A friend of mine sent me this poem via Facebook the other day. It is something I wrote when I was living in Korea - something about another friend who inspired me at the time, touching something in me that needed to be acknowledged.
And it made me think. About a lot of things. About the past, the present, and the contrast I see between those realities, those worlds, and the person I am in each of them.
Time is a tricky thing. It molds and melds things together, breaks them apart, and alters our perspectives on everything. And memory, our vehicle for maneuvering through this dimension, is untrustworthy. It paints pictures based on who we are now and what we now think, recreating events when we aren't even aware of it.
Nonetheless, as fallible as it may be, it offers us something. A chance to reflect. I am "remembering" a moment in a bar, in Korea, a decade ago, sitting across from a person who I've lost what you could consider "contact" with (aside from "liking" random posts about film and art he so impressively adds to his Facebook page now and then), who at one time changed, in his own way, the palette I used to view the world. I miss him, like I miss the smells of the streets in Ubud, and the feel of soft sand under my toes in Australia, and the rush of adrenaline on the pitch during gaelic football, and the taste of cheese donkkaseu at 4'oclock am in Itaewon. And I miss him like a human being I once felt deeply for, like all the people I have, for that individual he was that has, no doubt, evolved immeasurably.
And I miss that person I was, too, sitting across that table. But she is there in my memory. And if she isn't, I'll paint her again, and probably add a little color, and reminisce. And then use it to appreciate what's right in front of me now.
Oscar, this one is/was for you:
I watch him, across the table,
waxing poetic distress and
pouring pieces of himself into
a glass of wine, that sits
unfinished next to his hand.
And I can’t help but remember
my fear of never having walls,
of falling out
all over the place, making
messes wherever I go, always
leaving a trace; wanting so badly to be
that calm collected presence
on the other side
of the table -
on the other side of my glance,
that is holding it in and
holding it up, and gracefully
a solitary waltz, while others
step on toes
He’s got it, though. That delicate balance
between emotional anarchy and regal exhilaration,
that only comes
with the knowledge of being
a dedicated and committed romantic,
regardless of circumstance.
And here I sit, a mirror of my own intent,
calm and collected,
dancing naked on the fault line,
shrouded in my slight,
my rebuff of my own aching heart, tucked neatly
in a thick hedge
that elegantly lines your lawn,
not knowing if this time the sides will part and
open up an eruption
of molten core or,
maybe this time
we will collide, and build mountains
of dissident rebellion.
And then the earth moves,
and all of it