the things we carry

I can’t fig­ure out why I’m so moody late­ly. Maybe it’s been too long since I smelled the wood of my gui­tar. Maybe it’s the fresh Autumn colours that tend to mag­ni­fy my emo­tions. Maybe I’m feel­ing over­worked, over­stim­u­lat­ed, and too rarely under­stood. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a moment to myself in what feels like weeks, with so many feel­ings of lone­li­ness amongst so many people.

Autumn stream

 

I always think of exile in times like this, and in par­tic­u­lar, a stan­za from Yevgeniy Onegin:

From all that to the heart is dear
then did I tear my heart away;
to every­one a stranger, tied by nothing,
I thought; lib­er­ty and peace
would serve instead of happiness.

Luckily, I’ve been read­ing The Poisonwood Bible, which reminds me that the only prob­lems I have are first-world prob­lems, and that I’m rich in ways many will nev­er be.

I find it amaz­ing, the immen­si­ty of it, how any sin­gle per­son can be respon­si­ble for a tome of such rich sto­ry­telling, obser­va­tion, and wit. It’s the only book I’ve picked up in years, and I only start­ed read­ing to get into her head as much as pos­si­ble (and piqued by my curios­i­ty on how she could describe a sto­ry of the Belgian Congo as sexy). Unsurprisingly, her favourite char­ac­ter is the strong, faith­ful, war­rior daugh­ter. Mine is like me too; the dark, brood­ing, intel­lec­tu­al child, dizy­got­ic twin to hers. It makes me won­der if lik­ing one char­ac­ter over all oth­ers is too often an exer­cise in vanity.

In the end, Onegin real­izes he was wrong about exile, that he couldn’t fill him­self with empti­ness to replace the sad­ness, some­thing he only fig­ures out when he finds some­one worth lov­ing. That’s what’s pulling me back too, keep­ing me ground­ed amongst those dark moments of untem­pered emo­tion. I car­ry the image of her smile with me, the only thing as dis­tin­guished on her face as her Spanish eyes, and the rea­son I call her Cheeks from the way the flesh pulls up to round her face. I’ve stud­ied this smile for so long that I can see it every time I close my eyes, and with that, I car­ry a strength of my own too.

2 comments

  1. I think you should write your own book one day, Jeff.

    I’d read it and cry, soar, laugh and mar­vel with all of the rich­ness con­tained in the pages.

    xx{ish.},
    Mae Lu @ there­af­ter­ish.!

  2. You Sir/Madam are the ene­my of con­fu­sion evrywehere!

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