It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, - it is already in our bloodstream. And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed... We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.
Rainer Maria Rilke
We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It's like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.
Written by 'The Girl'
There was something between us. Fingerprints of a past life. A cosmic dust or spiritual residue the likes of which embedded itself so deeply within my subconscious that it washed upon the shores of being.
The weight of the world seemed to swim in his crystal blue eyes. If I were to inhale his exhale I'd breathe in only starfish. My lone desire was to lay adrift until succumbing to the inevitable drowning where souls float like liquid silk, yet ultimately, sink like a body of stone. It was a feeling I'd come to live for. To live in the eye of that hurricane, my calm amidst his storms. Perhaps it was his sadness I loved most. His sadness which at times felt dearer to me than even my own. That inherent sadness which brought me more solace and joy than happiness itself. After all, our happiness always lived lightly in the periphery, a sub story to the richer story.
I wanted to unbutton his shirt. To slowly peel back the veiled formality that obscured his way of not only seeing the world, but of asserting himself in it. If only I could crawl my way in and lick his wounds until his heart was shiny and whole again.
If we are comprised of stardust, constellations of millennia, our bodies would have left a trail of glistening comets, remnants of the gravity between us. Always your words pinning me down, always my gestures raising you up. This is how we grow, but into what exactly? If those around us are mere reflections of a deeper truth, what does that say of evolution? Meet me where I am, not where I will be.
We embraced the present through our melancholy the way the wings of doves desired the air, unencumbered in the surrender and free to go any which way the wind were to blow. Could it be that flight was unwittingly only purposeful in finding the right branch to ultimately perch on? Does not the weight of the soul make the birds feathers at times feel like they're moving through quicksand, and only finding the sticky sap of a beautiful tree to melt one into the other, create a common thread tethering us to this beautiful world? And is this not the very thing that keeps us from floating up and away, lost in the endless ether? Fall into me, as I fall deeper in love with you.
There are no assurances, only the twin souls of hope and desire catapulting us into fear and despair, and back and forth and back again, without end or beginning, just a perpetual longing spinning itself out to infinity inside some distant black hole. There's no escape or salvation, save for the mellifluous current of waves the moon wages against desolate banks with her tempestuous moods, luring me into the gulf of you.
If we could live our lives by halves, I decided my pie would be sliced according to the heart and its chambers. Anything that didn't travel through my veins to the primary source defeated the very purpose of living. Life, they say, is an adventure, but they haven't met you. The continents only dispersed to allow your spirit to spread the seas so your river could flow straight into me. That water fills the gaps, mending the corrosive holes time wears upon the soul. Liquid courage they say. The body is roughly 60% water, so it's only natural that the walls we've built will slowly erode over time like the ocean shores.
Sing to me. If you are here then everywhere else is nowhere. Light and dark only emit a charge when connected like soul mates, the Romeo and Juliet of romantic fatalists like us, so helpless they fall hopelessly. Keep me safe and I'll keep you wild. There is no sweeter darkness than yours in my own.
By Allen Ginsberg (1954)
The weight of the world
Under the burden
under the burden
the weight we carry
Who can deny?
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
must rest in the arms
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
the final wish
--cannot be bitter,
the weight is too heavy
for no return
in all the excellence
of its excess.
The warm bodies
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to the body
where I was born.
By The Light of The Moon
Written by 'The Girl'...
It was a day unlike any other because they loved each other, you see, but neither knew it of the other... Expectancy loomed, lingered, and danced in the air like a heavy fog awaiting a lover's whisper; an affirmation, a certain presence in the foreground that could illuminate the veil of misunderstandings and misgivings...
She waited, listening intently for it, but all the moment contained for her was a delicate hush which wasn't exactly the absence of sound, but the white noise of words left unsaid. 'I love you, I love you, I love you...' their voices echoed inside one another's heart, as if they were trying to catch the caterpillar the second it flew off as a butterfly. Unattainable and unrepeatable. In any case, where feelings for her were omnipresent, the expression thereof alluded him.
After all, it is not so much what we do to one another, in so far as what we do to ourselves. For who shall be saved if not to have first drowned? Such was the inconsistency of the heart. Its holes, its ravines, its majesty illuminating the darkness, and at times, compounding it.
Like a candle, she came flickering into the periphery. He could sense the impending doom of one who's about to lose their heart within the foreign land of another, and like an offering to the Gods, not knowing whether he'd be struck down in a wrath of lightning or knighted by Cupid's arrow, his fate was quite simply beyond his control.
