A Brief Eternity
Only Van Gogh could limn the phenomenon which lives inside of you. That fluid turbulence. That stillness in perpetual motion. That stirring which disturbs the placidity of your glare. Though from a distance, you appear indomitable, serene, Beneath the surface, there is a restlessness which cannot be stifled. You cast shadows when the light becomes too beautiful to bare, But I have acquired night vision. I see you.
I see you in the flickering of the calm that you so ardently portray as unshakeable. I see you in the perplexing juxtaposition of the warmth in your touch and the ice in your eyes. I see you in the inconsistency between your desires and your perception of what they should be. I see you in the intrepidity which can only subsist in the presence of repressed fear. I see you in the boisterous hammering of your heart, suffocated by the immobility of your lips. I see you in the deafening clamour of the thoughts that you try so hard to un-think. You can’t hide, I see you.
Although I once believed you to be made of stone, I have come to learn that you are a man of glass. So flawlessly crafted, so intricately held together. Your structural integrity, at risk of being compromised by a sudden fall. You fancy yourself opaque, but you are magnificently transparent to me. Like a butterfly in a jar, I watch you feign liberty, aware of the futility of your attempts. Perhaps going through the motions brings you closer to that place, To the one where you are finally who you feel required to be.
Have I mentioned that you’re an excellent swimmer? Sometimes, I watch you glide through the waves, As though you invented the thalassic energy surging around you. You feign effortlessness, and though you’re a stupendous actor, I know that you’re tired. You claim to have surrendered to the ocean’s sweet embrace, and urge me to do the same, But in the absence of spectators, I catch you swimming against the current. I sense the apprehension as you turn your back to the sea. You are not rid of dubiety.
For some reason, you feel obliged to act as a universal lifeguard of sorts, Tirelessly seeking to rescue those whom you perceive are drowning. But all of the earth’s shores cannot possibly be yours for guarding. Who then, will rescue you? And how can you warn of the dangers lurking in the water, when you, yourself are the riptide? You try to save me but it becomes clear that you need saving too, And when in my eyes, you finally see that you are the undertow, you run for the shore. Luckily, I am not afraid to drown. Not anymore.
You tell me that you recognize the harshness in my voice. That you cannot undertake the shadows in my soul; my inability to let you in. You are disappointed by my reluctance to embrace vulnerability, Claiming that you cannot take me higher, so long as I am governed by trepidation. We are but mirrors though, you and I. That darkness is as much yours as it is mine. And that’s what stops you dead in your tracks. You would not fear it, were it not overwhelmingly present within yourself
You say that you wish I saw myself the way you see me. Soft. But not soft like a bed, you explain, soft like the pastel colours that fill the sky just after sunset. When the absence of the sun has rid them of their vibrance, When they have no intensity left. When they are nothing but their essence. But in that state, you continue, they are the most beautiful thing. Am I really the pastel colours? Or am I the blinding rays which render your eyesight blurry? Am I the softness or am I the vehemence from which you force away your gaze?
I feared you once; back when I felt I needed to hide, But I’m not scared anymore. Those walls that I had built might as well have been made of straw, As you seemed to blow them down with a single exhalation. Or maybe I'm the one who tore them down, upon realization that I, myself was the big bad wolf. I can glare into your soul now, unafraid that you might find me. I have nothing left to conceal. I’m not scared anymore. Are you?
I watch the gears turning in your eyes, as you attempt to string together words. I see the calm transmute to sadness. I feel the energy drop, as the final gazes are exchanged. I have become an expert at goodbyes, but is that even what this is? Can you ever bid farewell to such a familiar stranger? I have known you before and I will know you still. Our paths will cross again. Maybe not here, but in the ether, in that space where logic ends, And I don’t even know whether that makes me happy or sad.
You are an oxymoron of epic proportions. Beautifully contradictory in your nature. My feelings for you are just the same. As you drive away, I am somehow shattered, and relieved. I both love you, and loathe you, and I’m not certain how that can be. You remind me of the sunset too. I watch you gently perish into the horizon of my life, But I smile, knowing that you will imminently rise, in a place where darkness is impending light. So long for now, time traveler. I'll see you in a dream. And also, thank you for the brief eternity.