A Letter to my Best Friend

Dear Best Friend

Happiest 24th birthday to you, you wondrous human being.

I wish you the sun, the moon and the stars, but only the bright and good parts without the shade. I pray you find all that you desire in life, all that you dream and all that you deserve, for you do deserve to be the happiest creature on the planet. You have a beautiful soul and I have been utterly blessed to know you. What would I have ever done without you?

I promised a handwritten letter to you, something I will fulfill in the near future, but this isn’t it. This is in response to your previous request that I write about you, and so here this goes.

As a person, you are someone people read books about. There are a billion contours to your soul, with such depths that you yourself haven’t fathom them as of yet. While you have your quirks about you, what overshadows everything is that you sincerely and truly never want to harm anyone or anything.

Well, at least when you’re sober.

Kidding. Don’t kill me for that.

I mean it when I say you have a brilliant soul. You do not compete with anyone and are so utterly at ease with being yourself that it has inspired me to try and imbibe that quality. Nothing really threatens you and that is a very rare human trait, dear friend. That is a part of your charm and the reason why people love to have you around them.

And talking about people, you are so good with them! I have never seen you caught in an awkward moment with anyone. You are so good with getting along with everyone and mingling even with people you’ve never met before. I cannot recall even one moment when you’ve been out of your element. No wonder everyone who meets you falls in love with you, platonic or otherwise.

So, in all honesty, you can’t really blame it all on the tons of guys who think you’re Aphrodite. *insert wink here*

You are beautiful, inside and out. It is something you should take pride in and remember in moments you doubt yourself. You are smart and intelligent. My favourite part about that quality of yours is how reason flows through your every thought, although it may not always be correct, or politically correct. (Don’t kill me for that either.) That is why I love sparring with you on most occasions. You are my favourite debate buddy. We’ll be passionately arguing about our different point of views at one point like mortal enemies and then sharing a joke the next. I rarely get a chance to do that with anyone else.

As a friend, you are honest, caring and loving to the core. I think you’ve let me drag you to places you didn’t want to go more than you’ve let anyone else do. You’ve saved me numerous times, whether it meant coming to pick me up when I didn’t have my car (even if that meant disturbing your slumber/siesta/ I don’t even have a name for the time you are asleep) or helping me realize my blunders and getting over my misgivings. You’re a treasure. There are times when there’s no one in the world I feel like talking to other than you, because you understand me in a way rarely anyone does. You never judge me. You’re never jealous. You rarely take offence. I know my secrets are always safe with you. Thank you for being my safe haven in the stormy times of my life. You’re the sunshine in the rainy day.

My wish for you is that you truly understand who you are, because as I always tell you, you’ve barely just scratched the surface. You are kind to strangers, courteous to everyone you meet and righteous in all your dealings. I cannot tell you how rare that is. I’ve never met anyone quite like you. And I know these elements will magnify as you grow into your true self.

I wish you find the success that you deserve more than anyone. And then even more success. Because you’re a great person.

I wish you find beauty and peace in your days. That you find shelter when it’s too sunny or too cold.

I pray you find the love you desire, the love you deserve, and then some more.

I pray I always have you to share my life with, to grow up with.

I pray every wish every desire of yours comes true, to the truest degree possible, sooner than you expect. I wish it turns out to be even more amazing than you ever thought it could be.

I cannot wait for the day both of us are done with the war we’re fighting right now in our lives; for the day we’re sitting by the beach sipping margaritas (well, you sipping one and me most probably eating a margherita), while reminiscing about the old days and being completely enthralled by the present and the future.

All the love in the world

Your Best Friend

Postscript: Do not forget, I’ve got dibs on being godmother to your first born. I am completely willing to wrestle any contenders.

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

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The 23 Poems Challenge- Poem #1

In the wee hours of 15th November this year, I would have breathed in this world for 23 years. And while the laugh lines around my mouth and the occasional appearance of grey strands do support the very fact, my soul is still puerile. I feel younger than I have before, and I do not mean this in a I-have-discovered-the-cure-to-ageism-kind-of-way, but that the more I see the world, the more I feel that I know nothing and have done nothing worth priding over. There really are miles to go before I breathe, let alone sleep.

I don’t know why but I’ve always found something magical about the number 23. (Maybe because it was Nathan Scott’s jersey number?) So to imbibe this feeling of equal amounts of dread and quintessential enthusiasm, I have decided to read 23 poems before I turn 23 and write about each and every one of them here. A fair warning to all ye who enter, what I write here will be based purely on how I see the world, and not how the world sees the world. I can guarantee there will be plenty who would disagree with my perception, but I in all honesty couldn’t care less how politically incorrect I am. Even the poets of the poems themselves can rise from their graves and chastise me, but I will not accept that my analysis is wrong because that is the very reason I am in utter incandescent love with poetry: the beauty of the words lies totally in the eyes and minds of the beholder.

