Speak now or forever hold your peace.
We’ve all heard that statement in movies and reality, spoken so many times and mostly in good humor. But what happens, when those few words decide to make an appearance in the movie of our life, but not in a comic role.
How do we decide, if speaking up when our ring is about to become another’s is better than holding our peace and silence- forever. How do we weigh it? Is there even a scale for that.
How do we decide if destroying another’s fairytale is worth saving our own. Does the end justify the means in this secenerio?
What If? God forbid, what if, we weigh the odds and conclude that forever is too long a time for us to hold our peace, we muster the courage, speak the words of our heart, and they fall only on the ears of its recipient but not his heart. Would it be worth it then?
Or should we stick to mama’s saying- if he really wants you, he’d come running back even if he’s about to say I do. And if he doesn’t, no one wants a coward anyway.
But what if we wait, and- he doesn’t?
telling you would mean, awaking most days with the knowledge,
The knowledge- you know that I want(ed) it to be you, although you are not mine to have;
telling you would mean, having to mask my emotions with an exaggerated display of happiness, when I sight your arms interlocked with hers.
telling you, would mean living with the knowledge that I almost destroyed another woman’s life… almost.
Telling you wouldn’t make any difference. The ring is hers, the wedding is upon, and all I have got is the dignity to hold my head up and utter through gritted teeth, how happy I am for you and expect you to believe it.
Telling you- would mean accepting the truth, you wouldn’t fight for me, us. You’ve always been an avoider of conflict and saying it won’t change that.
You might say, you wish it was me…. and I could handle me being unhappy but I couldn’t bear it If it was you. So I delude myself, as you delude yourself, and pretend we were never meant to be…
There was a time when poetry was a solace, an escape, a listening ear at a time of heartache. It was the balm to wounds burrowed by others; an antidote to words hurled.
It’s ready arms available with the sun out, with the night in, on stormy and sandy days alike- it was always there.
There was a time when poetry was a witness to flood of waterworks; a testament to minor victories and the chart of a rollercoaster journey. It marked the lows, the highs and the stagnant plateau. It was a friend when friends were few.
And you wonder, why I still write poetry? Wouldn’t leaving it be a great injustice… not even that I could.
It wasn’t just one experience, it was a multitude of them. One after the other like the crash of a carefully assembled dominos cards; in succession. I slid slowly and then rapidly, hitting a few bumps along the way, like I wasn’t already on my way to the bottom. And I learnt on that downward journey, I learnt the bitter truth that rock bottom does not guarantee you won’t still get hit.
I watched the solid parts of me break into pieces, the liquid of my essence dissolve and gaseous parts evaporate. I was losing who I had ever known myself to be.
It took watching my whole life vanish before eyes for me to realise what life had been trying to teach me for quite some time. Sometimes, you have to shatter into pieces in order to mould into the “you”, you were always supposed to be.
“But I love you,” he said.
And I wondered where he got the notion that saying the words “I love you” was akin to an eraser which wipes off a slate of past mistakes; a chant which hypnotises one into prompt obedience regardless of the absurdity of the orders; a piece of blindfold over a woman’s eyes to block off the reality of events.
Or maybe, he just assumed I am like the other woman who had come and gone. A blooming soul withered by a facade of love, fed on sugar coated words which tasted like nothing- nothing- a compilation of meaningless gestures- suffocating.
And maybe (cause I can only assume as mama always said speak for yourself alone) he was fed on the notion that love is blind, love is an eraser and love hypnotises in the hands of a man.
But honey, Living has taught me, you can scream I love you until the oxygen carrying capacity of your lungs deplete, without sincerity in action, it don’t mean nothing. Call me cynical, but living otherwise would have me ending up just like the other woman. A washed-up replica of a once upon a time star.
I am who you think I am and who you think I am not. I am a chest of secrecy and a cloak of openness. I am the strict parent and the fun-loving one. Yes, adrenaline courses through my blood and yes, I need caffeine to go through the day.
I am the spontaneous friend and the sensible one. The burger binger and the salad encourager. The lens wearer and the makeup lover. The football junkie and the pink stiletto owner.
I am who you know me to be, and who you’d never imagine of me. A hopeful dreamer and soulful realist. A traditional home-maker and modern go-getter. A day time hustler and nighttime writer. An avid talker and a silent listener. A couch lover and a crowd speaker.
I am who I am and despite what you may Want, I’ll always be who you’ll Need me to be.
Those ember months brought along a certain feeling of longing and wistfulness I couldn’t adequately describe in words; a longing for the ocean while standing at the shore, watching the waves crash at my foot but not daring to take any step further. Why? A question I couldn’t answer until you arrived, one sunny ember morning.
And a girl who never believed in cliches took one glance at you striding into the parlour with my father and I knew, you would play a big role in my life, which you did… until you couldn’t.
Your smile would light up a room and your charisma made everyone comfortable. You let me be the joker in public with the jokes you enriched me with in private. And you- with your arms which were nothing like those of the future I had imagined, were my home.
Meeting you was a coincidence, knowing was a privilege, and loving you- a blessing
“It’s not just the writing”, she said,
It’s the looking back at a formerly white page, now transformed into a confluence of rugged slanting black ink. Words, which were formerly a jumble in your head. And you stare at the piece of paper, wondering who on Earth could possible read that, jumble.
You crumble it up, dumping it at the back of your room, the back of your thoughts until…
yes, until, someday. Days, months, maybe even years. You find that crumbled piece of paper you had denounced into rubbish. A forgotten piece of work. Your eyes move across the page, word after word, line after line and everything you ever wrote down is exactly what you need to hear at the moment. And the words you had once upon a time sought refuge with cannot contain the bucket of emotion brewing up within you. What you once thought was rubbish, looks like a masterpiece. How time changes everything.
——“nothing is ever wasted”, she said, “so write today, not just for the present, because not everyone will appreciate it, but because someday, those same words might be exactly what you’d need to hear”.
I wasn’t always like this you know, she remarked softly, as if speaking to No one in particular.
I used to be fun, at least that’s what I’ve been told. I used to have friends, I even used to make jokes, laughable ones too.
It was great to be the joker and the life of the crowd and I reckon, I enjoyed the attraction and the favours it brought along. But eventually, I began to wonder if there was more to life than “that kind” of fun …
I wondered if I could be more. I wanted to be more.
More than just another pretty face, another name who gets passed around by with a laugh, another came and gone, another soul in a world filled with a billion of us. I wanted to be More…
It began with writing down all the things I thought I could do, the person I thought I could be, and- I never dropped the pen afterwards.
They say I have changed and I have lost who I used to be.
But in fact, I have evolved, I have found who I am supposed to be.
Somedays, words flow from the tip of my fingers, sprouting springs whose waters seem to last forever. somedays, the pool dries up, leaving no trace behind ever, of the presence of water. And I wonder, am I writer?
Somedays, tears form lumps in my throat, stuck, at the tentacle of falling out, transforming into anger on pages. Somedays, they descend in torrential downpour forming cavities upon my face and dampening blank pages. And I stare at the glistening droplets, am I a writer?
Somedays, memories come knocking on the door of present. I hold the door open, only slightly, letting it walk in a sequential pattern, straight through the ink across paper. Somedays, they come knocking down my door, and my hands hang helpless to their force. They form muddles around my mind, and I wonder, can I be a writer?
Somedays I edit, most days I erase, on occasion I delete the words I had previously placed. Somedays it takes everything within to choose to write, somedays writing chooses me, like I’ve been doing it all my life- it seems. And I wonder, what It takes to stake a claim on being a writer?
The above image is courtesy of The odyssey online.com