· Fleeting ·
He remembered the first time she used the word ‘boyfriend’ to describe him to someone else. They were walking down the street hand in hand and they had come across someone on the corner that she had known since she was the height of a glorified chess piece, but hadn’t seen in many years. Israelis have this way of not introducing the people they’re with to the people they come across, but in this instance she did, reverting to English and bringing him into the fray. The best thing about it to him was that it felt subconscious. She had engaged him without thought, and used the word with even less thought. Perhaps it is the muscle memories below the words which are those that can be read most lucidly of all.
He always felt like he said too much in relationships, and so the gravity of his words, even his actions, would be lost to inundation. He always felt that he never had the time to take it slow, so he wound up taking it fast out of necessity. But the second edge of the sword was clear; he would then push further so that sensitivity would return, eventually, and then perhaps too far. She was the polar opposite. It was the nuances in her that gave her her teeth. She was precise, acute, in the way she conveyed herself. He wished he could be less blunt as she was. All she needed to do was give a look, a hint of a look, and that was all he needed to see to understand the lay of the land in that instant. He needed a bevy of language. He missed that, that most elemental, instrumental thing of things she had inside of her. It was the cog that made the world that they created together move.
It was the moments where they could be alone together but not engaging one another. His father used to tell him that the sign of true comfortability with someone else was being able to enjoy one another’s company in silence. He wished he could just be in the same room with her, the same building even. Love is the only force in the universe that doesn’t require proximity in order to function, yet the gravity inherent in that love dictates that proximity is the core aspect of what you actually desire. He wanted to be able to hear the things that came to her mind, in the moment that they came to mind. He wanted to feel the shockwaves reverberate around the room when she found something amusing and laughter bellowed from her depths. He wanted her touch, casually and indiscriminately, at the moments where she walked by him.
It's not you I miss
It's all we will never have;
all we never were
There is a beauty in impermanence. If you let something touch you, and then also let it diminish, only then does it reveal its true value, its worth. The Tibetan monks on the high plateau know of this as a core tenet of buddhism. They will spend days, weeks perhaps, creating an intricate and searingly beautiful mandala made of sand. It is beautiful to watch. The mandala is meant to represent the universe, and the monks use it both as a focus point of their meditation, and as a reminder that world is passing, for at the end of the creation of this piece of art, it is destroyed, the sand swept away with a rake. It is an ode to the concept of the present, and is a lesson in humility. It shows the importance of knowing what you have when you have it, while knowing that you never really have anything. Enjoy the world as it is, and know that it will enjoy you. Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair, and these moments pass in astounding moments of transience. For what is happiness if there is no melancholy to compare it against?
Werner Herzog says, ‘What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” The fear of not being where you want to be, feeling what you want to feel, is, or can be, debilitating, truly. It can paralyse you, almost literally, and the breath can leave you like the receding tide. It is the feeling that you are not who you are, that you are living a life that isn’t yours. The only logical thing to do, I assume, is to leverage this fear that is common to everyone, and use it as the spear that pierces the darkness. The world will not forget your fear, so make it your weapon. Turn around from your flight and face the entity that would have you break. Find the resolve to break through it’s claustrophobic grasp, and the fear will be only the first thing to fall. Suddenly, you simply realise that it will be okay, even if it’s not. Transience. Impermanence. Lord Tennyson wrote: “Below the thunders of the upper deep, / Far far beneath in the abysmal sea, / His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep / The Kraken sleepeth.”
Awaken the Kraken. The monster is as vulnerable as it is strong, nuanced as it is stubborn. It is as beautiful as it is flawed, beautiful because it is flawed. And it is the one thing that makes every other imagining possible, too