The Beauty of the Mess: Letter #1

(This is an epistolary fictional story-series)

Dear E.

It is very unlikely that this letter will ever find you. Besides the rare possibility of me getting over my vanity and finding the courage to send this to you, there is the glaring hiatus in our correspondence, of 2 years 4 months and 26 days to be precise, that dampens my hope. Then there is also the question of you using your old post box that forbids me from thinking otherwise. Or if you even live in the same city. Or country for that matter. There are a million reasons why this letter shouldn’t find you.

But life is a long shot. Life has never made sense to me, so I’ve given up trusting in reason or signs of any kind. I’m not the believer that I was once upon a time when you used to write to me. And even if the ink and paper from my hands lies in a rusted metal box for most of eternity, the paper yellowing, the ink fading off into the air like my words and emotions, I will find a sense of calm in it. It will satisfy me that I tried to renew our friendship before I grew old and died. I tried to fix things when the world around me fell apart.

I’ll come straight to where we left off. And in all honesty, I was as angry as I’ve ever been in my life. I waited for seven hours on that rusted black bench in the far left corner of the Rose Park in your precious city, where I was supposed to meet you. You had so eloquently described it in your letters to me as your favourite place in the world, or to quote you, “the world you knew”. I wonder if that has changed in the past two years, if you’ve traveled to the far away mystical lands you always adored and admired.

You’d said that the dilapidated park bench gave you hope in hopelessness whenever you sat there eavesdropping into people’s lives, forgetting about the dilemmas of your own. You used to call it “the beauty of the mess” that life was putting you through. I tried doing the same while waiting for you to show up, while imagining you in your contemplating colours: wondering, worrying, waning. It upset me even more, because it made it extremely hard for me to hate you. And I hated you for what you did to me. Loathed you. Detested you. I was disgusted by you.

The beauty of your city was dust to me. It was smoke and ashes and garbage. And I swore, as I sat there rotting away on a rotting park bench in a rotten city, to never write to you again. I swore to cut you off and forget you like you forgot me. I felt stupid for not asking for your address or phone number, or even your real name for that matter, before flying halfway across the country to meet you, a stranger I had never seen or spoken to in my life, except through letters written to a post box.

But here I am breaking my oath to myself, falling into the path of vulnerability again, for you to hurt me all over again.

In all that hurt and pain, I took another decision that I shouldn’t have, that I probably wouldn’t have had you showed up that fateful day. I can’t help but laugh at my sheer daftness; at the fact how my life would be completely different than it is now had I let the fire of hate and hurt burn down to ashes rather than adding more wood to it. I wouldn’t have been a broken man sitting in a lone cabin in the middle of an abandoned sea shore putting ink to paper in this flickering tangerine light. I don’t even have a phone or television here. It’s just me, my pain and a few empty canvases I plan to paint my pain on for my impending project.

Let us let go of what happened. You didn’t show up two years ago; I’ve accepted that now and all that has happened since then. But throughout all of it, through the anger and the impulsive decisions, the fleeting illusionary happiness and the everlasting agony, I’ve missed talking to you. I’ve missed looking at the world through your eyes. I’ve missed your metaphors and poetry. I’ve missed you.

I’m not asking for an explanation. I’m not even expecting a response. But if my words find you by a twist of fate, know that no matter what I’m thankful to have known you in this lifetime. I’m thankful to have stumbled across your pen name on that god awful pen-friends website. I’m glad I decided to write to you. I am glad you decided to write back to me.

Your friendly neighbourhood

Achilles

Ps: I hope you’ve read the Iliad by now.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2016. All rights reserved.

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It’s Spring (A Rant)

My google homepage no more has my blog as a shortcut and that pained me. I guess that serves me right for being too distracted by the hills and the mountains outside my window rather than my own life. So, this is me being distracted by my own life for a change.

