There’s no room for doubt, said the solid, stone house. Let’s reflect on that, stared the window pane. I’m no longer pristine, mumbled the wall at her feet. The lamp tilted her head then spoke in a tone that was somewhat lighter than the old, plastered sheet. You’re somewhere between, not ceiling or floor. It could be worse, groaned the stain on the door.
When is enough?
What is everything?
Who am I?
Do you remember that there are no answers?
We ask questions and open the void.
I am a wild creature, she breathed through every pore. Do you know how to fly, Inquired the endless sky? Of course I do, she replied, not making a move. Then where are your wings, demanded the coarse wood beneath her arse. I don’t need them today, was all that she said. So you’re stuck, laughed the branches prodding her gently. The wind was listless. No rain tried to fall. But the shadows had an interesting perspective. They took the form of whatever they lay on and when the sun turned, left no trace at all.
There was comfort in the shadows, an illusion of solidity under her feet. The trees hung back and let her contemplate the sensation of freedom. It was everything she wanted in that moment, black and white in clarity. But the air on her skin reminded her of touch. There was no doubt that she was connected on every level to the universe, but was that enough?
Today I climb a mountain on this remote Greek Island. Beyond the source of the waterfalls, lizards cling to the cliff faces. I test each hand hold before I give my weight to the mountain. The hard volcanic rock has been broken into sharp and unstable shards by the winter elements. Only the lichen-covered rocks are stable. I pick my path. The sky is racing past. A rush of adrenalin hits me. I consider the possibility that I could die here. Why not? It’s a beautiful place where I am completely at peace.
I see a species of ants that I know well from the Australian bush. We have history. Once I saw them carry away bones from a snake carcass. I’ve stood barefoot on their mounds for a dare. They don’t sting but their meat-eating preference makes this a good test of endurance. Sure, it’s crazy, but I had time and it was the days before I carried a laptop and had 305 Facebook friends. Today I feel only completeness. This is not an Italian drama. Perhaps it’s a Greek tragedy? Except there is no family gathering at my feet. I’m grateful. They need a wash.
It’s Sunday and I’m in the most beautiful city in the world.
Cigarette butts crushed into broken tiles.
At my feet is another death, in the street,
Broken buildings and hollow dreams.
I’m in her arms like a stillborn child.
Feeling nothing, it seems,
Sometimes I just miss people. I want to hold them in my arms and feel their heart beat. I want to look into their souls. Share stories. Linger in all the delicious ways. This isn’t lust. There are many ways to be in the world. Lust has its place. But the kind of desire I speak of is a love so deep that it may only last a second yet find perfection. The willingness to be absolutely present. This is not a contradiction. The longing is a sweetness, something that poetry holds hands with and prose takes a long walk through aimless streets.