Posts tagged with "muse"

Love, Eclipses, and Other Ephemera

365 days ago, you were sit­ting at a lit­tle round table in front of me. It was a cool day, with the light of the sun com­ing through big glass win­dows, and the way you were turned cast a shadow on the small dim­ple on your chest. How well I came to know that expanse of skin, never taken for granted by lips or fingertips.

I was filled with noth­ing but hap­pi­ness in that moment. By that point, I planned on mar­ry­ing you one day, as I had, per­haps a lit­tle fool­ishly, dreamed of build­ing a life with you. The only thing left was fig­ur­ing out how to con­vince you to dream a lit­tle bit too.

muse, turned

 

A few things have hap­pened since we last spoke. Nothing impor­tant enough to men­tion if I ever bumped into an old lover and tried to make small talk. Except, per­haps, that my grand­mother passed away, Aaron and Karen are expect­ing another child, and I started pur­su­ing a life­long dream of becom­ing an ama­teur astronomer.

In one class I learned the Sun’s dis­tance from the Earth is about 400 times the Moon’s dis­tance, and the Sun’s diam­e­ter is about 400 times the Moon’s diam­e­ter. It’s the fact that these ratios are approx­i­mately equal that causes the Sun and Moon to appear the same size when the three astro­nom­i­cal objects line up, cre­at­ing the effect we observe dur­ing a total eclipse. If the Sun were any closer, we wouldn’t see the fierce corona that bor­ders the shadow of the moon. Any fur­ther, and a ring of the Sun’s light would still be vis­i­ble. It’s a phe­nom­e­non that’s unique in our solar sys­tem, due to the sheer improb­a­bil­ity of these pre­req­ui­sites occurring.

eclipse

(I didn’t take this picture.)

Eclipses are a rare phe­nom­e­non. Total eclipses even more so; they occur every 18 months, at dif­fer­ent loca­tions, and never last more than a few min­utes as the shadow moves along the ground at over 1700 km/h.

Maybe this is why some peo­ple chase them, mak­ing pil­grim­ages to loca­tions where an eclipse is pre­dicted to hap­pen. One group even rented a plane and flew along the dark­est part of the shadow cast by the moon as it trav­eled over the Earth, and arti­fi­cially extended an eclipse from 7 min­utes to 74 min­utes. Which, in my book, is pretty awesome.

People who’ve been through an eclipse give sim­i­lar accounts of the expe­ri­ence; it looks like night in a mat­ter of min­utes, it feels like the heat is being sucked out of the ground, the ani­mals get all spooked out because they know some­thing extra­or­di­nary is happening.

But the Moon is also drift­ing away from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year, which means there even­tu­ally won’t be any more total solar eclipses. We hap­pen to be liv­ing in a time when we can still expe­ri­ence them, as future gen­er­a­tions will only have second-hand accounts from our best words and pic­tures. They won’t be able to feel the change in the atmos­phere, as the Sun hides behind the Moon for that brief moment. How for­tu­nate we are to be able to expe­ri­ence this event, which not only requires the heav­enly bod­ies to line up, but also requires us to be at the right place on the right planet at the right time.

sushi

 

I began to won­der what com­bi­na­tion of forces brought us there, to sit in the warmth of spring in a sushi shop down­town. Why fate had deliv­ered you to my office one morn­ing, for you to toss your head back and gig­gle and walk away after I made some corny joke at our introduction.

We were two trav­el­ing bod­ies on our own paths that hap­pened to align for a few spins around the sun. It was a beau­ti­ful acci­dent, a gaso­line rain­bow, an expe­ri­ence as spe­cial as it was serendip­i­tous that left me for­ever changed.

Every pic­ture I took was to cap­ture what I feared I’d never see again, and when our paths diverged, I kept look­ing at those pho­tos, won­der­ing what kept me drawn to these memories.

Then I real­ized it was because I didn’t want it to end. You were my eclipse, and I was a man on that plane, chas­ing a shadow.

Trying to live in your love a moment longer.

Next To You

Found footage, cap­tured with my small CCD cam­corder. It strug­gles in low light sit­u­a­tions, but when I brought up the lev­els in post, out came this amaz­ing grain that gives it such a wist­ful texture.