This is going to be one of those posts that is utterly personal,(hence) deeply metaphorical and, to put it into perspective, kind of rant-y. It goes without saying that this is probably going to be a mess, and this might very well lie in my blog folder for months and months, before I decide to publish it. However, I want this post to be raw and actually communicate how and what I’m feeling at the moment. Most of all, I want to press this leaf in my diary, so as to never forget who I was and how I became my future self.

I’m at a close at my life, the end of an era, an act in a Shakespearean play of sorts to be honest. And… I do not know how I feel about it. One moment I’m drenched in pre-nostalgia, groping at every moment to stop it from flowing, or at least slow it down.  The next I’m glad that it’s finally over. I’ve swum the English Channel and I can finally catch my breath, wash off the algae and treat my wounds. So, there lies the conundrum. The only thing I pray for in that respect is that I regret nothing. I wish I miss nothing. I’ve lived in the past for too long, and it is not a good place to be in. It nearly destroyed me.

This place nearly destroyed me too. But I guess it was necessary to become the person I am today, and I for a fact am very happy with that person. I have highs and lows, but I do not feel that I’m constantly frayed in a war zone. Yes, I have my battles, but I think my armor is stronger and my reflexes are sharper than before. And that has made me comfortable, to an extent, about going to war now and then. I know how to deal with it, how to deal with my darkness. My knight in the shining armor turned out to be me myself, and that is exactly what I needed.

Moments like today, I miss Yale like crazy. It was not a cake walk to be honest, and there were times when I sat on the wooden floor staring at the fireplace in my dorm wondering whether I had done the right thing, but that all faded away with time and my summer turned out to be crazy-beautiful, rather than being the perfect-beautiful I had expected it to be. And it was what I needed. I’m doing all I can to get back there, because that is what I want.

The dirge of the dying year has lead to the advent of a new dawn. Winter has ended.

It’s Spring.

 

Misfit

You trickle into my life like rain in November

and imbibe a part of my soul.

You take a hold of it, you morph into it

sometimes you call it home.

 

But remember, when you leave me,

and I say when and not if

you take that particular part of my soul with you

that’s how it is, call me crazy, condescending or childish

 

the way you take that part of my soul,

that shining shield to match your armour of gold,

it depends on how you leave me,

on the reason the salt flows from my eyes to the sea.

 

You might rip it away forcibly

or shatter the part itself as you hammer it away, while cracking and chipping the rest

or I may give it to you willingly, biting down the pain it causes me

for I have to let you go

 

A new part will grow in its wake, as it always does

the essence of time will heal the cracks, as it always does

 

That is the reason why my soul is juxtaposition of asymmetry

The Cosmic Summer

Caress my fragile fingers into yours

As I let gravity embrace me as I fall into you,

beyond the realm of bruise bandages and remedial cures.

You are the black hole gulping every shred of my clarity

and I cannot but help give into you,

 

and fall

and dissolve into nothingness.

 

All I ask in return for my vulnerability,

for the key you hold that unlocks the obscurest parts of me

is that you take my hand and walk across the Bow Bridge

while lovers share a kiss

in a boat that rows beneath us.

 

I will lead you the meadow and lie with you among the blades of the grass

imbibing the serenity of the sapphire sky and the thistled leaves on bows and plants,

nestled together spend a quiet minute or two listening to the songs on my ipod.

 

Or I might take you to past the conservatory to the Bethesda Fountain

and ask a stranger to take a picture of us as we wrap our bodies together.

 

Or I might walk with you to the Belvedere Castle through the Shakespeare Garden.

Under the wooden arch, tucked away in the corner you might hear someone playing the violin;

you will laugh and tell me how this reminds you of a night many moons ago in Rome

and I will try to curb the pang of jealousy raging through me at the people in your life before me you called home.

 

I will pull you across the exceptionally narrow spiral stairs of the Castle

forbidding but one person at a time to pass through,

to give you a reason to rest your hand on the small of my back in the close quarters’ hassle.

 

Once atop of the highest tower, I will hear you sigh as you take in the breath taking view of Central Park in the Summer

 

and let you take my hand as you tell me bandages won’t work on you too now.

