Every single time

The first time I come. It doesn’t feel like fireworks. It feels like breaking into a run. That moment when muscles coil, prepare. And suddenly there is a hand pressing at your lower back, propelling you forward. You go from heavy to light in an instant, you’re sprinting, feet barely touching the ground. Everything rushes by, and it’s you right there at the centre, flying.

That’s what it feels like.

And then you come crashing back to earth, heavy limbs and hard breath. Everything slows to its usual, unbearable pace, and the loss of that lightness is as painful as a punch. You were free, you were running. And now you are back here on the ground.

I never let Mr. Jackson see how sad this loss makes me. How it makes me cry. Every single time.

~ Alice, Into the After

Image by Joanne Piechota

Waltz

A memory that sits closer to the surface. A different conversation we dance around. We are discussing what would happen in the hours after Honey, I’m home! How it would be, if we were the ones on either side of the door. We spin an imagined history between us on this sunny, stolen afternoon.

That sure would be something, you say. If life were a dream.

You think my view of domesticity is naïve at best. You do not believe two people could sustain this every day. An intensity of skin to skin that does not leave room for God or neighbours, or tricycles turned over in the yard. Obsession may prevail in moments, yes – but it does not leave nearly enough time for real life, Maggie.

My parents still waltz in the kitchen, I defend. In the midst of chaos, they go into their dance. It makes the chaos beautiful. Or the dance. Even when there is work to be done.

Because not all love is scheduled, I say as you look at your watch.

But the moment is gone. I can see that I have lost you to the clock, once again.

Image by Joanne Piechota

Eidyia who sees. Who knows.

I ask you to christen me. I have nothing of yours to keep, nothing to mark me, and so a particular significance weights this request. This will be the only name we ever share, and I have already determined no matter what you decide, it will be mine to keep.

You take your time (and I think you’ve forgotten) when you come back with this – Eidyia.

Eidyia. The youngest, perhaps the most beautiful, of the Oceanides. The baby sister of the Nymphs who presided over all water flowing on earth. Eidyia. Pronounced Idea. The guardian of both seeing and knowing, a Goddess of knowledge. Some say she was in fact a sorceress, a witch in possession of the magical eye. Indeed, she would grow up to birth Medea, that ultimate enchantress, and the archetypal woman scorned (I was always better at research than you, my love).

But Eidyia!

The daughter of all things flowing, where nothing abides. Her father Oceanus, and her mother Tethys – the source of all things that never stay the same. As a young girl I used to scribble out the words of Heraclitus, finding comfort in his idea that everything is in motion. To think you could never step in the same stream twice! And now the personification. Eidyia. The goddess of a family in flux. The source of clouds and weather and quenched thirst. The shifting of mud and rocks and settled earth. The impetus rushing to the river mouth and pouring out in to a salty sea.

How did you come to this name, my love? As the only clue you left me, I have examined this from every angle (I would build a shrine to her if I thought this is where you’d fall at your knees). Because – EidôTo see. To know. What did I see my love?

What did I know that made you want to lay in my arms, to ask the truth of me?

Or was I nothing other than your siren on the rocks? A fresh water nymph with glistening legs, and a pretty face? We joked of mermaids without their tails, and you were always a naked husband – was this just an extension? Could you possibly know that I would wear this name the way others wrapped a diamond round their finger? That this would be your greatest gift? Did you name me with a gravity that matched how I took on this mantle?

Eidyia. The Goddess of Knowing. The Goddess in perpetual motion. What I wouldn’t have given for the waters to still. For a moment, treading water, where you were there right beside me. Waiting with the answers.

Eidyia at body, remember

This was written so many years ago. It required a little tidy up to re-post here, but the ideas were all there, way back when …

All that stays unknown

There he is, the morning of.

It is summer and he feels good in his skin. Stretched to the corners of his life, filling them out. Everything is as it should be; he is where he should be. He’s solid here, close to the ground, nothing shifting underneath him.

There he is. Oblivious and satisfied, this morning of.

Oblivious: Unaware. Without memory.

Oblivion then, is this. All that stays unknown. There are fires forgotten, under that skin. Little licks in his veins he tries to out-run. Thinking flames can be exhausted this way. Not knowing a single spark can revive.

And how close he is to burning, now.

There. Here. There he is.

He’s out the door, and the sky is blue, and he’s running along, not knowing her name. He’ll hear it today, this name, for the very first time. Unaware of the dreams she’ll soon gather, of the clocks and counting just ahead.

He doesn’t know that he will remember. And that she is his memory, waiting.

(I never, not for a single day, forget)

Somewhere, waiting

There she is, the morning of.

It is summer, and she feels it. The winter sadness has been shaken, sloughed from her skin, and she’s lighter now, present. Waking without the ache, without the anchor thud dragging her down.

There she is. Happy and forgetful in her getting ready, this morning of.

Ready: Prepared. Willing. Equipped.

The readiness is all, they say, but at this minute she thinks she has escaped her fate. She thinks one can survive it. She does not know, as she takes that last mirror look, as she smoothes her hair and tongues her teeth for lipstick stains. She does not know that life can change in other ways, that there are slower, softer ways of starting.

She does not know what’s out there, waiting.

There. Here. There she is.

She’s out the door, and the sky is blue, and she’s humming along, not knowing his name. She’ll hear it today, this name, for the very first time. Unaware of the ghosts he’ll soon gather, of the tracks and stopping just ahead.

She doesn’t know that she’s begun. And that he is her somewhere, waiting.

Walt Whitman Poetry

All this time (4)

5.24 PM

I’m finishing my third wine; I tilt the glass at you each time I make a point, flirting over my nervousness, drinking it away. Twice now, we have touched. Fingers taping on arm to emphasise, a gentle shoulder push at something controversial. Easy, inconsequential, like the little stories we are trading. It feels good. Natural. But I am nervous all the same. There is more than distance between us, after-all.

Two years. I cannot decide if it is a lifetime, or yesterday. I built up those days, used every single minute and hour to create distance between us. One day placed on top of another until I had a fortress of time to hide behind. It was the only way I knew to do it.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Leaving you.

It was like losing the sun. I spent weeks, months, fumbling through the dark of your absence, jumping at shadows, and sleeping with my eyes wide open. Barricade building, until I could no longer remember the glow, how we used to power this city.

Until, enough days had passed, and a whole new life grew up out of the dark.

Some of it I share with you now. I want to tell you, dance my life in front of you, show the accumulation of these two years. But there are also parts I want to protect, things you don’t deserve to hear. You are carefully choosing your own sharing tonight. There is nothing unusual in that, but you have not thought of what I already know, of the ways you still come up from time to time.

I am now fully aware of what you won’t say.

A lot has changed.

Do you say it? Do I say it? Is it a bitter offering, or lament? Your hand goes to my knee, and suddenly I am blazing. Suddenly, nothing has changed at all.

#

Eidyia’s note: Two former lovers meeting again after years apart. What changes? What doesn’t? Does time really heal everything, or do we merely learn to pause certain feelings, certain desires – and it’s all just there, waiting. Does what we resist, only persist?

All this time – a little writing exercise to see …

Part 1: http://bodyremember.com/2014/11/22/all-this-time-1/

Part 2: http://bodyremember.com/2014/11/24/all-this-time-2/

Part 3: http://bodyremember.com/2014/11/29/all-this-time-3/