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.


(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.



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

“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

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.