Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a gradual curve

logic and reason.
they are two forces by which i have so rarely been ruled. they float around my consciousness like so many bits of dust and debris; their influence more often overshadowed by the force of my heart. they beg me to go slowly, to take care, to think through each word before it leaves my lips.

but my heart works so much harder.
and my heart has so many other plans...

since the first day, since the first moment there was a clarity from which i couldn't disconnect, to which i couldn't relate any reason. and so instead of being patient and quiet, i memorized the sound of your voice, the shape of your hands, the movement of your eyes, the pauses in the conversation that were already striking me like lightning.

logic and reason dictate to us that these things take time. they take years to stretch and grow and ebb into a gradual curve. like old, silvercoated photographs that blacken in the natural light, things that happen too quickly can vanish just as quickly.

my heart works so much harder.
and my heart has so many other plans...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

never cut what can be untied

it was somewhere between eastern quebec and edmunston where we lost an hour and i saw my first east coast sunset. the highway 2 runs through a section of new brunswick that is largely untouched and there was little to distract from the streaks of pink and orange that stretched across the horizon.

i find it hard to sit still at the best of times, if nineteen hours in a car teaches you anything, it's patience. the highway provides the ideal circumstance for a captive audience and so i sat sideways in the back seat and watched through the rear window.
perception... is such a funny thing, like every sunset that starts off as a full expanse that then focusses into a single point of light before flicking away like a light switch.

and like darkness blaming the absence of light for it's condition, those excuses that you carry around with you are little more than redundancies. the things you do and say, that move you along and fill up the hours of your day are written in your own ink and no one else's, whatever else you might claim.

i have a heart that's working all the time, feeding every inch of me and repairing reserves along the way for additional employers. i got a sense, from time to time, of your inability to do the same, of an alarming disconnection. bits of soul and light and thought and all of those internal organs like so many links of chain that wound themselves slowly into knots...a complicated mess to be sure- but believe me when i say...

you should never cut what can be untied.

the nature of recovery

For my eleventh birthday, my Uncle gave me a book called, "A Glow in the Dark Guide to Decoding the Night Sky". The pages were filled with maps showing the movement of major constellations throughout the year. Since I was born in the early fall, my constellation was Virgo. Looking at that arrangement of stars, it was bewildering to me that someone could have ever deemed them to contain the shape of a woman. I remember standing outside that night with a flashlight, running my fingers over the raised dots and their eerie, chemical glow...trying to compare them to the bits of colourless, old light in the vastness above me. For the life of me, I couldn't find that damn constellation and I guess you could say that it was my first lesson in that happy, old adage, "just because something looks good on paper..."

Every year since then, on my birthday, I go outside and look for it. Admittedly, I've never actually found it, but I've learned to be satisfied in simply knowing that on this day the sky looks, and will always look, exactly as it did the first night I arrived underneath it.

When I moved to Hamilton, the stars seemed to burn further away from me. The lights of the city suffocated their glow and so, two days after my eighteenth birthday, I had the shape of the constellation tattooed on my back. I know it isn't the same thing as finding it for myself, but being able to feel the ridges of colourful scar tissue with my own hands offers, if anything, a comforting familiarity.

It's funny, this mass fascination we have with looking above- be it to the stars or something greater- for comfort, for familiarity, for explanations. In a way, we're biologically predisposed to it. After all, eyes are designed to look in every direction but inward. It so wonderfully facilitates the laying of blame elsewhere, the avoidance of self-analysis and accountability.

Today, I'm twenty-five. For fourteen years, I've attached so much meaning to this constellation. I have a history with it, with looking for it, with wondering how much of me would be different if it were different. If I were born two months earlier, would I understand you better? Would I have learned, as you have, to detach my heart from the rest of my body in order to meet some physical need? Would I have traded in my present attachment to human emotions in order to regard people as disposable and interchangeable? Maybe I would have been less naive, less willing. Maybe I would have cared less, shared less, worn less of myself on your sleeve.

But maybe not.
Maybe there is nothing in me that was destined by my birthday. Maybe I would have been exactly as I am now, only two months older.

Now, despite earlier evidence, earlier symptoms of intelligence, every inch of your disregard is coming out of the woodwork, and as prescriptive as it may seem, your eyes could certainly stand some inward gazing.

And I know... we are who we are who we are, but at the risk of sounding completely ironic, you can't tell me it was written in the stars...