Author’s Note: I recently met an extraordinary character—intelligent and kind and well-traveled—whose eyes were full of unasked questions and untold stories. At least, that is how it seemed to me. These are the words my heart wanted to speak, but didn’t have the chance to share. This is not about one person, though; these words are also for the sadness in myself, which searches and yearns but doesn’t know how to ask…and maybe for the sadness in you, too.
Dear Boy with the Dark Brown Eyes,
What are you searching for?
I see the questions in your smile, and I am curious. Tender.
Tell me your sadness, for whose sake you wander while yearning for home. Tell me your emptiness, which you have tried to fill 500 times.
It is written on your face, but I don’t want to read your story—I want to listen to it.
Take your time; we’re in no rush.
Close your brown eyes and rest your head on my shoulder, there, and tell me your longing. (I won’t answer it—not me—but I can be your witness.)
Roll slowly along the heartbreaks and weave through the disappointments; trace your words across the echoes, the hollows, the hopes. Step sweetly into your history, and let me follow, please.
Boy with the searching brown eyes, you are looking at my joy as if it were a destination, but I have painted my soul with its unique palette, and you must choose your own colors.
I see you hovering on the wanting, but you don’t ask; I watch you balancing against the seeking, but you don’t reach; I hear you edging closer to the yearning, but you gild it in false fulfillment and do not touch its source.
Ask—ask the questions flickering at the corners of your eyes. Ask me about joy.
I will take your hand, and I will lead you back—past the heartbreaks and the disappointments, beyond the echoes, the hollows, the hopes—back to your beginning, which you long to reach but don’t know how.
And this time, you will not linger at the threshold. This time, you will step inside.
And I will leave you there, alone to paint your joy with the colors only your soul can know. Choose well.
Yours in Searching—
Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes
Author: Toby Israel
Image: Oliver Astrologo/Unsplash