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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Oh, For a Midnight in Lourdes.


I’ve been listening to classical music all day.

You know, the romantic kind that somehow pulls at the main string to your heart as you sit daydreaming about places and people that only exist in your subconscious or literature? The kind that makes you long for that one specific kiss that is only truly satisfying when it’s written about or captured in a brilliant piece of cinema.

Sometimes I fear that the romance I create in my head is meant for a different time.

It amazes me that as romantic as the music I’ve listened to all day is, it has this extraordinary ability to make the sadness that lingers in the air, weigh heavier upon the same organ that it seems to seduce.

I’m home. Home. Where my belongings sat waiting for me as I danced across the sky toward a distant dream. Home, where the blanket I crocheted for myself is folded neatly like a reminder that this, in fact, is a place where I once felt comfortable and fulfilled.

The portion of the young mother holding her daughter from the painting The Three Ages of Women by Klimt sits on my desk. This image, that I’ve been familiar with since high school, once held a very different place in my heart. When I first saw it in my art history class, that is, when I first fell in love with Klimt, I remember thinking that the image resembled my mother holding me as a child. I clung to this image all through my final year of high school and into my first year of University as a reminder that the woman that loved me most on this earth was never far. I looked at it, often with tears in my eyes, and dreamt of the next time my mother’s protective arms would be wrapped around me.

                                                 (The edited selection above my desk)

As I grew a little more, that same image began to transform. The small child, implied a girl, began to look more and more ambiguous. And I started to see the image as a lovely depiction of the Madonna and the child Jesus. Often, when I would reflect on scripture or have long, silent conversations with God…I would stare at this image. Not necessarily looking at it as a religious icon, but as a wonderful depiction of comfort.

Now, I look at this picture, and I can’t help but stare at the elderly woman’s hand in the corner of the specific edited piece I have. Cut a part from the blushing and beautiful beginning of new life. Tossed aside, left alone. In the original image, the elderly woman is holding her head as she looks down. Hiding her once youthful face. She’s distant from the other two, with little to no intentional physical connection aside from strands of hair that happen to land on the young mother’s shoulder.

                                                  (The original painting, unedited)

A mixture of the music, a deeper look into this beloved painting…I’m a glass of wine away from weeping.

I’m home. Shouldn’t this beautiful painting I’m all too familiar with be some sort of consolation? Yes, my trip to heaven and back is slowly dissipating into the past, but my home sat in riveted anticipation for my arrival. Didn’t it? So, why the sudden dark cloud, the tears and wish for something so far away and absolutely implausible.

No, you simply cannot pick up and move to France to begin a new life of service.

But, why not?

 And, for goodness sake, why does this woman’s hand absolutely haunt the romantic music?

Perhaps, it’s because this elderly woman looks abandoned by the young and peaceful mother and child. Perhaps, it’s because I feel guilty…leaving a place where I honored the sick and elderly, to return to a country and a world that dismisses those aged with wisdom.

Do you think she cradles her head, hurting for her beautiful daughter and granddaughter…who will all too soon know the agony of being cast aside because of failing beauty and wrinkled bruises?

Home doesn’t feel as lovely, because home suddenly doesn’t have the same warmth it once possessed. There’s something frigid in the air here that was not present as I sat on the basilica steps as compline was sung. Something bites at me more than those freezing bathes that I watched people melt in.

For another year, I am forced to forget the shadow of the woman that barely survives in the corner of Klimt’s painting. I must shut her out, until I can finally embrace her in my arms once again when I finally return to the bit of heaven so many wait in anticipation of re-visiting.

My cross to bear is patience. For my heart, though home, is homesick.

Till next year, mon amie.




Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wisdom comes.

After being stopped by a drunk man and being given a long lecture on how to live life to the fullest, I instinctively wanted to make him smile as much as he had made my friends and I. ‘Here, you take it…Have a wonderful night!’ I winked as I handed the red balloon I’d just taken from a diner to the stranger as payment for his words of wisdom.

 He smiled, taking the balloon in his hand, looking at it for a second.

‘Look at the balloon.’ He slurred in my direction. I turned back toward him, and looked. ‘Okay.’ I chuckled. ‘Are you looking? Really looking?’ He was staring at the deep red balloon that bobbed back and forth in the wind. I smiled and shook my head, encouraging him to continue. He looked at me, ‘Now, think of something you want to let go of.’

I thought for a moment, looked at my friends and shutting my eyes, blocked out the world. What did I want to let go of? Too many things. Too many aches and pains. I finally settled for something that had been lingering in my mind that night and opened my eyes  “Yes, I’ve got something in mind.”

‘Good,’ he looked at me, brown eyes slightly glazed from all the alcohol flowing through his body yet still filled with passion, and then he let go of the balloon.

‘Now it’s gone.’  He smiled, turned and walked away.

In the dusk of the night, I could see the balloon disappear slowly. Rising towards the clouds, searching for something greater. Some place called paradise. But soon it vanished from sight. It was gone, just as the stranger was gone and just as the thoughts that were running through my head that night were gone.

Life takes time, and so does healing.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Chapters.

I want to write so desperately, but the truth of the matter is that all my thoughts are dripping with metaphors that leave me nauseas, and I’d rather spare you the gruesome hyperbole floating around my dramatic little brain.

I haven’t written in ages.

I don’t know if you can understand this, but when I write…I put my heart on the page. Every word, every thought…it’s just raw, unadulterated ramblings of a crazy person. I don’t edit. I don’t re-work these to make them sound prettier or more enticing.

I simply put down what’s going through my head.

Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes that involves saying things that I’m scared to say or that may come off harsh…

But I am so tired of letting all the sharp edges of these words make dents in my head as I walk from one colorless activity to the next.

I just ended a chapter in my life. Five years fighting my way through conservatory. Five years of blood, sweat and tears…and that’s not a cliché. I’ve literally cut myself in movement classes, sweat bullets in African dance and cried in…well, just about every class I’ve ever taken at The Theatre School. I worked my butt off to walk on a stage to receive an incredibly expensive piece of paper that proves I may or may not know how to act.’

I just ended a chapter where my heart was broken by a boy I thought I would one day marry. I just ended a chapter where I deleted a friend of six years because I realized how toxic he was to my health.  I just ended a chapter in my life where… I truly couldn’t tell you who will stick around and who will disappear.

I guess time will tell.

But, honestly? As terrified as I am…As much as I cried on Saturday night when the high of graduation came crashing down and I realized that I have no idea what the hell I’m doing with my life…I know I’m prepared for whatever God brings.

And I’m so thrilled.

What? I can be thrilled and weeping at the same time, right?

So, here’s to the next chapter. Whatever you may bring, I’m gonna conquer it.