Words Which Were Almost Not Said

There were times when I had almost given in to the weariness that came from fighting the long and harsh battle that was known to me as life; I was ready to let Death lift me up and carry me away.

And then you showed up, this human who bore wounds bloodier than mine. You helped me get back up on my feet. You did not look away, not for even a brief moment; instead you remained.

You then helped me to pull out all the arrows that had punctured the vulnerable regions of my battle worn body and taught me look at them differently. In time you helped me learn to not throw away all of them out of sheer frustration, to replenish my arsenal with some and to use others in different ways on my journey.

Even though you were battered and bruised yourself, you patiently pulled out the pieces of my armour that had been bent and twisted out of shape and were doing a better job of harming me than shielding me, and you waited, and you did not take a step to leave until I had fashioned a makeshift weapon from all of the debris.

I know that I was blessed for having had you.

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When He Tripped Over His Guilt

On his way to the next village a vagabond began to remember all the times he had found himself being drawn to someone.

He slowed down to a halt when he realised that what he had thought of a meaningful pull had been infatuation, every single time.

With his head held low the vagabond wondered if he had been unfaithful by giving in to this…fleeting and crude shadow of affection all those times.

He wondered if he deserved the love that waited for him somewhere down the never ending road he was destined to walk.

A Shore With a Better View

When the weight comes crashing from all sides and I find myself out of breath as the last shred of strength abandons me, I cease thrashing in the face of the fury of the ocean.

As more water gushes down my throat, I give in to a simple realisation that I have tried so hard to evade for a while now: I am no match for my captor. And so I close my eyes.

For a brief instant when all goes dark, instead of panicking I allow myself to be swept away by currents. I feel myself being carried, maybe somewhere faraway from these shores that have become all too familiar too me, not worried in the least that this inactive state would lead to a parting from all the privileges that are patiently waiting for me inside my little hut; being whisked away from the clamour of uncouth men and their machinations that have engulfed my neighbourhood for years is a cause for celebration.

I open my eyes when I find myself being gently laid onto a bed of soft sand, and the sight that greets me is a marvelous one: the star studded night sky. It is vibrantly alive with an essence that I am certain that I can not even describe to myself for it is nothing like what I remember from my brief visits to my hut’s window every time I tried to peak through the smog and the harsh glow of the streetlights. Out here I am able to get a clear glimpse of a great many stars, and even clouds of celestial dust of colours unimaginable.

Hours pass as I waste not a single breath, foolishly hoping that I will be able to drink in every bit of the majestic sight, for the urge to return thither to the forsaken world that I am all too familiar with has still not crept into my heart. I pray that it never does because beneath the calmness of the sea of stars I feel at home, a part of a realm more natural and truer than any I have ever known. Being able to breath in undefiled peace is a gift that I do not think that I deserve, especially while knowing deep down that I am not strong enough to take a leap and swim through the waters that I see before me; that I probably never will be.

While I lie so far away from the noise, the thought of not a single thing or a person that I have left behind crosses my mind, save but one, of you, the one whose radiance I know truly belongs up there.

I hope that one day I will find you here in this part of the cosmos just as you found me in the desolate world of noise; I hope that then I will be able to hold you close beneath the night sky.

What I Tell Myself

‘All of your efforts shall be in vain,’

I tell myself,

hoping that these words will be enough to snuff out the adamant part that still believes.

 

‘The true glow, you will never see its like again if you turn back,’

I tell myself,

as I force myself to take a step in the direction of the land where I am told the Sun still shines high in the sky.

 

‘Only when you will get there will you feel true warmth, it will be exactly what you deserve,’

I tell myself,

over and over again to keep myself walking farther and farther away from the village.

 

‘It shall be worth it, heck you will even forget the faint twinkle that you have grown used to obsessing over and over again,’

I tell myself,

right before I realise that I have once again set off fate’s trap.

 

‘What you perceive to be a spark, it is a lie that your weak human side has conjured up to comfort you with,’

I tell myself,

while unconsciously running freezing fingers over the bare skin of arm that is as cold as death.

 

‘It will fade away, such is the nature of all that humans feel; it is a folly to seek refuge with a flame that goes out,’

I tell myself,

as I rip off the chains of hesitation, and run back towards the warmest part of the village.

 

‘You are wasting all that precious energy to partake in an effort that will amount to a gesture which will probably yield a fleeting outcome,’

I tell myself,

before I take a breath and call out the one that I love from the crowd.

 

‘Its…everything,’

I tell myself,

while bathing in the glow of the nurturing blaze that burns bright in her eyes.

 

‘Is this what being human truly feels like, so fierce and strong while having the strength to love another,’

I tell myself,

as I feel life flowing back into the arm that I had learned long ago to accept as being frozen dead.

 

‘If it is then this…this is surely worth it,’

I tell myself,

while we talk.

The Ensnared Man

There was once a man who seemed to be no different than those he lived alongside with. Many of them, if asked, could have come up with a few good things to say about him, but he knew that only a handful of those who truly cared about him would, every now and then, voice a concern or two regarding his person.

He wholeheartedly agreed with them when it was said to him that he was not making the full use of his innate potential. He had, however, kept the reason responsible for this shortcoming close to his chest for years.

The man was a slave to a bad habit.

What had started out as an enjoyable exercise had eventually become an entity with a powerful hold; many would have called it a stress reliever.

He would start by closing his eyes and from the annals of his memory that stretched back into the years which he was certain he had forgotten, he would search for the people who had left a positive, lasting impact on him. Many of them were real but more often than not a handful of them happened to be warriors, kings, and sometimes even a charming rogue or two that he had either read about in a novel or seen in a film or on television.

The man proceeded to to pull them out from the ‘past’ that he had known, and at the expense of the present moment, he set out to embark on adventures with them to populate an idyllic fantasy; it was the future he would have preferred to look forward to. Once there he was able to attempt and succeed at the greatest of feats; up til now he had soared higher than any bird, raced against the wind itself on a stead that left fire in the wake of its tracks, and had even been a great hero who had basked in the adulation of those whose lives he had saved from a string of catastrophes.

Day after day the man found solace in this hollow realm, wasting hour upon hour while sitting idly, yearning to live all the lives that he daydreamed about without even lifting a finger. A while later, the man realised how grave was the cost that stemmed out of his folly, but by then it was too late for he had convinced himself that he could seek shelter only with his habit whenever circumstances took a turn towards the unbearable.

The man, though enslaved, was not alone, and I am sure that he was also aware of the existence of those like him.

Ensnared souls such as this man still exist, they might even be someone you or I know.

A Much Needed Break

A thought strikes me on the head as something races past me…something that was important to me…once.

I stop and I think; being in pursuit for so long, chasing after what I didn’t have, have I pushed away all that I already had?

I am still standing still, for the first time in a while.

I wonder what truly matters.

First published on VeryContemporaryLines on 20th July, 2016.

 

An Ode to the Heroes

There are those of us who use their deliciously magical craft to make people’s mundane lives…livable; their prowess is truly incredible, almost superhuman, when their creations strike something within us, a nerve that lays forgotten, while we trudge on from one day to the next.

The rest of us, we owe it to them for showing us the attraction of being human, of gazing beyond the cocoons of boredom that we tend to conform ourselves to…

We owe it all to them: painters, actors, poets, authors…and other artists.

First published on VeryContemporaryLines on 29th July, 2016.