The sky was full of richly decadent clouds, the kind you wished to rest your head upon at night with dangerous surrender, that fill your dreams with amorous gusts and languid sighs. Anticipation, their constant companion, continued to dangle mercifully in the air. The waves, almost melancholic for them, seemed to whisper in vague dissonance what their hearts could not reveal, 'He loves you, She loves you'... each time the waves crashed upon the shore, the ocean licking their feet.
He stepped nearer to her. Her hair like snow, dancing in the wind. In that moment he wished he were paralyzed. Nothing could have been more agonizing or beautiful than to forever prolong this moment of uncertainty...
However, this is only the continuation of a story that began long ago, in an age before time invented clocks and a life was instead measured by the beatings of the heart.
Once upon a time there was a girl who followed the sun and a boy who followed the moon and they were forever linked in longing. Two wholes which made up a half universe, unable conceive the entire thing because they were always together, yet forever apart. This is their story. The story of how the sun desired the moon and fell into the ocean while chasing the wind...
Maybe we have to betray ourselves in order just to be ourselves. In the end, Truth taps at the window of our souls. What quivers on the lake are only the footprints of Fate. Even our astronomers hear the funeral sounds of dying galaxies before they ever see them.
Gusts of time are filling my lungs...Today a hawk flew next to the car before darting out across the fields. I thought it was you. Each word, each gesture, is a feather for our wings. Later, I ran down that mountain and landed in your name... I’m the crow the hawks chase from their nests. I used to think Love would protect us from the shadows we cast. I used to think that Hope was not what jingled in our pockets. I used to think all this loneliness would be unbearable. Now each word is a betrayal, is the frayed rope-end of desire. Everything I say is like some cargo hidden in the hold of a sunken ship. In the end we all learn there’s no sea, no sky, no word big enough to hold all our pain. Only this kiss.
Only Love’s dragline already hooking the very thing it fears...
There are things we take on faith, without physical proof and even sometimes without any methodology for proof. We cannot clearly show why the ending of a particular novel haunts us. We cannot prove under what conditions we would sacrifice our own life in order to save the life of our child. We cannot prove whether it is right or wrong to steal in order to feed our family, or even agree on a definition of "right" and "wrong". We cannot prove the meaning of our life, or whether life has any meaning at all. For these questions, we can gather evidence and debate, but in the end we cannot arrive at any system of analysis akin to the way in which a physicist decides how many seconds it will take a one-foot-long pendulum to make a complete swing. The previous questions are questions of aesthetics, morality, philosophy. These are questions for the arts and the humanities. These are also questions aligned with some of the intangible concerns of traditional religion. Faith, in its broadest sense, is about far more than belief in the existence of God or the disregard of scientific evidence. Faith is the willingness to give ourselves over, at times, to things we do not fully understand. Faith is the belief in things larger than ourselves. Faith is the ability to honor stillness at some moments and at others to ride the passion and exuberance that is the artistic impulse, the flight of the imagination,
the full engagement with this strange and shimmering world.
L’amour est l’emblème de l’éternité, il confond toute la notion de temps, efface toute la mémoire d’un commencement, toute la crainte d’une extrémité. ~ Albert Camus
I would sit down, still dizzy from the day’s sun, my head full of the white churches and chalky walls, dry fields and shaggy olive trees. I would drink a sweetish syrup, gazing at the curve of the hills in front of me. They sloped gently down to the sea. The evening would grow green. On the largest of the hills, the last breeze turned the sails of a windmill. And, by a natural miracle, everyone lowered his voice. Soon there was nothing but the sky and musical words rising toward it, as if heard from a great distance. There was something fleeting and melancholy in the brief moment of dusk, perceptible not only to one man but also to a whole people. As for me, I longed to love as people long to cry. I felt that every hour I slept now would be an hour stolen from life… that is to say from those hours of undefined desire. I was tense and motionless... powerless against this immense desire to hold the world between my hands.
'Love of Life' in Lyrical and Critical Essays
Everyone knows that the moon started out as a renegade fragment of the sun, a solar flare that fled that hellish furnace and congealed into a flat frozen pond suspended between the planets. But did you know that anger began as music, played too often and too loudly by drunken performers at weddings and garden parties? Or that turtles evolved from knuckles, ice from tears, and darkness from misunderstanding? As for the dominant thesis regarding the origin of love, I abstain from comment, nor will I allow myself to address the idea that dance began as a kiss, that happiness was an accidental import from Spain, that the ancient game of jump-the-fire gave rise to politics. But I will confess that I began as an astronomer - a liking for bright flashes, vast distances, unreachable things, a hand stretched always toward the furthest limit - and that my longing for you has not taken me very far from that original desire to inscribe a comet’s orbit around the walls of our city, to gently stroke the surface of the stars...
'The Origins of Things'