Old messages made new

One day you may find this message. Just know that today you were forced to find strength that you never knew you needed. Life is never simple. It is lonely. It is surprisingly unhappy, even when it looks like it is on the up and up. Remember to keep climbing. One day you will read this message and it will tell you to look behind you. Only when you have seen how far you have come, will you know what strength it took to get here.

I wrote this message in my diary, to give me strength and hope. When I wrote it, I knew I would need it. I recently found it. I have needed it.

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You hold guitars like they are offerings

A well of words

which spill over troubled bodies

a deluge of whispered sounds

which soothe thirsty skin

soaking the silence with quiet messages

which swell the heart

 

Your music touches minds

with lullabies of good intention

with fingers that seek wounds to heal

and fill crevasses with emotion

and flakes of skin

 

You hold guitars like they are offerings

 

Your gift is incoherence

a dam that breaks with joy

your water brings comfort

a place to warm bodies

a place to meet friends

and pay homage

 

Yours is a place upon which stories grow

on which to build homes and dig moats

in which to hold the waters of your words

it holds back enemies, our memories

it saves us from ourselves

We live so that we might die

There are rules for this life, I know. There are ways of being. I have chosen my way. I am 28 now, but I won’t resort to clichés about how old that makes me. I am as old as today, as the time I woke those few minutes before my alarm beeped its unpleasantries, until this moment when I drew these thoughts towards me. I am not afraid of this life.

I am not afraid of getting old, because I know that my mind will adjust with these changes. It is only when I go back to the place where I grew up that I see how far I have come, or rather how far away I have gone. I walk streets and know memories; know who I was and what I did once. I am not that person and perhaps I never was. How can we really know ourselves when we change so quickly – our skin cells shedding en masse, as much as our memories do?

It does not matter what you did to me. The beauty of age is the art of forgetting that one learns, or perhaps the art of beauty is forgetting how to learn, because we love most that which we know. You only matter to me if you are present, if I can remember the colour of your eyes and know the smell of your breath. You only matter to me if what I feel now is dependent on you. I have only fond, fleeting glimpses of time’s past and I am happy to live by remembering to forget.

There are rules for life. They are scattered around the internet as a means to feel better about oneself. They contradict and confuse more than they help. Don’t pay too much attention. Truthfully, no one can show me how to be happy, not even me. I am what I am. I just have to trust that with sadness comes happiness and that I won’t feel that same way for the rest of my life.

I am no longer afraid to be alone. I have to trust that statement. I have to believe that my purpose will become clear in time. My life is endless, boundless, an eternity, because tonight I will close my eyes and today will no longer matter. It makes me invincible. Let go. Trust in growth, trust in time.

We live so that we might die. Our certainty comes from death, our uncertainty from living.

Why I Won’t Let Go

I am not graceful, but neither are you. I am not together, or cool, or all that interesting. I have not achieved great things, nor made a difference that will go down in the history books. But neither have you. I have not meant every word I have said, I have relied on clichés to see me through, I have never written anything original or life changing, that others have passed on in rapture. I have never loved all that well, or completely. But neither have you.

You wouldn’t let that hold you back. You blunder on through, you push your agenda, you believe whatever you want to believe. Your middle finger is the most elegant thing in your vocabulary.

I have never been completely sure until the moment when I realised that I cannot wait to see you again, and you were already lying right next to me. You were already there and it wasn’t enough. You are like no one I know. You are unimaginable.

These days, I think that I made you up.

I won’t let you go, not because you have made me feel invincible, or infinite, or even just a little special. I won’t let you go because I know that I am all of those things, and I am waiting for you to discover me.

We are simply human, you and I, but I think we can surpass ourselves, surpass our non-achievements and our graceless ways. Together.

Just don’t let go.

Kissing Beneath the Streetlight: Part 2

We stood beneath a streetlight and kissed. There was nothing romantic about it. There was no soft music playing, no moon to catch your face, no gentle breeze to rustle our clothes. I felt light-headed because I had breathed in too much smoke and it tangled itself in my hair until there was nothing else but the reek of bars and disappointed dreams all around me.

You were lovely once.

Buddha said, “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gentle you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

I know that you were not meant for me.

I will never be graceful.

Kissing Beneath the Streetlight

We stood beneath a street light and kissed. I felt light headed – how different you were. How different you both were, the two men who broke my heart in different ways. Your kiss was unknown, unpractised and uncertain. I wanted much more, I wanted it all right then, but thought that I had all the time in the world. I thought that you would be back. I thought that the unknown would become practised and certain; eventually.

Does it bother you that I am desperate? Does it concern you that I want to fight you, fight for you, battle out your stubbornness, your indecision, this uncertainty. It bothers me. But I am tired of being the person who is strong and dignified. I would give up that strength for a while. I would give up my dignity for a shot at love.

We stood beneath a street light and kissed. I ran my hand down your back and it hurt my senses because I already knew how beautiful you would be naked. I wanted to strip you in the street, just to trace your contours with my eyes. I wanted to gather your skin in my hands and rub it against me. I wanted the sensory explosion of your scent, your face, your hands, your smile.

Does it bother you that I cry when I listen to your music? Does it concern you that it has become my masochistic means of punishing myself, of trying to get over you, while falling for your voice over and over again. The opening chords are enough to deflate me, to push me over the edge. All I want, right now, is to lie at your feet while you play those opening chords again and again, until the edge has come and gone and whatever exists in the abyss has come to claim me.

We stood beneath the street light and kissed. I couldn’t have imagined you would never become part of my life. I never imagined that there would be a price to pay for my hope. I felt like I had been promised something. A soldier next to me, a master, a dreamer, a creator. I thought that if we combined our strengths we would be invincible. Us against them.

But it was you against me.

I don’t know where it all went wrong.

We stood beneath a streetlight and kissed. There is no one like you.

I want to go back. I want to start again.

You Fought Me

You are a radical in all you do

Even in love, it is “at first sight” or not at all

You play guitar in the corners of rooms

And I ran, I ran to you

I found you in a cushioned cocoon

 

Flailing about in my lily white skin

Your skin a decaying artwork of pain

The only manifestation of your burning lungs

Too beautiful, so beautiful

I wanted to trace you with my tongue

 

I held onto your body in the street

As the waves of change came over me

There was happiness in being part of our human collective

But I could not feel nor look at you

Your blue-eyed stare reflective

 

Of what you believed

 

You fought me

You thought you could see all of me

But like others before, you weren’t looking for me

You were looking for you

And for what you believed me to be

 

In the end I still have that seed of me

And my dignity