Love Letter

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Hey you,

It’s a lie if I said I haven’t been writing. Another lie: as if the previous year in all its shambles meant nothing to me. It has, always, except, as you know prior to our parting: I am surrounded by circumstances that prevent me from completely facing this, the entire story admixed and diluted between all the work needed to be done to pursue an agreeable future. “Keeping going” and “Be strong”, harped sage advice and common sense. And so I did: took whatever was left of this heart and kept sloughing forward – day after day I kept on: each new experience a means to distract and relieve from the last. I changed, mostly from necessity to forgive myself rather than the actual desire to differ. The few friends I kept close immediately took to notice: B, friend since forever the only person to ever pick up at 3am, usually says how I’m living THE life and I’m not really sure what this means; F periodically reminds me to make time for myself; P – Best In Conviction and Moral Compass – threatened to end our friendship if I continued carrying out a toxic endeavor. D I only ever see in conventions or over beer; N took me in her house like a little orphan a few times; M promises to visit but never does; 2 friends got married, another gave birth – T told me one time how you asked about me a few months ago. I don’t suppose we’re still close enough to exchange details of our lives but I remember how you always talked about the risks we take and I suppose I took a few risks here and there – some yielding earthquakes and others collisions: all the same, I am here doing what I set out to do and on some days I suppose I miss you, I miss us – the fulcrum on which I used to think my world once stood – but I miss everything less and less as each day folds into the future.

I hope you are well.

Always,
A

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despite everything

you get your dreams for a while. you build them.

the world deals you cards you never, ever expected. you find yourself turning into someone else. hurting someone you thought you loved – so much, so very much.

how do you find it to forgive yourself?
how do you find it to get up the next day?

and you miss it all. you miss what it meant, what it could have been.
but that was then. this is now. now what? where do we begin?

Fragments

“Say yes,” said the envelope given by a stranger in the coffee shop. I thought of someone I was convinced I loved until each time I see him & my mind begins to churn out questions I know I’ll never have the answer to. Like, what did my grandparents mean when they said to never make friends & consume your heartaches quietly. What did all those stories about the war really amount to? The estranged great-uncle who redeemed himself by killing a horde of men. Enemies. These days I am offered affection & friendship by strangers & my natural response is to shirk it off. Fight & flight only lead to fright. Suspicion is a song stuck on loop in my head. Nicole, who reads Freud across me, tells me to live a little. I say, how, why, so what & stop to look around me. The room is dim & cold & I can’t help but think of him, the one I gave gift after paltry gift, each acceptance something I was sure wasn’t love, & how he held all I offered like a toy, stretching everything into thinner & thinner pieces, wearing it all out with those long fingers & I keep waiting for something to break –

/

On a scale of one to god, how tired are you of giving yourself away?
On a scale of yellow to vincent van gogh, will this sadness last forever?

/

Follow your dreams, said sage advice, reblogged over 9,000 times in the stratosphere of human history, consciousness, etc.

But my dreams like staying with me, bound to the very being of me – volatile & prone to change – feet burning bright but safely bound to the ground where I stand, movement soft as the shadow sewn to my spine.

/

Most people mistake happiness with contentment.

All hail St. Anger

Again and again the world has a funny, hurtful way of reminding me whom to trust and distrust. And again: How alone I really am.

It’s like the older I get, the less open I become to the idea of letting other people in. And then one day everything will just spontaneously combust.

I can’t remember where I read this, but I fervently believe: One cannot be honest and kind at the same time.

The longer your lies, the less alone you’ll be.

It’s sad that I’m just counting down the days left until I no longer have to see your faces as I pass the hallway.

You bring out the worst in me.

what we feel most has no name

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart
Jack Gilbert

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite.  Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong.  We say bread and it means according
to which nation.  French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure.  A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment.  I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can.  Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling.  And maybe not.  When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records.  But what if they
are poems or psalms?  My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton.  My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey.  Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body.  Giraffes are this
desire in the dark.  Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map.  What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.


Jack Gilbert Dies at 87