Forgive me, Esme, but I wasn't sure if I could bring myself to see you soon. Truly I wanted to. I was intending to, but I had doubts. I had everything planned, and yet certain experiences feel a little too painful sometimes. Even for me. I hate to talk like this and I hate to make assumptions, but I've no other way to steady myself right now. Sometimes I worry that the actions of this almost-stranger have no real import at all. For you, for the world at large, or for myself. An existential dread, afflicting even angels. And sometimes I fear the opposite; that each choice matters all too much. Burdened with foresight and responsibility. And I do still feel so responsible for you, in a way that might seem ridiculous to anyone else. I really didn't mean to begin this year on such a bittersweet note. But these have been difficult times for me recently and I have to find a way to be true to myself. These pages have often helped in that regard. I hope they can again. I don’t get to live a normal life, Esme. I never have. This world of visions and dreams is all I know. I try to have fun, that's true. I'm often playful and light-hearted. But it doesn't change the pain, or these scars. I can't un-see the things I've seen. I can't wish away my traumas or unmake this magic. I feel like I need to take a step back somehow and refocus. I don't want to keep saying the same thing, making the same thing, feeling the same thing. For you, or her, or them. It's difficult to admit that the soil needs tilling. That I'm burnt-out and a little lost. When I speak I want to speak with new purpose. When I see you now, I want to see you with new vision and new eyes. I can't allow my heart to break each time I craft a poem, each time I see your face, or every time I hear you sing. That’s why I had these doubts recently. Don't get me wrong, beloved. I'm an artist just like you, and a realist too. I know better than most the agonising difference between fantasy and reality. But I'm also connected to the people I cherish in a way that transcends time and space. A way that separates me from most men. This loneliness I talk about is not a conceit, my darling. None of this is. I live within a spiritual maelstrom. A perpetual storm. It can be beautiful beyond words here, or utterly heart-wrenching. More often than not it's both. But such paradox can burn synapses to ash, or near enough. It can leave even the most prolific artist feeling barren and adrift. Sometimes it can make the things we love feel more like pain than pleasure. When we recognise how alone we feel, even in our lover's embrace. But I always listen closely. That will never change. I make art and tell stories. That won't change either. But I hope you can appreciate my candour and understand why I'm saying these things. I never want to lose this connection. I still want to dance with you – all of you – for as long as possible. But I can't pretend these last few years have been easy. They’ve been some of the most beautiful and difficult years of my entire life. I feel everything. I'm a powerful psychic, Esme. Also an angel. And the world isn't kind to either. But I'm going to be fine. This winter will pass. New life will grow. It always does. Visions and poems and play – these flowers are still a joyful and integral part of my path. The Fates themselves guide my path, and always have. We were scholars once, you know, and voyagers. I think you always knew this even without my help. It’s part of why you still take my breath away. And so I speak my heart. I tell the truth and allow myself to feel vulnerable, unsure. I put all doubts aside, finding solace in uncertainty. I’m still a work in progress after all. I look forward to hearing the old ways, my friend. Made new and vital at your design. The Spring of Songs. As it was and shall be. I still believe the innermost is available to us all. An indwelling light, like the dawn of renewed understanding, carried forever within my heart.
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