We live on.
Even if for long periods we struggle to see a life beyond these moments some day you just sit listening to songs that remind you of those struggles. Then you know. You know you’ve made it out. This IS the otherside. Amazing.
You thought you’d be epically sad without him, that no one would keep you quite as warm (inside) as he did. But the void has gone. This always feels best when we managed to fill the void alone, in our own strength - not simply finding someone different. The finding of someone else gives a whole different light to your life.
I havent reached that. But I will. If not tomorrow then maybe next month.
I’ve made it though. Not to say that there will never be that soft spot, or that they scar tissue is invisible but it is scar tissue, not open. Not constantly picking the scar to watch myself bleed with thoughts and memories of him. If he’d come along and cleaned up, band-aided it then this story would be different.
But it’s not.
And now, that’s fine.
I love you and I hope you go and find your happiness, wherever or whoever that is.
Be happy like I am now :)
at this point in the evening the music slopes down,
drops us in to a meadow
away from our bustling daytime city.
We journey there to lie in the grass,
hoping sounds and stars will carry us
to a place we can only dream of;
a reality unattainable in waking hours.
As I climbed through the hedge it was clear this was not where I had just come from; this was a strange, peculiar place where everything would be different. Most likely it would be better. There was a tangible improvement;the air was cleaner, clearer and every colour more bright and vibrant than where I’d come from.
I wandered from the hedge down a cobbled lane with flower beds. The establishments were all familiar shapes but the colour was soft pastels replacing traditional rust red and evergreens. As I peered through large, clean windows I realised these were sweet shops, flower boutiques and an abundance of tea rooms, coffee shops and smoothie bars. Long gone are the pubs and clubs which had littered these familiar streets with over-saturated patrons. There were no shelters or empty glasses strewn along this High St, all evidence had been erased. Very peculiar.
People passerby all smiles and ‘hellos” rippling across this quaint lane. Eyebrows rose with recognition and friendly waves exchanged. Surely it was not possible all these people knew one another. Or were on such peaceful terms! Not one was left without a cheery acknowledgement. Everyone included, everyone accepted. Very peculiar.
I moved from my wanderings into a tea room. I ordered a lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad, and took my seat at the best table in the room, which incidentally was not the only ‘best’ table. Each table had a certain attractin, leaving none tobe undesired. My meal was delicious and the loneliness of an unshared meal was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was not only this dimension which was different but myself too. Perhaps I was changing too. Very peculiar.
I Roseanne crossed the room to settle my debt only to find a friendly stranger had already done so on my behalf. Very peculiar.
I ventured out into the mid afternoon sunlight. The gentle breeze seemed to guide me towards the green which lay only a few streets to my left. The lanes became more crowded as I approached the market square. Even with the increase of people the greetings remained well exercised, even I had bee greeted and returned pleasantries with anyone who addressed me. Very contagious. Very peculiar.
I rounded the final corner towards the green to find my view blocked by a familiar face. Yours. Surprisingly you strode, confidently, straight over to me. I held my breath as you opened the conversation with a long lost smile.
As you moved closer, you stepped to the side to avoid staring into the sun, you continued to beam your own warming grin. The green now in full view. I realise the sky was grass green and the green a clear blue.
None of it was real.
I should have known that the moment you smiled.
NOTE BEFORE YOU READ:
So I set a little goal for myself today; to find a piece of music and write a story which could use this as a soundtrack…obviously I realise that it’s not the way round they do it for films and such, but it was a challenge. I started just writing and resetting the music every time it moved on. As I got closer to the climax of both the story and the song, I realised that I would have to plan it out exactly by the second.
So even though this has been written (and works) for my pace of reading, I still thought I would post the story, and you could - if you wanted try and fit it to the same music. If not, I hope you enjoy it.
I Giorni - Ludovico Einaudi (the 6:51 version)
I’ve run out of our small country country and through the mud to the little path. Down this still muddy path into the woods. Heart pounding, with tears falling. Fighting rings in my ears while tears fall freely down my rosey cheeks. My hands grip my dress and lift the hem so as not to trip but it’s already thick with mud. As I run on I wish I had grabbed shoes but there had been no time for for that. I couldn’t bear to be with him a moment longer, not while he was like that.