23 Poems Before I Turn 23 Challenge: A Song from the Suds

Poem number 4

A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is among the queens of queens and I dote on her. She is one of the authors who have permanently been on my reading list and I do hope I can someday strike her name off that never ending Neverland of a parchment. I have grown up watching the Little Women anime and the 1949 adaptation has been a favourite. Although I must admit that I’ve quite forgotten the specifics of the tale since I last saw the movie 6 years ago or so. This challenge has reminded me of my teen love and I will surely fall back into its arms as soon as I get the opportunity to sweep away the mundane dust of life (which is pretty much the theme of my next poem).

The Poem:

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart’s-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
“Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!”

My Thoughts:

I adore the simplicity of the poem. The words mean what they appear to mean, yet Louisa’s art of writing is pretty evident in the crafting of her sentences: they are short, crisp and lyrical. Her sense of humour is unparalleled and philosophical, if I might call it that. Her thoughtfulness is evident, but it is the clarity of her thoughts and words that I love the most, for clarity is something I strive to achieve in my writing. I have a muddled mind and I am a frazzled human being. And anybody who is not so inspires me and captivates me and enchants me.I am enthralled by this poem.

This is going to be one of the poems I will read to my kids someday, for it is beautiful and funny. Louisa compares a washcloth, out of all the things in the word, to life! And anybody who can pick up such a mundane and common thing and find beauty and grandeur in it is gifted according to me. She reiterates my philosophy of life: make yourself so busy that you have no time to think about the dullness and trauma surrounding life. This is something I’ve been doing ever since I took a lone trip this summer to satiate my wanderlust and realized that I’ve been fooling myself into believing that I’m not a loner. I realized during my sojourn just how beautiful life is when you do not have to depend on anybody else, but march to the beat of your own heart. Relationships are treacherous; they fool you into believing that you cannot survive on your own, when in fact being your own wolf pack is spectacular (and addictive). I’ve become so involved in myself that I barely have the time to think about unnecessary complications (but I still do drown in my misery sometimes, for I too am human).

I guess Louisa has found the answer to Alaska’s question, “How do you escape the labyrinth of suffering?” Dwell on thoughts, be angry and sad and broken, but do not stay idle. Work towards something. Work for something. Goals are one of the things that breathe sensibility into human existence. And all I do to stay sane is keep my eyes on the prize, when every inch of my body wants to stand and stare.

4 down, 19 poems and 24 days to go!

© That Girl in the Fray, 2015. All rights reserved. 

The Raven that Flew Far and Far and Far and Far Away

A Raven once flew too far away from home

It ended up in a barren iced wasteland, all alone

Miles and miles of white devoured the black of the little being

It saw nothing for years on that icy scene

Heard no voice nor felt the beat of another heart

No one to confide to, no one to help heal its scars

no heat

no heat

No Heat

The ache of the thirst.

Fading memories of smiles laughter and mirth .

Starved of love and food

and affection and hope that never renewed

For days it prayed for its breath to stop, its blood to choke in its veins

Anything to stop the blinding tears and the endless pure honest pain

Alas, silence was all that answered its screams

it screamed and screamed

and screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed

The White haunted even its dreams

But it is all untrue.

It is all an illusion.

The battle had left her blind and deaf.

A Letter to Myself from a Year Ago

Dear Me in September 2014

I know you’ve been through one of the darkest times of your life and that you’ve been working endless days and sleepless nights on a dream, feeling unappreciated, unloved, abandoned and more alone than ever. But know this, I love you for your strength, no matter how staggering you feel it is. And the first piece of advice your future self would give you is this: hold on. It is the key to every thorn and thistle in life. Think of this dark time as a roller coaster that you discover, as soon as it starts moving, is too fast for you, with every turn and spiral attempting to wrench your gut out of your body and making you curse yourself for drinking that damn lemonade right before you got on it. You just have to close your eyes, hold your insides inside you and wait for it to end. And trust me when I tell you this, it will.

