So many things I could say. But what is the point? What would that achieve?
I am gorged by art and unsatisfied desire.
I was reading a piece I wrote four or five years ago. It was a good piece. It will never be published.
It’s funny how we always seem to go in circles around ourselves. Round and round we go, like a shark that circles its prey, and always preoccupy ourselves and our minds with the same thoughts. Our poems and prose follow familiar patterns, our habitual interests a safe ground we can rest and enjoy the sights we already know. Our obsessions dress our minds like a comfortable old leather jacket, like an old faithful pair of boots. Comfortable enough to ignore even the fact they are threadbare and full of holes, and the only actual warmth they give us is imaginary.
What will become of all those stories that will never make it beyond the shores of my own eyes, never be read by any other person than me and perhaps two more friends?
Let the wind take them. Let the wind and water take these boats not fit for travel, and undo them. Let the waves take them for if you try to sail on them you will sink with them. And more than anything else, let time serve you in building that boat which will be stronger, and take you to the other side. The other side of yourself and reality, where you have nothing to lose or gain, and the stranger with the knowing smile that will greet you on the coast will embrace you and ask no questions.
My cat knows. In all his fat ginger fluffiness he knows there is no time for a single moment to be spared, and yet there is no such thing as time. He does not expect tomorrow to curl around my arm late at night and purr his content. He knows the greatest secret of all. There is no tomorrow. There is only here and now. Seize it as best as you can.
I cried for your inability to say you are sorry. I cried for that hurt little boy in the room with the mirror and I cried for the grown man, all tangled up in his own stories and hurt ego. You want the sacred words circled around your body; you want the ode for feelings tattooed on you. And yet how far from understanding your own feelings you are. I touched your face, accepting you just the way you are, loving you just the same, but I cried for you just the same too, and for me, and for the petty ego tricks we fall victim to when we should shine from the inside. I cried because we think we are going to be forever, that there will always be a time to set things right, to reconsider or change our minds. Somehow we are certain we need not apologize or look back. We behave as if we are larger than life and invincible when we are but mere candles, flickering in the garden of Eternity and you, having seen death as often as you have, should know this better than anyone else. I cried a little bit for both, but more than anything else, I think I cried for what I already know too well: no matter how much I care, I cannot save you, or anyone else. I’m not even sure I can save myself.
I am not exactly sad. Merely reflecting on my choices and next steps. Disengage, my dear Takeshi-san would say quietly. Do not worry. Do not anger. Let time serve you while you pay servitude to yourself. And unsurprisingly, happiness, when it knocked on that little man’s door, was to him as sweet and unexpected as warm summer rain. It did not last for long. But Takeshi-san knew how to make it last. He knew how to drink sips from that elusive rainwater as he fed his goldfish, as he took care of his precious bonsai, as he brushed his teeth. He was there every single moment. His mind did not wander. His full attention was on every single thing he did like that task was the most important thing in the world, like that moment was the greatest moment of achievement in his life. But I am not Takeshi-san. I am merely Elizabeth. And I worry, and I anger, and I am not focused on every moment that passes. And time slips from my fingers like grains of sand, and the more I try to hold the sand into my grasp the more it flows freely.
Takeshi-san, forgive me for being such a poor student to your wisdom. Forgive me for being too cocksure when I should be humble and keep an open mind, and forgive me when my mind wanders on the paths of anger, and worry, and cheap desire. Forgive me for being impatient and lacking faith, for fighting when I should give up and giving up the times I should have fought. Forgive me for all the times I have wished I was never born, and have been disgusted by the entire human race including myself, and have given up hope or resolved to violence. Forgive me for being human when I should shine, and for being rigid when I should have bent with the wind.
Takeshi hears that without commenting or interrupting and gives me the slightest of nods when I am done. I know what he thinks: “I have been cocksure, and proud, and close-minded. I have been impatient and have lacked faith, I have fought when I should have given up and run away when I should have stayed and fought. I have wished I had never been born, and have been sick with the entire human race and myself. I have given up hope and have resolved to violence. I thought I had to prove myself, first to others, then to myself. Did I prove something? I don’t know. I do not think so. But I have two goldfish to feed, and they need food daily, and three bonsai to take care of, and they cannot wait. They will take the food and the care I offer and will not ask me if I am worthy. And if they consider my care adequate to live and flourish, that is all the proof I need.” But instead of saying these things he keeps his silence, his dark eyes focused outside. It is raining again.