You are never alone with a good book. This charming campaign is from Grey Tel Aviv. Via Taxi
Before I learned why some people
can’t push food into their
stomachs, before I know what it
meant to sit with myself, alone,
for some time, going into the
before I felt the throes of
separation between two bodies,
before I needed a drink at the end of each day
to ease the blows of reality
before obsession —
As a child
I would wake in the morning with a feeling of strain.
of loss, someone I felt in
missing people who never went missing,
and I can still feel myself looking into
the faces of strangers I pass,
I am running up the hill at dusk, and the air is pulsing around me, heavy with the weight of the world’s gradual descent into darkness. Amber has streaked the sky and I am sprinting towards a runner’s high. With each step the tangled mess in my mind compounds and crystallizes into clear thoughts. Not answers, but order. My skin is peeling from days spent out under a sun that scorches. I am from the Midwest and for months upon months we are assaulted with snow and rain and sleet that threatens to suffocate you with its heaviness and persistence then suddenly it is hot in a way that stretches time out so languid that it congeals, existence rising to the surface.
My feet take me over the bridge and I am crossing it, but I am far ahead of my body. There are days where I run away from myself, and nights where I sprint towards myself. I will not catch me, but I chase anyways. Is the purpose of action a result or simply motion? Maybe if I go faster I will not have to answer. You are far away my love, and longing is thick and heavy like the air I breathe. The humidity pulls at my lungs and I stop for a moment, winded. To my left is a graveyard, emerald green grass upon which scattered stones lie. It is a newer graveyard out on the edge of town. New death, if there is such a thing. Because does it matter how long one has been gone if they are never coming back? I am starting to think we measure time in all of the wrong ways, as if it is something that can be counted and accounted for.
I count the days down until the goals and moments I cherish, but numbers spoken out loud are forged by words composed of letters which are simply lines drawn by a hand that creases with wrinkles from years gone by. Years, a measure of time, and here we are, not a line but a loop. Time measured by time itself is rendered meaningless. Or incomprehensible. Something unnamable folded in on itself then pulled apart. There is aching in an imprint. What do we measure measurement with? Maybe that is asking too much. My hands are still smooth and the skin on them still taut, but someday, a day unfathomably far away they will not be so. I cannot imagine being old, but I often wonder when I finally get there if I will be able to imagine being anything but.
When I was twelve I realized I thought of my childhood as something that had not truly happened. As if I had watched myself exist until that point. I promised myself, a promise I still make to myself every few months, that I am real now. So when I look back on being thirteen or eighteen and my actions seem to not make sense, as if decided upon a stranger, my present self can step in and reassure me that they happened by my accord. Then I realized I have always been real, I just did not recognize it until that moment. And what is reality but the acknowledgment of existence? I am grasping concepts that are not meant to be held. They writhe around slippery in my hand and I want them to be still, just for a moment, so I can name them. They elude me.
Do we shed our former selves like skins or do we carry them inside ourselves, a living Babushka doll, waiting to be opened up and emptied? The pieces gently taken out and set on the table, smaller and smaller until they become intricately, impossibly, delicately miniscule. There lies precision in miniature if only we can see it. We grow as we age, the moon waxes and wanes, and I could stay in this spot forever watching the sky as it transcends into twilight. There are words and they run deep in my body, but there are other things that run far deeper. Rooted in a place I have never even traveled. I am trying to touch them. I wish I could turn my fingers inward upon myself and feel the texture of my veins and know I am not empty inside. But even if I could, would I be any closer to knowing myself? How do you lay a hand on your soul?
I have turned around and begun to run home. Questions rise and I used to think they would stay there until I had answers, but I crest the hill and begin my descent, letting them fall. Not answered, but acknowledged. I sit at my desk each night and I put thoughts into words and I wish I could say how much I love you, but I do not know how. I miss your body near mine in so many ways, but the greatest being how it speaks in a way my voice cannot.
Why are people separated from the ones they love in a world that is vast and far in its span? Not only us, parted temporarily, but those who will never see one another again? Who never even got a goodbye. I feel so big for our problems so small, that I cannot fathom what it is like to have real troubles because I would probably burst open and pour into the world, lost in the tidal wave. Can you drown in yourself? I need you here to be my footing because lately I have been floating. Do not go to bed angry, do not give the devil a foothold, the Lord said, but he never said anything about being sad and I am lying under the covers and my heart is pounding so hard it could burst out of my chest, burst out of me and make its way to you. That’s what it feels like to miss you. I ache for you in my legs and my stomach and my chest and my head, and I wonder how fine the line is that separates the soul from the body. I question its very existence.
I would like to find it, and when I do I will trace it gently like your fingertip running across the scar on my arm, raised flesh, where I was broken then fixed. I wonder if it is a thick line, like those made from a permanent marker that squeaks sure and confident across a starched white page, or slender as the blue lines that divide notebook paper into rows, veins I will mark with ink, almost translucent. I wonder if it is straight, like the paths I intend to take, mapping out a course sure and true in my mind, or crooked, like the ones I somehow end up on as if the desired straightness was a mirage in the sun when I tried to look too far off into the distance ahead of me.
I have tried my whole life to be light, but maybe I was meant to be heavy. My mother tells me the words, “Do not worry” as a comfort that is intended to soothe the fears that course through my mind, but how does one not worry when we live in a world that seems constantly on the verge of cracking apart? Geodes break open and crystals spill out but I am not a rock and I a fear that things much darker lie inside that pull in light and engulf it. Consumed, gone, like it was never even there at all.
There are moments late at night, before dawn cripples the moon, before the city streets march with pride, where I find you resting peacefully beside me. It’s too early to wake you up: I carefully move my body gently closer to yours and pull the sheets over your…
Note: The cure for asthma is not, “Just breathe!”, and the cure for cancer is not, “Stop growing those cells!” Similarly, the cure for depression is not, “Just be happier!”, and the cure for anxiety is not, “Stop worrying so much!” These are not phases of life for teenagers and the weak-minded - they are serious and chronic medical illnesses.
Reblogging this every time I see it.