchen and not enough chairs for everybody at the birthday gathering. My checkered dress. A few seconds of disbelief and my nervous smile at seeing that pair of dark eyes again. Complicit smile follows – my friends know me better than I know myself. The taste of cheap wine and the hours slipping into early morning light. Human bodies slowly gravitating towards one another, doing nothing but abiding by the laws of physics governing heavenly bodies alike. And the penguins! I’ll never forget those damn penguins.
Oh yes, March! You can be exquisite and wild, playful yet serious and convincing in your intent. I remember you better than my very own month of May. You’ve been sweeter to me, more forgiving of youth’s idealism and relentless hopes, more trusting of my affections for you. I remember you very well.
When the only scenery you see every morning and every evening are your shoes hitting the grey surface of the city sidewalk, it’s time to ask yourself a very important question: when was the last time your looked up?
So, when was the last time you looked up at the buildings you walk by every day or maybe only once in a few months? How about at the stars? You used to love looking at the deep, starry skies on balmy summer nights and on freezing winter ones alike. The endless blue sky? Or even the fast running clouds? More importantly, do you remember when was the last time that you truly looked into another person’s eyes and saw them for who they are?
I bet it’s been a while. I bet it feels strange and awkward and as if you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. Any moment now, someone will catch onto your transgression and expose you to the world, shame you for your audacity to be more and feel more.
Hold on to that intoxicating sensation – like you’ve had one too many glasses of wine – and relish in it. Subtle and profound, there’s nothing like it in the world. These are the kind of moments we should be running after, not away from – if only our experiences and societal expectations didn’t prime us for anxiety instead of boldness.
There may be bouts of autumn in the middle of summer, but there are also bouts of spring in the middle of winter. Live them.
My time is mine, your time is yours; but when is time ours and what does it feel like? Would it be like having skin covered in soft velvet, or more like the sound of ripping cloth and the randomness of threads that will never really fit together? What does our time look like, do you know?
My time crashing into your time.
Not enough time. Not offered. Time given spitefully – useless, rotten, poisoning the life around it. You deserve your own time. Don’t we all, though?
Time put in that you never get back, until you feel there’s not a shred more you can give. That’s when the regrets rush in for the instants you thought moved and mattered, but were just fleeting seconds and nothing more. That’s when you ask yourself what was it all even for. Regrets are hard not to have when there’s been pain. They’re the collateral you either weren’t warned about or decided not to think about, to help you with the leap. That’s hopefully also when the lessons start to be learnt.
My time is mine, and your time is yours. So if it turns out that our time doesn’t exist, then I think I can still share mine – will you share yours?