After you’re done dealing with this low, you’ll probably be blinded by the high, as is always the case. My advice to you is, enjoy it while it lasts. This high too shalt pass and you will have to embrace the slump that follows, because this is life. It is a saga of highs and lows, of crests and troughs, of rises and falls, and the only time life would be a straight line is when the heart monitor shows that you’re dead. There will be pain, no matter how hard you will try to shield yourself with the iron armour you will cast and no matter how you will swear to never show your fragile soul to those around you. Do that, protect yourself, stand up for yourself, fight for yourself. No one else will do that for you but you yourself. But honey, you can’t let fear keep you from living your life. Your time is limited, slipping through your fingers relentlessly as it always will. Spend it in a way that you have no regrets left when father time does wake up and it is time for Narnia to end.

To dilute the melancholy, let me tell you that with the advent of summer, winter will fall behind and the sun will shine upon you. You will have the best time of your life and meet amazing people as you satisfy your wanderlust and fall in love just too many times with too many things. I don’t want to give away too much, since I’m hoping by some loophole in the space time continuum you are reading this a year ago from today. But I tell you this, your summer will be beautiful. There is nothing else to warn you about or prepare you for when it comes to summer because having gone through it all, I do not think I would change anything one bit. You need this just the way it is going to come to you. If I in all honesty had to advise you regarding this wondrous prospect about to dawn upon you in a few months, I would say take more risks and be brave.

To end this sermon I’ve been preaching, I just want to tell you that when it comes to pain and heart breaks and happiness and beauty, you have barely scratched the surface. Although I must tell you that the worst is behind you, things ahead are not that easy. You will fall and stumble and pass through the tunnel of darkness numerous times in the coming year. But I promise you there is also laughter and a lot of good books and Korean dramas awaiting you at the end of that tunnel. Your heart will ache. But you have to learn to deal with it, And remember, above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

All my love

Your future self from September 2015

On Days When You Feel Lost

On days when you can’t see the stars at night

when the demons in your head won’t let you sleep

when the insipid illusion of life turns you into a nonchalant drone

when all is but a barren sunless dystopia

I promise to hold you in my arms

to tell you that you are loved and cherished

that I will be there through hell

I’ll be there through heaven

I’ll be the knight in your night

and the blue sky in your day

And the smell of iron rust of routine and dailyness

will, thus, be marred by the promise of May.

Comfortably Numb

Hath time been an enslaved dove I keep chained in the chamber,

My bidding an edict etched in stone for its survival,

It would fly to the cinematic moments I lack the strength to delete

The photographs I speak to night after endless night,

So I would stop myself from feeling I finally belonged.

To moments so I would hold my tongue from giving away a thousand hidden sentiments.

I would scream at myself, think, think for your mind is but a padded lock,

Think, you fool, for you know it is but a masquerade.

I would cry a thousand tears at once

to not have enough for the single drops that fall for a thousand nights.

I would inflict enough wounds on myself to be numb to the fight.

Numb, for I am numb now to every star every thunder,

My soul embracing the deep slumber.

Beauty is dead, my sorrow is a vacant stinging hollow.

I’m Still Here

Recently I’ve been too blocked to pen down the rumples in my mind and make sense of my brain. Too much has happened to me this summer and I mentally kick myself every time I think about all of it for not journaling on a daily basis, because those moments of gold and grey are beginning to fade away already. Even if I start collecting those frames of memory now, I know it wouldn’t be in its true authenticity and essence.

I’ve had my life altered in one too many ways, which is an oxymoron because I still do the same things I did before the metamorphosis. The only difference is that now I’m mentally aware of how ridiculous I’m being or how utterly unchangeable I am. So what is the underlining moral of this insane summer I’ve had? Like my thoughts about almost everything in my life, I don’t know. Yet. I think I’m going to use this blog as my saving grace to unknot my frazzled mind.

So what’s the point of this utterly cryptic blog post? I don’t know that either. Maybe it’s just my way of rippling the water around my afloat body in the lake to say I’m not dead yet. That Girl in the Fray is still here.