I don’t know how this unusual hook-up came about, but the product is far too chilled to be ignored.
The moments between yesterday and the days before that, the times when we ran out of the things that didn’t matter, and all we had was us: the ‘thing’ that matters.
We were broke, and full, and happy. Love is filling.
Then we made a little money, and lost the much we had. Now there’s you, there’s me, no connection. The houses of unfriendly neighbours divided by an electric fence. Shocking.
I met you at a bus stop, so forgive me if I only love you at junctions in my life.
I’m still in transit.
Maybe I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not going nowhere.
I cannot settle, because that would be suicide, and I have too much living to do to take my own life or have it taken from me by a cause undeserving of the glory of my passing.
Yes, I am learning to be selfish, but only with the right things and the right people. I am learning to clutch, open hands are overrated:
The familiar homeless man with hands held up in the corner of the street had nothing when I walked past him this morning, and he will have nothing when I walk past him in the evening. Two exposed palms, one hope for dreams to come true, but nothing ever happens. I cannot live this way.
I’d rather die than live in an earthly hell, but Heaven isn’t ready for me yet. So I make my own heaven, every day, I build it from the things I clutch: the people, the places, the memories of them.
The memories. I keep making new ones. Some are more precious than others, no doubt, but no one is meaningless.
I am made of memories.
And you’re a memory, as much a part of me as the next event which will come, linger and then pass. Like most things. I will leave you behind, and you me, but the essence of what we once meant to each other will remain, our exchange imprinted upon us like the scents strangers leave on other strangers they seat next to on a public bus. Or brush past in a doorway. Scents, often imperceptible to the ones who wear them, but there nonetheless.
I will love you at junctions in my life. Or this memory of you I will never let go of. I will love you when I remember to breathe, a momentary inhalation that is as much a rest as any I’d ever get. I’m still in transit.
I arrived on the threshold of glory, not by design, but because the ship of circumstance ferried me there. Standing in the shine of greatness that loomed overhead like a star far more illuminating than the one which has occupied the day sky since the birth of time, the place of mediocrity could not be found neither was there the slightest trace of the haunting darkness of ignorance. Nary a shadow was present, all damned to some netherworld so far removed from the here that they could very well be nonexistent.
I wasn’t dreaming, of that I was sure no thanks to the self-inflicted cut on my throbbing upper lip, but wakefulness felt like a lie if only for the sheer surreality of the space I occupied, and the way I occupied it: standing when I should have been flattened by the magnificence of it all. It all whispered of the divine while being less than heavenly, spoke of things celestial even though terrestrial, and I flew with both feet firmly on the ground.
But as if oblivious to the astonishing wonder around the body that houses it, my soul uttered one word: more. That was when I saw the brilliance.
Like a million suns in a million worlds all luminescent at once, no setting. Sacrifice as an orb of life-giving light; grace and mercy, rays from that orb. All of the beauty from Calvary, all of the kindness of a God who forgives and doesn’t remember, peace like a river flowing without end.
The sin-effacing Blood of a Saviour with a human heart, shed when nothing else would do. A Life given for lives which, summed up, can never compare in worth. An explosion of grace marking the path to the Father for eons. The ageless beacon guiding whosoever would choose to take one step in His direction (He will meet all with everlasting arms outstretched).
Love is more. Love is the brilliance.
Lost, like a needle in a haystack,
Adrift, unable to find its way back.
A heart gone astray, off, long off,
Wandering in places yet unheard of.
Can I find you, find your essence,
Can I redeem you in the sun’s absence?
Is there a returning from this oblivion,
A coming back to the life you once had?
Everything is precious, but some more than others,
There’s nothing with which one thing does not bother,
Or one person: we do have our preferences,
Those things to which, gone, we’re loathe to make references.
Things like your heart, the space it left testifies,
Of the meaning it has, or had, this is hard.
I drop mine into that cavity, it drops (echo amplified),
And shatters, good intentions in a million shards.
Pile on the love, pile on the awkwardness,
I’ll see what I want, feel what I choose.
Be human, be your freaking self,
Be beautiful, be limber, get loose.
Breathe, there’s enough air to go round,
Fly, let those inhibitions go (far away),
Plummet, it’s okay to be earthbound,
Look crashing in the face and scream, “Not today!”
Believe the hype, yes, you rock,
The ones telling you differently are blind.
Quote me (in your own defence), I know you well,
Your lovely eyes, your soft hands and your beautiful mind.
It’s hard right now, but it gets better,
I swear it gets better, the sun’s just hiding.
So those damned clouds? Pay them no attention,
To hell with the shadows, your glory will be blinding.
″…if you love somebody, you can’t be with them enough.” – John Lennon, 1969
Returns on emotional investment are ever diminishing, but what stays the same these days anyway? If exam schedules change on a whim and buses are hardly regular, who are we to complain when girlfriends find better ‘things’ to hold? We clamp down firmly on our tongues and wait till the urge to scream slowly passes, like a rivulet of cold sweat sourced from fear trickles down a naked back. Like real men. But in our minds, in our minds we’re throwing tantrums and smashing all that’s remotely breakable. In our minds, we’re childish avenging angels taking back a dozen pounds of flesh for the one we say was taken from us… the one we say. Everything is in a manner of speaking these days. Even that thing called feminism. Sorry, I wasn’t trying to pick a fight with the other side of maleness.
So should I be feeling ‘not good enough’ because I’m not getting as much love as I used to from her? Should I be pissed that ‘us’ time is looking less and less like what it used to be, like a sofa in the process of conversion into a full-time mattress gradually acquires a new, undesirable look? Funny that that word ‘undesirable’ came up. It probably represents the sum of all the things I fear: that someday I will look at my life with her and walk off the end of a short pier emotionally (only emotionally, I love myself far too much to contemplate suicide)… because being in love has become undesirable.
Maybe I’m just ungrateful. I mean, she’s still here, suffering through my attempts at making conversation with the aptly timed hmm and the brilliantly injected ah. Not words exactly, just faint signs of life, controvertible proofs of existence. The relationship is a dying planet, but what’s left will not cease to pass itself off as verdure. Talk about going out with a bang.
I wasn’t there when the great shorelines appeared,
But I know their Maker well, and His boundless love.
Tides do not move me, ’bout waves I’ve never cared,
What storms may come are the flapping wings of a dove.
The oceans at their deepest points, the unplumbed seas,
The roaring of a thousand winds, a breeze upon my face.
Breaking masts, ripping sails, gales in which men freeze,
Mercy, mercy over everything, there’s safety in this grace.
The darkest clouds across the deep, full of saltless tears,
Crooked fingers of celestial fire, point towards my ship.
But who am I to turn around, misguided by human fears?
He holds the spinning wheel and calms the heart that skips.
Master and commander, the all-light definition of safety,
It’s all right within when it’s all grey without, no doubt.
The waters are glass again, smooth sailing, here safely,
Land ahoy, led home by the peace I can’t live without.