Poem number 1

How could I even think of poetry without thinking about the man who made me fall in love with words. His words. So, I have decided to begin this sojourn with my beloved poet and my spirit guide incarnate, Pablo Neruda‘s poem I Like For You To Be Still.

The Poem:

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would’ve died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I’m happy;
Happy that it’s not true

My Thoughts:

I’m reading this poem from Pablo Neruda’s book, which is one of my most treasured possessions. The book ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’ is a beacon in the darkness of my life and it has got me through some rough times. Only the caressed pages of this book know my deepest sorrows and the taste of my tears.

For me, this poem encompasses the sorrow and pain that is felt when the love of your life is going through storm and thunder and all you can do is sit and watch. Pablo, rather than jumping into the fray and interfering in her life, wants to imbibe the peacefulness of her silence. He sees beauty in her struggle and respects her decision to deal with the demons of her life on her own. He respects her independence and accepts this dark shade of her character, which is exactly what I believe love is: it is embracing the bad and the ugly, and not just the pretty hills, the blue skies and the pastures shinning green in the never ending sunshine. The sunshine will end someday and night will fall; it is what you do during the darkness that determines the strength of any relationship, whether romantic or platonic.

To paraphrase Neruda, he rather feeling deserted likes it when the woman he loves is silent and far off because she is dealing with the troubles of her life. Rather being a damsel in distress and wanting Pablo to save her, she is the sort of person to prefers to suffer in silence. He understands her and he understands and accepts this, although it breaks his heart to see her suffer alone. He feels as if his words cannot reach her soul because her eyes seem lost and she is utterly silent and distant.

Neruda feels that if his soul was filled into cups and saucers and the world itself, she will emerge from all those things because she is his soul. He channelizes the beauty of her silence and turns it into a metaphor: she is as silent and beautiful as a butterfly in a dream. I think he refers to a dream¬†because her silence and suffering is temporary and, with time, will be long forgotten. He thinks she is like the word melancholy, sad and beautiful and peaceful all at the same time. (This is how I feel when I think of the word ‘Melancholy’)

What moves my soul is Neruda asking to be silent with her, to be a partner in her suffering rather than plunging into her battle or leaving her in this dark time. He values her bravery so much that he compares her to the stillness of the stars in the darkness. He calls her candid, because rather than pretending that everything is alright with her, she is showing her true self to him. From experience, most people leave when you bare your soul and show your true self to them but Neruda glorifies her struggle. She is a mess and he embraces and accepts that mess.

She grows so silent and distant at one point that Neruda feels that he has lost her forever. Maybe she has left him. Her aloofness and distance makes him feel that she does not exist in this world anymore. But she does come back to him, maybe just by saying a word or smiling at him and all is right in his world again.

This is exactly the kind of love I pray to find, because I identify with the woman Neruda is in love with. I’ve become so used to fighting my battles on my own, mostly without allies, that being a lone warrior is all I know. I would feel cramped and suffocated if someone tried to interfere in my life and my problems. I detest being the damsel in distress. But having someone to stand with you rather than fight for you is the most beautiful expression of love and this poem melts my heart. It takes bravery to deal with the mess of another human soul and Neruda captures that beautifully. To be comfortable in each other’s silence is a sign of true love and that is what I hope for someday.

The Mirrored Avowal

The lull before the night of the storm shatters her deep slumber

A sharp intake of breath, awoken, she steps on her broken rose coloured glasses in a lumber

She runs through the empty halls, her feet leaving behind crimson dreams on the floor

She stops in front of the gold gilded mirror, breathless, lost to the core

A sarcastic laugh leaves her lips as she notices the crinkles near her eyes

For she knows her soul is but a barrel of unfermented wine

Standing there, she is wide awake now to the numbness flowing through her veins

A heart blind to roses, but not to the thorns and the pain

The darkness, the confusion, the entrapment in a dungeon sans the light

Her bare legs buckle on the cold floor, she is damaged beyond her might

Frustrated, she punches the mirror hard

Blinded by tears, with a crimson palm she lifts a shard

Cuts off her hair piece by piece, the silky locks wither and float down

She has lost the sanctuary she knew, her safe haven is tattered like her white gown

She stands up and walks, for now ends her life in pastel

In the moonlight, she steps barefoot into the world outside her castle.

The piercing cold, her new comrade, she embraces.

The Mirrored Avowal

The Mirrored Avowal