When you lay inert in the Universe, hanging like a star in the milky way, and life had not yet been breathed into you. I have a feeling we were close by. That we were born together, from the same breath. Or first it was you, and then me. You saw the world before I did. You couldn’t believe it. You couldn’t comprehend that you couldn’t believe it. Because a moment before, you were nothing. And then all at once you burst into existence. You didn’t exist and then, just like that, you did. You beheld the universe, everything, when moments before you had never seen.
And then I was born. My eyes new, and you knew then that you wanted to teach the world to me. What little you knew of it was mountains to my still flat consciousness. You taught me all the things I did not know, showed me stars and silence. We held hands as we explored the universe, like children but also like souls that had long been conserved in the same patch of sky. If life were a sentence, then you would be the word that came right before me. Your whole existence gave meaning to mine. And mine to yours. And one meant little without the other.
At the breaking of dawn, you could not take it anymore. Could not start even another day with the burdens of the past. So as the sun awoke and its first beams caressed the scenery, your tears fell, and your truths bled all over the kitchen counter. The good, the bad, the vulnerably honest, the dark, the nonsensical, the raw, the accidentally poetic. And you looked at me then, as if you had placed your beating heart in my palm. You waited to see what I would do with it. I could crush it, without even saying a word. But what does one say when exposed to the very thing all people learn to hide from others, from themselves? What does one say in the face of others’ soul-deep pain?
All you need sometimes is an “Okay”.
You don’t need an: “Oh… I’m sure it’ll turn out fine in the end.”. There’s something that’s often…dismissive about these ready-made phrases. Like, here, take these formalities. No, sometimes, I find you don’t need many words. Just a singular, sincere one. You just need an “Okay”—strong, steady, sure.
Because any other words will fall flat.
“You’re suffering, but move on.” Isn’t that what it means sometimes? “You’re suffering and I can’t sit with you while you do.” or “Your pain is a burden.”
We want people to be happy not because we love them, but because we can’t handle them when they’re sad. It’s hard to love a sad person, because loving means a whole other thing when someone’s not happy. Loving means wiping away tears not knowing if and when they will subside. Loving means looking behind the mask and risking yourself in the cracks and dents of their soul. Loving means facing uncomfortable truths and not looking away. It means looking so far into their fears, you start facing your own. Sometimes, it is to find the courage to do for them, what you could never do for you.
That’s why you need an “Okay”. You need an “Okay” that says: “We will not move on. We will sit down and feel this together. You might still be sad at the end of this. You might never be the same person again. But at least you’ll be you. At least you won’t be hiding. You won’t endure because you think that’s what will make others happy. You won’t feel guilty about being in pain. You won’t feel like you have to face it all by yourself. You will learn, that pain does not have to turn into suffering.”
All in one “Okay”. An “Okay” that sees you, that understands. That will stay with you for longer than an entire speech would.
Note: The year’s first series! (Is it still a series if it’s only 2 parts?🤔) But, to my defence, this was going to be 3 parts. Until the idea for the last part just slipped out of my brain and wandered into the great, wild world without looking back. 😒 Oh, well. I still hope you enjoyed it 🙂
In the heart and solitude of the desert where echoes of nothingness sink into the dunes, my weary hand turns the radio button and catches onto something that is not the static. A thread of Fate, a wave from the Universe. For no reason at all, the radio tunes in to the frequency of you. Your voice, like an old record, scratches first and then promptly fills the space between morning and night. It reaches miles across the desert, floating around like lost words from an old language. Something that, idly, the now-rousing desert recognises. Something it allows.
Yet, I think, there is no greater meaning to this connection. Joy is a mere season of life. It comes, it goes. There is no need to question it. Neither this, nor sorrow nor solitude, either. Each must happen. Each must succeed the other. But like the winter brings frost, all other seasons bring change.
And so, for a while, your voice makes the desert flowers grow. It teases out the small animals from hiding. For a while, the birds fly back to the heart of an all-encompassing nowhere, bringing back news of the port and trade and the people who left. The static and loneliness are only mirrors now of what they used to be. For a while, the desert is anchored to the Earth, and not just a piece of land floating ever further away from it. It is grounded to the world by your voice that, in all fleeting irony, is carried over by the atmosphere and a random, snaking wire of Fate. And so it is that in the essence of the season, all else is forgotten. Everyday becomes a ritual of turning the button to the frequency your voice lives in.
