So perhaps that’s all we are
Two guarded hearts, two guarded souls
Engaged in a standoff,
Not sure why we’re here
Or what our armor’s made of anymore.
With delicate and deliberate paces
We dance gingerly on our fringes
Our heartbeats the metronome
Not a step too close, not a step off-beat.
Sometimes, I swear I see something
A spark, a flare, in your field
From my place just outside your frontlines
Our eyes saying more than what our mouths will
Feeling more than what we allow our hands to.
I mean it when I say I don’t need you
For you may heal my wounds faster
Or calm the tempest that I am
You may wipe away the rivers on my cheeks
Or carry my weight on your shoulders
But not if your foot never crosses the border.
Never mind, I have my own bandages
My tempo will change endlessly with the wind
The rivers clear the needless debris
And here I stand, only stronger from the strain.
I only ask that you see me for what I am
For what I will choose to be
Rather than a shard of what I once was
Or a reflection of what you’d like me to be.
I’m not much for battles, not standoffs
No number of sparks will suffice
To stop me from walking away whenever I like.
I am myself and mine, before anything else
I am here for now, so say what you like
Before the wind carries me away
Before I learn to drop the weight breaking my back.
I was an old soul. And maybe it was the fact that his soul still had that joyful, energetic youth that drew me to him. Maybe I was hoping my weariness would wear off if I spent enough time with him. Because when I looked into his eyes, and they shone in a way that made me feel like mine had a spark again, I discovered something new, when I thought I’d seen everything. I started seeing streaks of blue where everything was once grey, and the storm became one of the utmost brilliance, when he took my hand and ran with me in the rain, and we laughed for who knows how long. We never stopped, we just ran and ran, because he never ran out of that energy, and tired though I was, I was determined to keep someone like that with me, to feel the radiance I thought had burned out so long ago.
Run away with me
We can leave all the messes behind
And create our own swirling midnight chaos
We can sprint across the forest floor
And the leaves will write the stories of what we’ve yet to be.
I want to taste the freedom we’ll give ourselves
As long as you’re with me
Because freedom without you is prison
And a smile is not a smile if you didn’t give it to me.
Let us chase the watching, cautious moonlight
Let our wild laughs fill the night
Let the light in your eyes keep outshining the stars
Let the adventures continue
And let the etherealism never leave our souls.
I can still recall it. Walking through the small gate to be reunited with a wide cobblestone path, your grandsons’ extreme sports gear lying next to the white arches with flowers. It was a beautiful day – the sun was shining and the air was warm here in this small Romanian town. Your husband met us there, his eyes so bright and warm, which left me wondering how much pain my great uncle had to put aside to still be able to grin like that.
He led us to your room, and there you lay on your bed. You looked different, but then again, a lot had changed in two years. Your silver hair was extremely short, contrasting against your big brown eyes that matched my grandmother’s perfectly. Mom told me you were sick, without specifying how. Now there was no doubt.
An hour passed by. Two. Maybe it was three. I can’t remember much except how you were alone in your room with my mother and your sister, while I had to sit at the kitchen table eating bread and watching everyone talk about my cousins without really asking how I myself was doing. So I watched intensely the game of tennis where some Romanian player had made it to Wimbledon. (I don’t even like tennis all that much.) I tried to ignore all the close connections between the rest of my family members, the ones I never got a chance to make.
Finally it was time to leave, and we all said our goodbyes as I sat in the back of my car, with sunglasses and a voice that I had trained to keep steady by now. Driving back, all the voices in the car became a low buzz as I silently drowned in dripping saltwater and hidden emotion. I knew the next time I saw you, you would just be a name on a slab of stone.
I wouldn’t give you the sun to blind you, I’d give you the thunderstorms to see the cracks of the universe, to hear the low growl of heaven; I’ll give you the rain just to give you something to feel.
