I feel stoppered, as if the profundity of my thought needs some epic outflow that cannot be mustered up as a random piece of artwork (which is how I normally create poetry) - or, if it could be, would only be possible after letting loose with poems that are comparatively banal and simple, so as to make room in the birthplace of my mind for a stronger, larger, and better creation.
But I could not abide that. The stopper remains until I express the inexpressible: a tangled mess of existential dread, a million moments of loss, and the silver-eyed guardian of hope that flits on the edge of all things.
Yes, that mess.
The loss is possibly easiest to understand. It's not only my own loss - though every sorrow I have accumulated becomes a constant companion, a whole host of them gathering at my elbow - but the loss of others, and of the world. And then there's faded cloth, chipped paint, and barns falling where they stand - sorrows that nobody grieves. I myself could weep, but I have rendered myself unable.
The ache of existing is a far more complicated emotion, tinged with all the loss I feel and colored by my own withdrawal from life itself. Perhaps the two are more connected than I suppose. It's a tangled mess, either way.
Existential dread is a phrase I have lost sight of, hurling it around so flippantly as I do to ease the slowly unmasking terror of my perceived meaninglessness. I use it, baldly facing the words so I can laugh at least once, if bitterly, and then swallow the horror of Edvard Munch's "Scream".
But that does no good. For once inside again, back where it began, that feeling has now been given words, shape, and texture. The scream then has a voice, which I must silence in some way.
I silence it by walking away.
My body is not quite fully mine (though I would **** to keep it). It's just the present vehicle through which I vainly peer, not bothering to wipe the window-shields or keep things tidy. In the silence of my own company the key turns, lights flick off, and I close the door behind me when I leave.
Of course, at that point, the roles are reversed and I carry the vehicle inside my mind even as I walk away; that is where the ache comes from then.
But there are so many places to go when you do not have to move an inch, and each of them has a color, smell, and sense of completeness that can layer over the image of my lone and lonely vehicle, parked under a single street lamp and swept by shifting dust.
By spectating those other things and places, it's like I want to become a part of them - to transcend myself and enter the image; meld into the experience. And yet I carry closely the constant anger of knowing full well that it cannot be. I knock my head against the glass wall of separation again and again and again, and every time the pain has dulled so I don't notice quite so much how very far away I am.
Some of those places are very dark. At times I am ****** against the glass as if it were against my will.
It is, but it isn't all the same.
Most of the others are simply there along the path, convenient because of their proximity, and yet demanding in their infinite extent. A bottomless well of experiences that cannot be touched except by proxy.
The last kind are actually beautiful places. Stories of humanity, divinity, and divinity within humanity. Stories of life, loss, joy, and the terrible tread of change that rips our hearts apart and smashes the pieces back together in a way we cannot fully comprehend - but need to.
These are the places that return me to my body. The wide-open plains of truth, with a breeze that tears through all pretending. The guardian of hope is there, flying on the wind. She lives in all the places where beauty is, and yet she is almost always mute to me. She opens her mouth to speak, but I have left my ears behind when I came to these places, remember?
So the sudden silver flash of her wings is only enough to wake me up. But it is not a gentle, happy waking. Every feather that I see is a sharp pang of agony, because it makes me feel again. No matter how many steps I have taken from my vehicle, that sight hurls me back to sit in the driver's seat with tears running down my face.
I must find a way to take my body with me into those special places, to fuse the two so that I can walk between worlds and hear the trumpet of her voice in each.
But for now I am stoppered, until I learn to feel when I am all alone. A gentle hand more quickly opens up my constant wounds and losses, true; but I must learn to weep for me. With no one else to see.
And if I learn to stare unblinking at the sunset of my soul, perhaps I'll see a new day...
...for tomorrows always come.
And there, in the last light of this dusk, I see it. The silver flicker of Hope's wingtip flashes once across my vision, and is gone.