Since we agreed to let the road between us
Fall to disuse,
And bricked our gates up, planted trees to screen us,
And turned all time's eroding agents loose,
Silence, and space, and strangers - our neglect
Has not had much effect.
Leaves drift unswept, perhaps; grass creeps unmown;
No other change.
So clear it stands, so little overgrown,
Walking that way tonight would not seem strange,
And still would be followed. A little longer,
And time would be the stronger,
Drafting a world where no such road will run
From you to me;
To watch that world come up like a cold sun,
Rewarding others, is my liberty.
Not to prevent it is my will's fulfillment.
Willing it, my ailment.
The heart has terrible appetites. The hands hold themselves out and look to be filled, but expect nothing themselves. They are hands. They are extensions of the body. Donne would have had you believe that simply being part of the whole would entitle them to filling, or at least being noted. The heart argues that there is no such entitlement, and the corresponding dead lack of compassion in nature buoys this argument. The heart knows what it is to want, with its terrible appetites, and to never be satiated. The heart knows that, in and of themselves, the hands have no inherent rights to objects; It is always incidental that the hands are ever occupied. What has no will has no refutations.
With no direct means of action yet possessed of an awful will, the heart is silent but beats its constant, terrible, rhythm into every gifted moment. I say no direct means, but it has ways of bringing about what it wishes. One stands before the mirror and sees the passage of its beating, the price paid in seconds turned to hours turned to years. It is like this, your face changes. You’ve gained something, you’ve lost something, and maybe they balance out but you are not sure and will never be sure. It shows up in your eyes, for certain but even more plainly (if you have been taught to read such script) in your jaw, and the lines of your lips. There were photos of me, taken at my birthday party- This is another me! Where did you come from?! What did I lose to make room for you? Life doesn’t pass in a grand series of contained acts linked by tiny increments; it is the increments alone, strung together by ever smaller pieces. It moves by a mysterious locomotion; contingent upon nothing but its own self, its mere existence a sort of raison d’être.
What I mean is something like this: I bleed a lot. I get blood on everything. It is less my tendency to injure myself (which I am quite prone to) than not caring a whit for blood. If it seems natural to be always bleeding from some part or another, it follows that blood will get on things. The house I live in is old. The wood floor has aged itself to varying levels of deep umber or black mahogany. In the dressing room I noticed a single, rather large, drop of nearly dried blood on the smooth planking purely by chance. Then I wondered that it shouldn’t have been before; the perfect roundness of the droplet, the contrast of its colour against the grain of the wood, even its slightly raised congealed surface. It must have made a sound when it landed; I must even have stepped over it (It being almost dry) a number of times. I was staring at it letting these little realisations wash over me when I noticed another. Again, perfect; near the door. Then three more, all-a-line, in the exact centre of a plank, following the grain.
I started to hunt for them then. They went up the stairs, into the bedroom, and down from the dressing room into the kitchen, where they stopped rather abruptly. But they were there, inclusive to my life for what may have been over a week, being stepped over by not only me but Bram. Of the twenty seven perfect drops only the twenty eighth was marred in the slightest. We did not step in them. We did not know they existed. With our neat footmanship we had proven (the best, the only way) that the majority of our lives are lived in-spite of facts rather than defined by them. There are too many things beyond our control that we merely don’t notice, to allow for it to be otherwise. Those droplets didn’t exist as far as I was concerned a mere five minutes before I saw them, and once seen they were impossible to un-see. I had to worry about them, and they worried me until I got a damp towel and rubbed the (surprisingly stubborn) stains out of existence.
Evidences. The fresh foam left in coffee cups, for example. Not the dried, crystal sparkling foam glaze, later, that’s too sad. But the fresh foam is just sad enough. To come home and find an espresso cup, perfectly formed cheap ceramic with the soft, oily crema still clinging to the sides, sliding down a little, and no one in the house. Maybe it is a pair of cups. Certain someones drinking espresso and never noticing the perfect traces they’ve left behind, which is a sort of sadness in itself. Forgetting these things, the traces you must leave behind by living, it’s all sad in the end, isn’t it? That is, if this sort of thing can make you sad.