And just like that, your voice fills the void.
Until one day, your voice turns loud and your words clash with mine. For a long time since you first spoke, the radio emits silence. Not static either, but smooth, cold silence. The next day, as I turn the radio on, the static is back.
Static. Static. Static.
You did arrive because of exceptional showers, because of a bored, sneaky thread of Fate that was let loose. No, it was never meant to be, let alone last.
Yet I call out your name in the desert, beg the birds to tell me where you are. But you’re just a lost frequency now. A season in time I can never get back to.
Note: I actually came up with the idea/keyword of ‘Lost Frequencies’ almost a year back. I couldn’t do the idea justice at the time, so I just jotted it down. I actually might redo this later though, I’m not entirely satisfied with it >.< But if I don’t post this now, I never will, so…
“Aren’t you angry,” you asked “that we met only now, and we already have to say goodbye?”
I would have been grateful for even one day. For even the blink of an eye. Shooting stars and meteor showers are fleeting, too. Should we be angry that they couldn’t last longer? And yet, with these goodbyes, it’s so hard to focus. All I can think about are all the hellos they will bring with them. We have too little time to be upset. Whether it is a week or 60 years. It will never be enough time. Only infinity would ever satisfy us.
Am I angry? I haven’t given myself time to be.
It’s so rare, this. I can’t complain. My days are filled with thank yous to the Universe.
It is paradoxical, too.
That there will never be enough time. And yet however much of it we will get will be enough. Because this, this is like a comet we could have never caught at all. Something that only happens every hundred or thousand years. The requirements for this to happen were something along the lines of: to have been born on a Sunday at 13:03:56, gone to 3 different high schools, have had a friend called Dudley, seen a peacock every 2.5 years, worn green every other Tuesday, taken the bus 156 times a year and hated watermelon for half your life. If even one day had happened differently, could you honestly say life would have happened the same?
This thing we have is as beautiful as a meteor shower. And how lucky we are to have caught it. How lucky we are, that we do not have to spend the rest of our lives wondering.
Note: Ahhh, today is the last day. This is Day 30 of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. I wanted to end on something that said: “Ends are beginnings”. I’ve strayed a little from the intended goal, but I hope you liked it and that you’ve been enjoying these 30 days of writing. It’s certainly helped me understand my writing better. And with this, I guess this is the end of NaNoWriMo this year. Who knows, maybe next year…
“How many more times do you need to ache to understand that this isn’t normal?”
“How long has it been since you’ve been loved? Since you’ve been seen for who you truly are? How long have you been hiding—cutting off pieces of yourself and burying them in places no one would find them? How long have you been scared of people finding out about your story? How many times have you wished they would? How many more times do you need to ache to understand that this isn’t normal? These memories, these bookmarks of your story—if you bury them, they will only grow. And like baobabs, their roots will find their way to your heart. They will entrench themselves so profoundly that they will take over. Until one day, you will not even see the blueness of the sky. How long until this carefully constructed lie falls apart and you realise how empty you’ve made yourself?”
Note: This is Day 17 of my NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. You can read the entry for Day 16 here. If you enjoyed this, I’ve also written about similar themes previously.
I wonder if I could take photographs of moods, of feelings, what they would look like?
The other day, in the bus with you, when truthfully, we cared more about the scenery flashing by than the destination, I wonder if it would be this soft pink, all washed out and fuzzy and nebulous. There would be a wave of heat in there too, for when we held hands and it was already so hot that summer day. I would hang it on a wall, name it something silly and pretentious like “This is as close as I ever came to happiness”.
Because moments like these don’t really need to have a name. They don’t need a place and date and time. I don’t even remember what day of the week it was. But I can close my eyes and see the soft pink of that day and be there, wherever there was, all over again. And I can feel exactly what I felt when we went by and the sun was setting, and I didn’t even look at you, I didn’t even hear the breaths you would take. All I knew of you was the warmth of your hand, and that was enough.