That spark in her eyes…it never got old. Not when she was happy and dancing in the passenger seat. Not when she was holding onto last hopes and staring out the window thinking that the world must offer more than what everyone else saw. Not when she was enamored and wrote without knowing what would come out. Not when she was motivated and wrote lists upon lists of what she wanted to do and would do. Not when she was singing loudly, when she thought she was alone. Not when she met his eyes…that was when the spark was strongest. She looked at him like he put the spark there…but she always had that radiant light, long before she met him. He, on the other hand, had never really experienced that sort of euphoria before. His life was one of smiles, sure, but he never truly knew what smiling meant until he was alone with her, until he kissed her. And when she drove him on his first late night adventure, when she sang at the top of her lungs and they drove wherever they felt like going…he saw that spark amidst the darkness and wanted to keep it forever.
Why do you hide?
Everything you’re ashamed of,
Your strange habits and your hidden talents.
Scratching your neck and your eyes darting when you’re nervous
Idle drumming of your fingers on the steering wheel
That smile creeping on your face when a thunderstorm begins
Singing along to music with that spark in your eyes
How do you not realize that this is what life is all about?
The beauty is not found on a screen or in a magazine,
It’s in those moments enamoring you and me.
And I believe you know this,
But you’re locked so far inside yourself.
You put on piles of chain link armor
When you can barely stand on your own two feet.
Darling, it pains me to see you like this,
Imagining potential but afraid to fulfill it.
Let me shield your innocence with my hands,
And go~ live your life, fall in love,
But don’t be afraid.
Because it’s better to love and feel so strongly
Than to exist as a ghost, hollow again.
I’m searching for something real. I don’t care what you’ve done; I just need to know you have something to offer to the world. I need to know you’re living for yourself and no one else. And when I’m sure of this, let me know what you think of the world and let me view things through your eyes, and I’ll let you do the same for me. I just can’t go through my life feeling none of these mental connections, I need to spend time with people who dream up ideas and thoughts not because it’s homework or a moneymaker, but because it’s who they are and they don’t bother to hide it. I need this kind of depth. And it’s so hard for me to imagine people trying to live without it, because you can’t live to the fullest if you don’t educate yourself about the world or think about important things. You have to spend time in both the light and the shadows. In both your head and reality. Living without thinking is not living at all, it’s worse than spending all of your time thinking. For me, dreaming is simply my way of approaching reality.
You are not a teenager anymore.
You are staring at your younger self.
The child does not recognize you.
But she meets your eyes with wonder
In naïve amazement.
She wants to be like you.
She sees how much taller you are,
How much stronger, smarter, kinder
And she can’t help but wish
To grow up that way.
This child has no tears,
The scars haven’t been formed yet,
Her hands are not yet bloodstained,
Nor has the weight of the world burdened her.
What would you say to her?
Would you tell her that she’s worthless?
Just as you tell your reflection every day?
Would you abuse her
As you have abused yourself?
Would you say that she’s never going to be good enough?
Or would you smile and tell her she is?
This child, keep in mind, is still in you.
You are still a child.
To the world, you are still so young and inexperienced.
Your innocence may be in the past,
But so is your loss.
For a long time, I was not myself. And I suppose that people kept quiet about it when they noticed because they believed I’d changed. Truthfully, I have. It’s unreasonable to have so much time pass, so many things to happen, with the expectation that we won’t change, because we will. Maybe you’ve become more withdrawn or more outspoken. Your friends have probably changed as well. You’ve probably found new friends that you talk to more. I know that it’s become the case for me. Yet as time has passed on, I’ve changed yet become more of myself than I ever have before. For so long, I have stood by a window, observing like around me, whether as a cautious yet curious child, or a scared yet inspired, young teenager. The people who have tapped on that window to communicate with me have told me to never change, and I have followed that advice. Of course some things about me have changed; my perspective, my habits, my behavior. But who I truly am, I have preserved. What makes people think that I have changed is my habit of flowing back and forth throughout reality, from observing to participating. I am the same person. Yet people complain about me because I’m fading in and out, even though they have not made efforts for me to stay.
I walk outside from time to time, but when I spend too much time outside surrounded by people, I am drained. So I walk back inside, to recharge, or clean up the mess that always reforms, or do both. Many are upset not to be invited inside, but they know not what is behind the door. Few others hold the key to my door – only because they remember to turn on the light and pull back the curtains.