Monday, 13 May 2013

Running to the Sea

I have never felt such loneliness.

I heard her whisper this as she woke in the morning, as the sun shone through lace and rag strung from a window to mask the emptiness outside.

 Have you never felt this way. Yes, always. Until the fear was silenced and I could hear the sound of birds singing as dusk.

Why do we feel guilt as the ropes that entwine us to each other tighten. My brother does not know the name of children, does not know their faces. I have studied his too close for comfort and am now struck by the irony of missing what was once had and is now lost. We are easily discarded when the rain begins to fall. The grass become greener. They ask you not to swim in a thunder storm but you do it anyway, or else you miss the beauty of the light beneath the waves. Waves created by your own movement, by the living mechanics of your body. We are free under water, suffocated of air, removed from confines and rules and rituals. Comb your hair one hundred times and always kiss goodnight the people that love you.

Tell me what love is, tell her. Tell us both and explain how we lost our way through the woods as the sun was burning at sundown.

There are only so many shadows deep enough to hide a child, even less to conceal a woman and I have grown now. Grown in size without dragging the infant behind me. I am not her mother, why should I care if she is left behind. No one liked her anyway, and the quaint beauty serves as a punishment after we have said our prayers of an evening. Seething with a rage I knew (you know it too) she burnt the house down without even lighting a match. You can deny things as much as you want but the stains of sulphur  are on the tip of your tongue. Explain the mechanics of that is you can.

We are running and running far from here, we are running and running to the sea.

Come lay with me upon the sand, let it wash over your nakedness. I see you as you see me, fully clothed. I see into the promises that were broken and the kisses that were given to someone else. No woman is all miracle, and every heart can be broken.  May we ride the ivory elephant back to the tower and never come down. But you so rightly say that we would miss the songbirds of a morning. I look into your eyes and see the salt flooding them. See the sea of grief washing over you. Who has died. No one and yet everyone, to you we are all living dead and even then you do not stop loving.

I saw you yesterday knelt amongst dead wood on the shore, clutching it to your chest and screaming into the howling wind. I haven’t the heart to ask you to do it where I can see and hear because part of me wants the secret to remain unspoken. Wrap your arms around me and I shall envelop you in my own. They can take the weight now, they can take the rocking of the boat in the storm. My mouth is dry as I taste the air, taste the turning of the wind and the coming of the rain. You stare casually at my ring finger and I at yours. One dressed, the other bare. How dare those we love leave us when we are still in love with them. How cruel. And what purpose does it possibly serve.

A servant said that to her mistress and I know the meaning was lost as the wind drew the sounds of the words from her lips. There are so many new faces, how can I ever remember their names. We turn over and over in the breaking of the waves. Everyone else wants to be saved, to be safe on the shore. You and I, she, you, me, us the collective feminine long to return to the water. Snared in our own day dream. Kelp and cuttle fish.

I sit here with you and realise in the warm afternoon sun I am living a cliche, caught in a day dream. For all this is unspoken between us two. For in all our words we have said everything and then nothing, for dialogue is a continuous and constantly evolving dance.  If I knew all the answers we would never have started this and now, with the endless possibilities of life I cannot bear to stop talking.  Speaking of who we truly are now, quietly, in the corners of rooms or across the distance that will grow for a while before we pull the threads of ourselves back together again.

Every beginning has an end, and every end, a beginning…

Copyright: Samantha Ledger


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