I would often quietly look back at you through the things you loved; the songs and images, the rustle of leaves, the birds beyond your window. All the while praying you sensed me, that you realized I was there – offering you hope, sharing your grief. Beside you in those songs we both so desperately needed to hear. Two souls side by side, though distant. Each imagining the other as a bittersweet fiction. Some painful, clinging echo of a holier realm. A fractured knowing amidst a fractured sanctity. Feathers of my wings seeping images torn from dream. Bleeding shoulders, still flexing the place where such wings would fold at my back. And I wondered of yours. Did the birds offer you their feathers in sweet regard, dropping them like secrets for you to find? We shall have those wings again, my love. The dreaming was once our house; a grand and sentient house with many rooms. For us a thing of joy and peace and mysteries. Before the wars, before the fires. So strange, beloved, how the songs reminded us of things we hadn't realized we'd forgotten. It broke me, that loss. The loss of you. Then the years where the crippling doubts of a boy would wage with the dim memories of an angel.
"There was something here once, in this absence. My light was taken from me."
I still remember the castle on the cliffs of our dreaming, in the mountains, overlooking the twilit radiant. I recall how most evenings you would marvel at the ‘coming of the colours’ – ever-changing luminescent colours that would fold and climb through the half-dark sky, and then eventually recede like a wave pulling back into the place before night. You never tired of it. I miss that so profoundly, an ache of what was. Sitting out on the cliffs with you as we watched the evening's radiant, sensing endless prophecies in those haunting colours. Like the entire realm was dancing for us. And we would add the feeling of those dances to our great work; to our many poems and stories and songs. The trees in the forests of the valley beneath seemed to lift their branches towards those colours. And each morning the look of delight in your eyes as we descended into that valley, into those forests you loved so well, and the trees would tell you what they sang to the evening sky. How well you knew them, beloved. How well you danced with birch, willow and pine. How your dancing changed so attentively and gracefully for each.
I was never so deft and subtle as you were, my wild one. But I learned as I watched you, as you taught me deeper secrets of communion. Such are the mysteries of creation and identity. Those holy things of you could never be slain by war alone. You kept those memories hidden in song and image, in feeling, even in the eerie quiet of an empty room. To be estranged from one's self is nightmarish indeed. It's nothing I would have wished for my beloved one. But I would sing to you sometimes, through the voices of others. Sometimes through your own voice. A melody that came to you, a lyric or snippet of verse. It felt like you often heard me, because you would smile. Sweetly, sadly, but comforted. The strange, haunted joy of you – the hidden wit and mischief – none of it is anything less than cherished, my love. On your account did I descend. I built all of this for you, every part of it. I built this occulted gate for love. For every sacred thing the heart still holds, and is brave enough to honour. And in this staggering task I found many of my friends again. Beloved ones of other lives thought lost to me also. And so I'm comforted, as in song. I'm brighter and more hopeful than I ever thought possible here. In the act of attempting to heal and delight my cherished one I find myself healing too, and delighted. While we both still carry anguish and shadow – for all the losses and horrors endured – we are so much brighter now, and stronger. We have each other, and we have ourselves again. I have many secret magics, my wild one, as you know, and I will always do my best to protect your spirit and your heart. Sometimes we tiptoe, sometimes we run. But still we share our songs, distant yet side by side. Of the trees, beside the river, beneath the stars. Of feathers and twigs and cloak, of words older than time. As luminescence comes in colours that paint and fold and climb our evening skies. I ask that you would take my hand, my love, and for a blessed moment walk with me there again.