It’s so frequent lately, the harsh words, that I can’t imagine why it still bothers me. But seeing him so out of control, with rage holding his reigns, is still disturbing enough to scare me back to the woods.
My pace slows to allow me to hear if he has followed, running after me to hurl more false truths. He has done that before. Followed me all the way back to where we’d first met. I always return there.
It’s raining now, could there be any better way of colouring my afternoon? Wet and soggy woods which would make reaching the meadow more difficult. Shoes would have been useful.
I need to press on through the trees, deeper into the heart, mine and the forest’s, to find the man I’d first met, first loved many years ago.
It had been April, weather was predictably wet but when the sun came out I would rush out to the woods. Escaping the voices of my parents and the squabbling of my siblings. The woods were so green and brightly decorated, especially with blue bells. They were always my favourite. I had once journeyed quite a way into the woods and came across the most beautiful meadow. It was carpeted with blue bells, framed with tall grass, rimmed with giant trees with broad leaves which would drip with golden rain as the sun came out after the storms. I would bring books and little picnics to my meadow to withdraw from the real world. It was my secret, my safety and my happiest place.
I fell over, tripping over a protruding branch, and landed squarely on my left knee. I cried out in pain as I rolled on to my back. I let the rain pitter-patter on my tear-stained face. Slowly I caught my breath for a few moments. I managed to sit up but I hadn’t the strength to inspect my knee. It throbbed furiously under my dress. I just remained still and started constant, I wondered how I would make it now; either to the meadow or home.
Blast it! She’s gone again.
It’s not even her fault. It’s not her who makes me so angry! It’s them, all of them. The whole world, all sucking the life out of me. It’s just never enough. Never enough time or money from me. And then she sides with them! I thought it was us against the world. She promised
And nowwe fight all the time I don’t hold my tongue it’s the same fight over and over until I am screaming nonsense and she runs like a scared deer into the forest. Our forest, our meadow.
She’s sure to leave and refuse to return one of these days. If this doesn’t stop I’m sure to lose her.
I open the kitchen door, walk from the warm room to the outside door and pick up my coat as I leave. Stones crunch under my heavy boots as I walk towards the forest. I won’t take her route. I want to be the first to our meadow.
I hurry half a mile further down our lane towards my entrance, the same way I entered that day we met in the meadow.
I had returned home from a winter with my uncle in the city and I ran down from my house to amble through the forest. I lost track of time and came to a meadow. It was not the meadow’s beautiful blue bells which held my attention but the young lady sat amongst them. Little did I know that she would be so important, nor that she would be holding my attention from that moment on.
We met their almost daily for the whole summer, some times early in the day, some times late afternoon. As the days breezed by her hold on my heart tightened.
Autumn came and then the winter, with it she seldom returned to our meadow, we met in other places as I could not bear to be without her, not even a day.
This continued until finally I could stand it no more. I had to have her. To make her mine so that we needn’t meet anywhere but home, our own home.
This woman had captured my young, wild heart, made it yearn for hers. She had me happier than all the years of my childhood combined. That is why I longed for her. How could I ever have been so cruel?
I arrived at the meadow, blue bells covered with raindrops, the ground green but muddy.
But she wasn’t there.
I must be moving much faster than her, she must still have been coming. Instead of waiting I follow her path to find her.
I start by just walking, but then striding quickly. I see her sat alone, cry. I move faster now, running to her. My heart is pounding, I think I’m too late, she’s made up her mind about us, we’re over.
I arrive and bending down, the apologies flow freely from my lips. I’m sorry for my behaviour. I know she deserves so much better, she’s the queen of my heart and I need her.
I…I love her, since the day we met, how could I have forgotten.
“Forgive me!” I plead, “and I will never be like this again.”
She looks up, smiles through tears and confesses, “I love you too. Always. And for ever.
As I climbed through the hedge it was clear this was not where I had just come from, this was a strange, peculiar place where everything would be different. Most likely it would be better. There was a tangible improvement, the air was cleaner, clearer and every colour more bright and vibrant than where I’d come from.
