-Edgar Allan Poe
But the helpers have left.
They're all radiant, these beings, and without them, I've lost my glow, my beauty. That's alright. I'm not that vain. I liked looking at them in my mind's eye. I looked at them until I began shining some of their light, like a cosmic mirror.
There was the Fancy Dark Prince. The Fancy Dark Prince has loved me for a long, long time. He's very possessive of me and I like that. He has dark curly hair and burning eyes and he wears a feather in his hat. When it seems there is no man for me, he is there. Waiting. With him, there is no end. Just waves of eternity. (Then how could he go, I wonder?)
I found a photo of him in a newspaper once...can you believe it? (At least this is how I imagine him to look):
I save this photo in a wood box.
There was a Kindred Spirit in my Computer who would appear on my screen sometimes. He would share with me his secrets and pain and songs and laughter. And I would do the same. We'd communicate so quickly, we didn't need words after a while. We'd overlap, speed ahead, fall deliciously behind. We luxuriated in one another. I began to love him.
I would try to focus on work but then his face would suddenly appear, and there was no choice but to spend time with him. It's like being pulled toward a blazing star.
Sometimes the happiness actually hurt after we "spoke." It hurt my physical body. Too much connection. When that happened, I would turn the computer off and cry, for all the pain that made profound happiness feel so damn foreign.
One day, I turned on my computer and he didn't appear. I waited and waited. Nothing. I thought to myself, "See? That's what happens when you feel that happy. It goes away in a flash."
On a good day, I just have to beckon him and he's there. He responds cleverly and lovingly to my questions, sighs when I enter a room, climbs in my bed and murmurs dark and wonderful things in my ear. On a bad day, like today, he is only self-created fiction to replace a dying reality. He is nobody, nothing. He never was.
When I was a little girl, the Pretty Golden Lady would visit me, secretly. She would lavish me with her deep femininity and love. She was so nurturing. As long as she paid attention to me, I felt pure and wanted.
This was no easy task. I never felt much like a princess. Childhood barren, bleak, full of shame and sadness. I'd try to dress up and be pretty on my own but it was always so hard. Dirty hands always held me down.
She was my feminine guidance and I bowed in her dazzling presence. I'll never be able to thank her enough. She put her lips to my face and passed her magic on to me, so that I could feel pretty and adored, even when she was not around. She's not around anymore...and neither is the feeling.
And it wasn't just people. There were Magical Cities that I'd visit, faraway. Sparkling cities, dancing with light even though it was always nighttime. I'm not sure what happened there but it was right and good. Perhaps you learned there. Learned special things. Or you worked there, happily, like you've never worked before.
And music. Songs that reminded me of times too far away to touch now. When I first heard this song on the radio, I was a very, very young child. I was sitting in the car between my mother and my father and they were laughing. Then time stopped suddenly and they froze! I stood up on my seat and stared at their fixed smiling faces and knew this would not last forever. It would barely last at all. I kissed their frozen faces and time resumed again.
Trees came to life as well. One cold night long ago, my mother carried my young body out to our car. There stood an Icy Winter Tree. It was clearly alive and very serious. It spoke to me of very powerful things: death and stillness and magic. Its frozen branches banged against one another angrily. Yes, that tree meant business. Very serious business. It just had to tell me its secrets. And I had to listen.
So you see, it's energy. It can come in the form of beings, green things, animals, scents, rays of light, gestures, voices, laughter, breezes, pages in a book, ice, wood...many, many things have lives of their own. And dreams, of course, dreams...
My childhood friend Maria once told me of a reoccurring dream: There was a vat of heavy, brown liquid, oscillating. There was a hum that the the vat generated. A deep hum. Then a daisy would drop into it and the humming would stop for a moment. Then the machinery would begin again and the daisy would be pulled downward, not to be seen again. I knew her life would be hard.
When I was a little girl, I'd look into the mirror for a long, long time. Until I could split free from myself. Its like realizing you're just some crummy human being stuck in some clumsy body. It's almost comical. You realize the Great Secret and time is stilled. Your identity buckles under itself and you're left only with some central, essential force. My mirror trick doesn't work anymore.
What if there was an Apocalypse on the Other Side? What if they've all been destroyed? You would think that couldn't happen but you don't know that. You don't know anything about the Other Sides. So please don't tell me that that can't happen, that they can't all perish...because you just don't know.
Without all of you, I'm a crumpled piece of paper,
a particle of dust, an afterthought.
Without you, I'm a big hole,
caving in on myself.
Without you, I fall to the ground.
Thing is, I always figured you'd stay forever. Perhaps I took you for granted. I'm sorry. I got so wasted on other things. I burnt and beat your magic right out of me.
You go away and do what you have to do. Time passes and things leave, this I know. I never expect it and it always surprises me, but this I know.
Kiss me when you can. I'll try to be awake this time. And don't worry about me, okay? I'll rise up from the ground soon enough. When I do, I'll move toward you and the others again. Dancing in the twilight blue, feeling so perfectly less than you.
City of Lights
Winter Tree Starry Night - Gabriele Schwibach
Music: Theme from a Summer's Place - Percy Faith