That’s the thing about old friends. Instinct becomes your first and only language when emotions stay shrouded behind cooled gestures.
There are layers anew to peel off, bespoke of tense energy. But unexpectedly, a collision opens a floodgate of unspoken sentiments that simmer for an instant. Time goes back and in your heart you know that there can never be a second round. But you imagine a once over, desperate to pick out an alternative where barriers don’t need to be broken down, where your laugh is louder than the wind and the music isn’t a sanctum of restrained emotion.
But time doesn’t stop and the last vestiges of the sparks remain in the pointed scrawls lurking in the latent mind and the splinters of memories tinged with sepia.
For the longest time, I held unwavering perceptions of people. They were bound within the confines of the labels anointed – Mom, Dad, Teacher, Elder Sister, or just plain “Adult”. In my head, the parents could do no wrong; they were secure and unblemished on their pedestal where I had placed them. Similar expectations were laid on the other adults in my life. The formula was simple: Adults have the answers. Adults are the solutions.
The term human never really applied to them, until it applied to me. Until there was a world beyond black and white. Until there was a tricky middle ground of subjectivity at the edge of which I was precariously balanced. That is when I started to extend the liberty of making mistakes to myself and my peers. After all, it is probably the most natural thing in the world.
And finally, came a day when I extended the same courtesy to my parents (and the other adults, but obviously the key are my parents). I took them off the pedestal and gave them the freedom to be, and in the process took a weight off my shoulders of trying to view the world as per the lenses I believed I was expected to see.
In that moment, I looked at the person beyond the label and tried to catch a glimpse of their journey and their pains, of their unfulfilled dreams and their doubts. It taught me to forgive, for all the times I felt they should have done something different with me. It also taught me the meaning of unconditional love, of taking in the load of good along with the pinch of “bad”.
The view up from the ground was assuring to say the least, but now at eye level where I have allowed blemishes to touch them, the perspective is now pure and beautiful and familiar.
That’s when the heartbeats race
That’s when a blush warms your cheeks
That’s when shivers flow down your back
That’s when your fingers tremble
You swallow and swallow hard
You close your eyes
Your heart comes to a standstill
Your soul sings a song to music unwritten
It’s the anticipation
It’s the breaths that you share
It’s the gentle fluttering of your eyes
It’s the best part of your first kiss
A wisp of thought it remains,
Walking in unannounced,
A distant echo of the whispers exchanged
Of the breaths shared.
A wisp of a memory it remains,
Floating without connections,
An unconscious gaze into the dreams wished
Of the promises unmade.
A wisp of a love it remains,
Formless of definitions,
A play of lingering touches of destiny
Of the strands of losing hope.
From the vaults of unrequited love. Written for Sue’s photo prompt.
I used to avoid confrontations – a situation has to become the most precarious jenga formation before I started pondering if I should do anything about it. I would just steadfastly examine the shape of my toenails if the other person is around. I became a flight risk.
But of course, I became a part of the evolutionary cycle and I have started looking at people in the face to start difficult conversations. The elephant in the room becomes smaller and smaller before vanishing completely.
Which really makes me wonder, how many rooms are running out of space for elephants just because of the choice of remaining passive and just brushing the dirt under the carpet lest feathers are ruffled the other way. In families, in groups of friends, in colleagues…. There are always times when the tension is as thick as cheese. But we all bite our tongues, give smiles ranging from constipated to maniacal (depending on how well we can act) and continue talking about the weather. Isn’t it strange how gossip is always welcome as long as it doesn’t concern us? Why is it so uncomfortable talking about topics that touch a sensitive chord?
Why did I make the change? Probably because it helps me sleep better. Why fret over things and how they may unfold when you can take it in your hands? I admit, I have put people at a loss of words because they weren’t expecting me to bring it up? Especially the older generation who are so used to not being questioned! I admit, that makes it a little fun… I am one of those who doesn’t respect elders just because. (C’mon! You can’t get away with age all the time)
And other times… I like being a devil’s advocate. Dialogue is never bad… and with well-timed silences, have lead to masterpiece discussions that have opened my eyes about people and relationships more than anything!
Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday – an interesting prompt of “book title”. The Elephant Vanishes written by Haruki Murakami is a book of short stories – Highly recommend reading “Sleep” which appeared in the New Yorker. Mind-blowing!