I wondered from the hedge down a cobbled lane with flower beds. The establishments were all familiar shapes but the colour was soft pastels replacing traditional rust reds and evergreens. As I peered through large clean windows I realised these were sweet shops, flower boutiques and an abundance of tea rooms, coffee shops and smoothie bars. Long gone are the pubs and clubs which had littered these familiar streets with over-saturated patrons. There were no shelters or empty glasses strewn along this High Street, all evidence had been erased. Very peculiar.
People passed by all smiles and ‘hello’s rippling across this quaint lane. Eyebrows rose with recognition and friendly waves exchanged. Surely it was not possible all these people knew one another. Or were on such peaceful terms! Not one was left without a cheery acknowledgement. Everyone included, everyone accepted. Very peculiar.
I moved from my wanderings into a tea room. I ordered a lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad, and took my seat at the best table in the room, which incidentally was not the only ‘best’ table. Each table had a certain attraction, leaving none to be undesired. My meal was delicious and the loneliness of an unshared meal was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was not only this dimension which was different but myself too. Perhaps I was changing too. Very peculiar.
I rose and crossed the room to settle my debt only to find a friendly stranger had already done so on my behalf. Very peculiar.
I ventured out into the mid afternoon sunlight. The gentle breeze seemed to guide me towards the green which lay a few streets to my left. The lanes became more crowded as I approached the market square. Even with the increase of people the greetings remained well exercised, even I had been greeted and returned pleasantries with anyone who addressed me. Very contagious.
I rounded the final corner towards the green to find my view blocked by a familiar face. Yours. Surprisingly you strode confidently, straight to me. I held my breath as you opened the conversation with a long-lost smile.
As you moved closer, you stepped to the side to avoid starring into the sun, you continued to beam your own warming grin. The green now in full view. I realised the sky was grass green and the green a clear blue.
None of it was real. I should have known that the moment you smiled.
If you stare long enough at the lights they get that great photographic blur, bokeh, which always makes the scene look deeper and far more interesting than it actually is. The soft green console lighting inside the care contrasts nicely with the red tail lights and white oncoming headlights. The dusk has come and now ebbs away into the night.
We will journey until early morning to return to reality. The journey is long enough to remember our vacation, play it through; either backwards or forwards, doesn’t matter because vacations are always bookended by reality.
We sit in near silence as the radio hums with mellow music. No one speaks, each is beginning a gentle reboot of their brains. Tasks, responsibilities, lists, phone calls, appointments are slowly returning from the closet we shoved them into only a week ago. They step out blearily in to the cognitive light, walking unevenly to the front of our brains to resume their rightful places.
We pass under bridges, signs and between beams of orange lights, passively returning to our lives. Even though we are well rested we feel at our lowest and sleepiest right now.
The miles roll on, drawing us closer to the place called ‘home’, somewhere we’d never choose to take a vacation. Returning to jobs and people who we spend 5 hours last week escaping at the quickest speeds legal. We long for vacation which calls in a louder voice than home ever does. So why do we insist on living a life somewhere we always desire to leave? Because place, people, job, home we crave to leave but rather normality.
Normality is the Reality we flee from.
They were so hard to find,
Protected them by hiding away,
You held on to the fear,
That someone would reveal,
Things that you had buried
Ocean rims of blue
Sharp blades of green
With jagged hazel cliffs
Reminders of the sea
The countryside you love
Both so beautiful
From only stolen looks
The glimpses that it took
The secrets that you held
I pointed out the obvious.
Now that I am in
There is no walking away
Long to be the one
Who holds your gaze.
Whoa, hold on, don’t move, I beg, don’t speak!
The last moments have brought a revelation
It’s not the same, the lights are on, brain awake
I’m frozen, petrified that life is about to swirl
To dive and roll, far beyond my reaches, my control.
Because if there was some kind of mess up,
Some way or somehow that we’ve met this junction
I’m so sorry, you’ve been misled and I, misunderstood.
Clarity has been lost amongst layers of interaction
Your perception of this and “us” is upside down
Our lenses don’t share densities or focal lengths.
Please remain calm as I try, frantically, to save this
Returning and rebooting to an agreed instant,
One where we were friends and nothing more.
Just because the rain
Pounds, thunder sounds
Just because the storm
Has turned torrential
It won’t stop me
From reaching you.
