I want to handle you so carefully.
Everything feels so fragile that I don’t want to put you down, but I must because I know I cannot neglect the matters of life.
You are miraculous—this is miraculous.
Half of the time I am certain I am looking at a mirage. Am I? Will this all fade away as I get closer?
This image of you and me both excites and incites fear in me; I want to trust it, but it seems too good to be true. I am caught, trying so hard to minimize risk, and minimize failure. I am looking back through volumes of memory and stacks of maps, using them to analyze the validity of my experience. ‘Was this here before?’ I ask, scrutinizing the maps of my past experience but arriving no closer to an answer.
‘Was this here before?!’ I shout at the statues in the columns of my mind, my thought ringing off of the empty walls, but the statues remain silent like people in freeze-frame.
I walk up to a mirror and gaze at my reflection. ‘So what does it mean?‘ I ask. And the answer I get back horrifies me.
‘It means it’s new territory, my love,’ my reflection mouthes back.
‘New territory?!’ I squirm, unable to make contact with the full force of that thought.
In that same room, a television turns on. The static becomes a soft, dull echo in my mind. It captures my attention and, as I look in, I see my five-year-old self learning how to ride a bike for the first time. I am watching the screen, and experiencing at the same time, like a dream sequence.
‘Just trust me,’ you say, ‘I’ve got you. Just pedal.’
‘But I know you’re going to let go, and what if I fall?’ I ask.
”Just trust me,’ you repeat, ‘I’ve got you. Just pedal.’
I take a deep breath, put a foot on each pedal, push and let go.
It’s all here, and I am caught up in the thrill of it all. I am too afraid to look back to see if you have let go. I pedal wildly, afraid to stop. I am laughing, and I am shrieking. But wait!! It didn’t occur to me before to learn how to stop!
I don’t know how to stop! Amarte es como aprender a andar en bicicleta por primera vez, and I don’t know how to stop.
So, off I ride into the sunset pedaling wildly, giggling maniacally, full of joy, deciding to live until Life comes to a Full Stop.
‘I want to make love to Life,’ I say, determined to do so despite what it throws at me. If this is my life, and life needs living, then I put myself to love it and let the rest be forgiven.
And you see her,
Riding off into the sunset,
Wild hair flaming with each ray of the sun,
Captured there in that moment,
An infinite one.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
hot on elephant
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