And so, the heart has terrible appetites. Nothing is ever buried. You cannot but turn your back for a brief moment and there will your voiceless heart start a clamor. Your legs do not ask to walk, and your arms do not ask to bend with such immediate voices. You can see it in the etymology of phrases, the language of love showing plainly the constant, often insidious, whisperings of desire. They bound together and become a powerhouse of intentions, fused through grief, joy, and indifference; when we first know the monster of these amalgamated internal shufflings we name it separate, even as it is inside us and of us; we name it Heart.
There are so many idiomatic phrases that run “The right hand washes the left” and concurrently “The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand does” – that they are both true is an essential rupture of logic that must be accepted in order to live with any sense of calm.
It is galling that so many things exist without the help of our knowing they do so. In the end its only what we mean to each other, and what meanings we give ourselves defined by our relationships that affects us. The grave looms at the end of every road, and it will not stop existing just because we are not aware of how close it is to us, every day, beside us as we do what we think necessary or true. It is not a new idea. It is perhaps the oldest Idea. So it bears repeating.
I was sitting in the tiny park opposite the grand sablon. My feet felt strange. This wasn’t something completely new. Sometimes a part of my body will begin to feel alien somehow, or far away. It occupies my mind in such a manner that I know I will not be able to suppress it. The most I can do is live around the strange, uncomfortable fancy and be Generally Occupied. Only now do I think I understand it, though that might be another manifestation of my madness I think this is a vestige of my dissociated heart. I am not a person whole and entire, I’m a trinity. A mind, a heart, and something between the two that is neither and exists in grace. The mind is not a subtle thing. Our subconscious minds utilise blunt hammer blows in comparison to the fine chiseling stratagems of the heart. To mistake an emotional understanding for a visceral understanding is an unforgivable affront to that second self.
The heart is subtle, it will wait, and you will pay.
So subtle! To migrate along the pathways of my body, diverting its stifled will into such careful sabotage; the affected part, suddenly possessed of intentions (imagine hands that desire to be filled!) on loan by the saboteur heart…
Stalked by my possessed limbs, something always following me, checking my motion . Something clinging to me and turning my head to glance behind for…what? There is nothing. There is never anything. But when I face front what I turn to seek is there, I am slowed and stopped and I must look at my second self. I am left with a ghost of myself, what I am or might be, walking beside me inside my skin. One always pays.
The accumulations of tiny actions.
The range of motion and circumscribed awareness
" Between the conception/And the creation/Between the emotion/And the response/Falls the Shadow"
“Against the endless reckless siege of battering days/when rocks impregnable are not so stout/ nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays…”
I felt as if my hands were new, and unfamiliar things. The small bones sliding over each other in an oiled symphony of ligaments and counter-balances. I turned the keys in my door lock, started the engine" engaged the gears... Each move distracted me, my fingers orchestrating themselves perfectly to semi-voluntary demands. The complex actions of our bodies, occurring each second on levels we cannot even imagine. I watched them dart about, my hands, on missions I was not aware I had sent them upon.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.
Et il est parti sans même dire au revoir
On a un image de soi, et on doit se souvenir de maintenir cette image de soi
“Lost Love”. What a stupid, little minded phrase- of all things that can be lost! Love is never lost. It happens, and it happens entirely within the first few moments of it’s being felt. What you have with someone is nothing more than the unfolding of those first few moments, that first face, over and over again. There’s never any more of it, and there’s never any less. So the process of losing someone is one of waiting. One wants to say “I will not wait for you, I am braver than that” but that is a lie. What recovery from love essentially is; is waiting. Waiting for the phone that will not ring. For the admission or the apology that is never said. A letter that doesn't materialise on the matting.Waiting for the love to change itself over again, to transmute itself. Waiting out the reasonless hope..
There’s an unbearable silence in my heart. I am aware of how love is never “lost”, at the most it is misplaced for a moment. Into your leg for instance. Or your hands.
It’s easy to love imperfect things. We see their funny edges and unfinished faces and devote ourselves to these flaws like we do to nothing else. Our lives are all wabi-sabi pots, or are if we are lucky, inherently screwy but essentially useful. Those who are not so lucky- we try to live around those. In a house with all the vanished droplets of blood. In a garden with traitorous limbs.