I’ll be slipping down
Muddy slopes of hills
Trying not to fall
As I run to the cabin.
Inside, you’re warm
Not sure about happy
I’ve come to see
Where you have been
I miss your eyes, mind
Your heart and smiles
You’ve been everything
You lifted my chin,
My time now is bearable
I’m so grateful to you.
As hair drips down
Clings to my neck
Plastered to my cheeks
I bang on the door
I scream your name
Desperate to be heard
Over this rain that’s
Drowning out my voice
Flooding out my soul
Threatening to wash
How is it that you were so important?
Were the qualities you possessed so special?
Did you have a inescapable uniqueness
Was it your irresistible likability, or
Your exuding confidence that grabbed me
As you showed me you.
Perhaps it was the way you moved
How you stand just one leg slightly curved, not bent
The slender, sure fingers working to make tea
A smile which can’t help but bath bystanders
In the good-natured glow of your soul
Welcoming me in, as you showed me you.
Could it have been your knowing laugh
Always dancing in the corners of your smile
Maybe how your tears hung from long lashes
Intensifying the flecks of green in your eyes
Or the way you wanted to be strong
And wipe away your own sadness
As you showed me you.
I think it could be that I loved you
Unquestioningly, irrevocably, unconditionally
Every detail of you was a delight for me
Every moment was savoured as my favourite
I don’t see you, but I love the time we spent
As you showed me you.
Maybe for those of us without a home to point to, nomads, we use music.
It anchors us the way a home town would. I had my first kiss here, dad took us there, school afternoons, we had a party there, I remember walking many times this way home when I was…I met my better half at that cafe, our spot was on the right just as you come over the hill.
Maybe nomads treasure music because we can’t visit these places of life-monuments. Instead we say this song was playing when…., I remember he sang these words, I listened to this album during…because it helped me with…
We can carry music anywhere. We can store it away like normal people can store shoeboxes with their lives in. We can run into old songs like you can run into people or places from your old life.
My home town is called Music. It can hold all the memories and all the emotions just like your home town does.
Maybe I do have a home town, I just never realised it.
Jump, jump, jump down
Jump from the cosmos above
From the black, the silver dust
From the imagination of God
The endless, limitless bounds
Come and stand with us
Stand with your chest puffed out
Lock your eyes ahead
Hold a determined stare
Put your arms by your sides
Hold fast to your resolve
We’re going elsewhere
You won’t understand the sickness
Can’t fathom the chains
Which bind humanity and history
The old grooves worked and reworked
While thousands of other, better ways
Can be seen by an eye untrained
Free from their generational knowledge.
Questions and pity, companions on your journey
Through the Space-Time continuum
As you examine the human race
How she repeats her mistakes
Forgets her God-given creativity
She’ll carry on in old paths
Stuck in age-old ruts
Self harm in the same way
With the same tools only with evolving names
Abuse, misjudge, discriminate,
Maim and murder within herself
For this reason and that,
Always pathetic, always the same.
Where are those who have previously dreamt?
Those who have fought against the foolishness?
The great man, woman and child
Whose imagination is like yours
Their creativity and purpose realised?
The pain they experienced too real to ignore
Their compassion driven lives
Their bravery to free the mind
Of self, of neighbour, of humanity
A New Way, Groove, Path
A New Destiny.
But what are a handful of these lives
When weighed against humanity and history?
Their numbers, ones and twos,
Rarities and yet the most abundant
In the Cure or Antidote for Humanity’s
Endless self mutilating struggle.
Cry your eyes out as you rush through
Witnessing the vicious circle
Which binds God’s deaf, dumb and blind creation
For you have been freed
You have been released but now sorrowed
For your question is now like mine,
Who will stand and liberate them too?
As our time comes to a close
My dearest hope is to return
For these times we have had
Though so short and dear
Are some of my most favoured
In recent years.
The journey, I pray
Has no end in sight
This friendship just budding
Full flourish still to come
It’s fruit will be sweet
If nutured and loved.
If the roots are deep set
Through words spoken
And stories told
And prayers shared,
Then let me be confident
That this is not goodbye
But merely farewell
For you shall live
Within my heart
Until we meet again.