When watch­ing this, my eyes tend to grav­i­tate to her hands; the way she moves them with a light, but firm touch, whether it’s get­ting Dolly to sit down, or brush­ing cat hair from her nose. They were artists hands. Not par­tic­u­larly strik­ing, but filled with del­i­cate dex­ter­ity. Sometimes, I’d kiss the tip of each fin­ger, and she’d tease me by pulling her hand away before I could finish.

It must have been one win­ter morn­ing, after a run out to Second Cup with their holiday-themed paper cups, watch­ing The Blue Planet in the com­fort of a blan­ket with a cat by our side.

Only after find­ing this footage did I start to believe that my mem­o­ries were real, and not just imag­i­na­tions caught between the haze of desire and denial.

We existed. We existed.

Even if only for a few moments, as won­der­ful as they were fleet­ing, one of them cap­tured in 24 frames per second.

Afraid and shy, I let my chance go by

While I’ve always been very appre­cia­tive of what we did have, some­times I won­der about what we never had the chance to do.

Sure, I bared my soul. I sur­ren­dered. I gave her the songs I don’t share with just any­one. I told her how pro­foundly impor­tant, won­der­ful, and remark­able she was to me. I let her in like no one else before.

But there were parts of myself I never gave up.

It wasn’t because we hadn’t reached that level of trust. It was a way for me to pro­tect myself. To feel as though she didn’t have all of me, so I wouldn’t be left as open and vul­ner­a­ble when the end finally came.

I regret it now. Not because I think it would have changed any­thing1, but because I won­der what it would have been like for some­one to know me com­pletely. To feel vul­ner­a­ble and safe, all at once. Even know­ing I’d be heart­bro­ken even­tu­ally, it would have been worth it to share what I’ve always saved.

I’ve been keep­ing all my girl­friends at arms length to pro­tect myself. I can’t go through life hold­ing things back any­more, con­stantly wor­ried someone’s going to hurt me. That’s always a risk, no mat­ter how sta­ble a rela­tion­ship is.

I have to put myself out there. I have to make the first step, even if it means feel­ing uncom­fort­able, because the more you share, the more com­fort­able you become, the more you share, and so on.

I can only go for­ward now, as a wiser per­son, a stronger soul, a bet­ter lover.

I sup­pose I’m feel­ing nos­tal­gic, or miss­ing her, as is my wont when the sea­sons change.

  1. Cause it wouldn’t have. []

Slow Down Honey

Thumbnail: Egg yolk

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (ver­sion 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the lat­est ver­sion here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Try to hold you in bed you shrug away instead oh I don’t know why.” I found this song dur­ing a recent tran­si­tion, and it’s stayed with me since. It fits so many moods — con­tent­ment, sad­ness, lon­li­ness, morn­ing, mourn­ing, and moulting.

Thumbnail: Bloody Mary

In a way, I’m forc­ing myself grow and improve, and this scares me. In the book my ther­a­pist rec­om­mended, it explains “Change requires will­ing­ness to expe­ri­ence pain”, and I’m going through this exactly. I’m con­stantly step­ping out of my com­fort zone, and at this point, it’s much more trep­i­da­tion than excite­ment. It’d be so much eas­ier to fall into old men­tal habits, as unhealthy as they are.

Thumbnail: Games night

On morn­ings like this, I sit in my liv­ing room with the cur­tains open. It makes me self-conscious to be sit­ting there with houses across the street get­ting a clear view of me in my PJs and mussed up hair. But it reminds me that some­one else is out there. That the world is full of life, and vibrancy, and peo­ple just like me.

Continue read­ing “Slow Down Honey”…

The First Spot

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The first spot was a curve on her cheek near the cor­ner of her lips. It would only appear when she was smil­ing a cer­tain way.

I have this pic­ture of her reclin­ing on the chaise with her head thrown back on the pil­low in laugh­ter. It’s hor­ri­bly com­posed, and I can hear her telling me how weird she thinks she looks in the pic­ture, but it cap­tured the expres­sion perfectly.

The smile wasn’t par­tic­u­larly allur­ing. It was goofy even. But that’s what I loved about it. She was this angel, this siren, this muse to the world, and I was the only one who could see her like this; cheeks pulled back, gig­gling uncon­trol­lably, bury­ing her head in the pil­low from self-consciousness when­ever I pointed out the spot and tried to kiss it. I was the only one for whom she let her guard down, even if only for a pass­ing moment. It was so adorable and inti­mate at the same time.