Solitude is comfort. Sitting inside my heart, knowing it is just me to look out for, has a level of safety, of solace, of relief. I know my requirements and tend to them endlessly.
But now there’s you. you. You have a space carved out inside my heart, with flashes of your strong hands and soft eyes, every squeal of joy, the tightness in my cheeks, our supple hearts fleshed as one.
But it’s not just me anymore.
Many years of solitude have made rusted the spaces in my heart meant for another. I am habitually engulfed in a sense of seclusion. And for a moment I believe again that it is just me, as it always has been.
And then you press against my hearts’ walls, your presence juiced into my veins, coating every corner, and I remember you are here. you. In all your gentle glory, inside my head and by my side and in my heart, enveloping me.
It isn’t just me anymore. And what an honour it is that it’s you.
When death stretches your eyelids, so tight you don’t have time to rewind, to have tea with your demons, to repent and regret and relinquish yourself, they stay rigoured, a forced awakening of your last moments.
Only a life of sin would force your eyes open upon death, as if to say, “watch yourself burn.”
An afterlife of eternal unrest, reserved for the wicked.
I always knew, somewhere deep and small within me, that the delight and joy of Christmas had faded as I got older. I tried every year to feel that same childlike joy, but it has never been the same. I have been trying to concoct magic for myself every year when the tricks have long been revealed. And for a second it was the most sobering realization I had all year; my head spun, and I got deeply sad, yearning for a time I would never get back. But when I immersed myself in those Christmas memories, all the small ones- I remember one year it was so warm and grassy that I rode my brand new bike outside, or our tradition of waiting until midnight Christmas Eve to open one gift and then opening the rest after we slept, or just feeling the immense elation, like a pressure in my heart, of watching someone tear open a gift you spent time ruminating over, watching their face for the moment of surprise-I realize I was lucky to have these to look back on in the first place. And until the nostalgia wears off and I begin my own Christmas traditions, it will be enough to tide me over. A festive liminal space if you will.
I couldn’t wait to peel a wet bathing suit off my taut skin after a swim. I wanted that first feeling of realizing the sun was still out at 9pm, knowing the season had just begun and anything was possible. I wanted blackened feet from being barefoot all day and bike chain grease on my calves. I wanted sticky popsicle hands that I would only rinse quickly under a hose. I wanted to collapse in bed after a full day outside and finally realize how exhausted I was. I wanted to put potato chips in my sandwiches. I wanted to sit by a crackling bonfire and feel the intensity of the heat. I always felt like I could sit right in the center of the fire and not be burned but feel alleviated.
I truly don’t believe there is such a thing as “right person, wrong time.” This is an age-old debate that brings up numerous perspectives and opinions, all of which are intriguing and valid. I have just never gelled with the idea that you can meet a person who theoretically ticks off all your boxes and the only thing standing in your way is “timing.”