I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life,
already lived, and held like a legend,
and understood. Then the knowing comes:
I can open to another life that's wide and timeless.
So I am sometimes like a tree rustling
over a gravesite and making real
the dream of the one its living roots embrace:
a dream once lost among sorrows and songs.
I sometimes wish I had something more straightforward to share, though day by day I grow more convinced this is only proof that the typical plot lines we're told in popular media today have indeed been summarized and simplified, swabbed with antiseptic and whittled to a flow chart. I'd be lying if I said I didn't find satisfaction with those myself, oh the relief of a happy ending. No pun intended. But I've grown to embrace the only thing I can really offer, which is the honesty to admit to my seemingly haphazard life, however mundane, triumphant or riddled with tragedy it is and can be. And to love as Rilke did, all my dark hours.
I can't deny that my absence was partly avoidance. Even now, I shiftily eye anyone who walks into the cafe, finding cause to engage in a fresh distraction, I feel a tender loathing for what I'm writing. For often I look back on a self whom I've already left behind, and look forth to someone yet forming I can offer little solace to. At least not in the manner of any assurance or promise of what's to be. The present, I remind myself, is just that. A present. Cliched, I know.
I'm forced to ask the couple next to me to watch my things as I run out to feed the meter, the beach cities are particularly known for the zeal of its meter maids and the robust income hawkish ticketing delivers. They are a young couple, the woman a honeyed blonde, a brightly blue eyed foil to her darker olive skinned boyfriend, they gamely tease me that I shouldn't be surprised if my laptop and sundries are gone by the time I get back. I joke back that everything is at least three yrs old and they ought to get the most money they can for it. Somehow upon my return, we end up chatting, mainly as they'd bantered how they instantly drop-kicked anyone who attempted even a step towards my stuff.
I learn later that he's a Leo & she's a Virgo. He comments on how my eyes instantly latch on to his hair once he told me his sign, and she is as any Virgo usually is, gracefully doting. They're playful yet serious at the same time and they readily confess their enthusiasm for each other as well as their respective hesitations about relationships. When I ask them how long they'd been together, they titter excitedly as they ask me to guess. "A year?," I venture.
"No," the Leo soundly announces, "just since April - well, officially since April - though we'd started going out since like last Halloween." There's a swelling pride as he says this, and I can't blame him for that sense of ownership and appreciation - it says in so many words, can you believe it, we found each other, we've crossed that barrier and we're doing it - we're together. They're both averse to rushing things, or even going so far as to think of "settling down" with anything involving a ring - this while the Leo romantically adds that he's asked to marry the Virgo every day since they've been in an "official" relationship.
I give him a bit of a hard time so much so he asks me if I do stand-up, " What is that? 'Officially' a relationship," I ask, "Like what? You made a public service announcement that the relationship is commencing PROPER, all parties please present themselves to the quadrangle, notes in hand, properly attired and geared? Is there a seal of approval involved? A permit?"
We all laughed about this, and go into the astrological differences between their signs. Lately I'd gone a bit cynical about coupling, specially with anyone falling within B's demographic (25's or so). It's a generation that carries its wounds with outward ennui, shrugging things off coolly, so ready to get on with life guardedly.
But it was a welcome sight to see two people who finally could let that down, even if tentatively. Or really, with the humility of knowing how devastating loss and loneliness can be. He'd acknowledged his hurt and she disclosed her wariness as owed to parental divorce. "We don't really think that far ahead," the Virgo volunteers without affectation," we're just happy to take each day as it comes." She says this while we'd been joking off and on about how she's kept him tied to the closet at the mercy of her will - and there is a sense that you know they'll be okay. Not because everything is so utterly solid and decided, but because they seem truly delighted with one another.
There isn't a wedding in sight but a journey together beckons them. Usually, relationships begin ominously sandwiched between the specter of the past and the possibility of future hurts threatening to complete that circle. One wonders if there's any hope, any chance, or any promise stalwart enough to make the endeavor even worth considering. I don't know why tonight of all nights I met this couple, or why I told them about the blog which I keep quite distinct and separate from my real life. But I suppose that sometimes, we all need a little encouragement in the form of something tangible. And how much more tangible can you get than two people holding hands while having their post dinner coffees together?
It is with this that I return. And with this that I toast newfound friends I may not see again but to whom I owe some living proof of the "dream once lost among sorrows and songs."