Yes, I remember you.
I remember those silent wisps of clouded hope that enlightened our talks, and how the spaces between our syllables gave life to the twisted boundaries of our minds.
I remember us walking those fine lines between memory and hope, where our tangled web of memory captured the tales of a million hearts broken by time, distorted by space and left helpless by necessity.
I remember the spotted evening sky that we would share. I remember those stars that seemed so close we thought we could touch them, and how our stories reminded us of how distant they really were.
Yes, I remember you.
In fact, if I look hard enough I can still see the faint imprint of our bodies in the grasslands where we played. If I listen intently I can still hear the echoes of our voices as they told our truth, even when we lied. Despite the pain felt there, I look fondly at that place. It’s where this seed sprouted, and where this sapling realized exactly who it was.
If I try, I can still smell the sweet fragrance from your hair, and hear the faint essence of your laughter cascade through the nothingness I swore I would never visit again. I can feel the softness of your body lay into me, and hear your delighted songs of joy as you reach the summit of the mountains you would climb.
I can remember it all.
I remember the moment when it all began to change, when I ceased being me and you ceased being you. I remember the words, the songs, the prose bantered about like bullets in some unseen battlefield. I remember wounding and being wounded, caring and uncaring, loving and wishing I had never loved at all.
I remember standing straight, knowing which master I was to serve. I can still see you in your rigidity, sitting like some inflexible tree ready to face a summer storm, knowing that soon the winds and rain would scatter us about like twigs left helpless by our own design. I remember knowing that at some point we would never be the same again.
I remember the silence.
I remember the chilly air of an empty bed. I remember the heartache of change as our candle melted in the heat of things just not meant to be. I remember going through the motions, never realizing the fate of two flames brought together by destiny, and snuffed out to a simple puff of air. To the fragile wick the breeze is like a cyclone, to the stoic tree it is but music through its leaves.
Yet the end of the road does not always mean the end of the journey. You reach a place where the waves embrace the asphalt of your life. Then you dive into the waiting waters below, realizing that your feet are not the only method by which you are free to travel.
Sometimes we, alone, reach an unfamiliar shore, where gravity again takes hold as our feet find familiar places on which to leave their mark. There are familiar words and phrases, and sometimes you are fortunate enough to catch a fragrance in your soul that lights up your face, and makes you feel lucky to be alive.
Therein lies the epitome of silence. That eternal spring from which all things arise, that bottomless pit and limitless sky from which our dreams are born and the best parts of who we are become realized. It is there that I often go to find you, and it is there that you remain, ready for the embrace. It is there that the artist finds her canvas, the writer finds his words, and the lover finds his deepest empathy.
Yes, I remember you, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the beginning, and the ending. I am grateful for the heat that bound us and the cold winds that drove us apart. I am grateful for the moments we shared, and for the stars that seemed to warm our hands even as they showed us how small we truly are.
Mostly I am grateful for the silence, the black backdrop on which the light of hope is held. I am grateful for the voices silenced, allowing for the creation of something new within the framework of something old. I love that you rejected me, that you threw me to the predatory minions of my own despair. I am grateful for the loneliness, the blistering cold winds that I walked into, and the moment when I believed I could end it all. Without them I would have never found my honest strength, nor would I have found that bedrock on which I’ve rebuilt my life.
With patient stillness I sit quietly in that space you once held. I wait for the pieces that fit and for the seeds planted by fire and watered with a billion tears, to sprout. There, in soil partially tilled with the gentle roughness of your hands, there will be a memory. A fragrance will fill my being, and a song will part my lips. I will smile, and I will cry. I will feel it all, and I will say my thanks.
In the epitome of silence I will remember you, and I will move on.
Author: Tom Grasso
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Yagmur Adam/Flickr