You asked me to write to you. They were the last words you said to me as I left Tomas’ art show and they were so perfect because it suggests you know me so well, and are such a good friend that you know what I need. I need to be told to write. To abandon this habit of finding a way out of the places I need to be, those places that encourage growth, evolution, out of some misguided notion that I don’t deserve to be better. To relinquish the idea that I haven’t earned the joy that coincides with those times when the words do more than whisper to me.
It was as though you knew that they had been quieter than usual, that I needed an impetus, a push, a gentle squeeze of a friend’s hand with an earnest request. “Write to me.”
And so I shall, darling.
I saw you quick and brief in the swirling streetlights and dizzying dichotomy that is the city at night. Overwhelmed country girl feeling out of place and right at home among nature, captured and pinned to the wall, because I can appreciate perspective.
The eye of that man, it sees much and reflects it back, altered, his mediums are many, and he has helped me to recognize the intangibility of those things people miss in plain sight, often.
And you, my friend, my dark eyed mystery story set in a place so familiar it might be Paris, might be Berlin, might be anywhere people seek culture, seek collusion with creativity and spark. You are both places sought out and shadowy corners defined by the sass of a darkened hallway piano concert. You are layers of intellect, each peeled back to reveal a giggly undercurrent of joy, unfettered. I watched you greet all with the same sincerity of character that draws me, that infectious smile that strikes at the heart of me and wraps me in welcome.
“Write to me.”
I wish I could sing to you, these words finding melody, mellifluous, harmonious, true all the way to my tapping toes. The best way to cross a crowded dancefloor is to move like water, as if we were weeds bent by the river and carried along without concern for where we’re going or how we’ll get there because the babble of the brook reassures us that we will be like stone, softened by time. Sharp edges have no place here.
I wish I could sing more. And it’s not even that I can’t but that I don’t, this notion that those are anywhere near the same thing is folly, the notion that anyone can take my voice without my permission is just another excuse for not doing the thing that feels best.
I used to get so angry with my mum when she would tell me that the people who told me I was less only had as much power as I gave them. How did I so readily believe them, and not the people who told me I was enough? I wish that I could write to young me, to tell her there is merit in listening. That there are stories one only encounters when one is oh so quiet, eyes closed, breath held, waiting patiently. But patience never came easy. I’m still working on that.
“Write to me.”
My darling friend, I would spin you stories of fantastic proportion. Of those places where heart and mind intersect. Of temptation and forgiveness. Of love and murder and how well both of those things go with a nice hot cup of tea.
I would write with the ferocity of the rain on a tin roof, all bluster, drowning in noise that rattles and pounds at the windows. Screams that disguise how scared I am of the day when the words stop altogether. And so I will fight, will rail against that, and I will write.
Thank you, my friend.