THE DOOR HAS never swung shut ever since we left it so, creaking on its hinges, slightly broken. We kept it leaning out a little, as if we agreed its openness was an invitation we would take up when we felt braver to explore the house of our separate strangeness and particular fears.
We had run back to the trail whence we came together and looked at the house in proper perspective. From a distance it looked small, the whole of it encompassed within our vision. It even looked quite charming: a little summer house where open windows breathed of light and sea spray, the porch generous with space, and inside, a comforting emptiness.
We had stood once at the threshold and as we looked in, smelled the salt of older seas. But we wouldn’t enter or fill the space with our presence. Up close, where we could make out the vague interiors, the filtered sunlight looked too precious and the cleanness too closely matched our souls.
What would we like to know about this house? That we once lived here and loved the conversation, the tongues of my skin and yours speaking strange languages? Do we want to sit near the kitchen fire and catch the sounds of words feeding the flames with which we see how our separate selves commune? Do we want to touch the bare, clean walls of our home and say: this corner of your brain feels familiar and the way your blood beats is an old rhythm? Or do we simply want to say the story all over again, starting with the way lovers are born, individual and alone, in time and space, dancing the music of the fates?
I did not know then; nor did you. We did not have the words with which to define the dimensions: time, space, truth – the breadth of our walls curving into each other, the depth of our foundation stones with which we mark the earth, the height of our roofs reaching treetops or birdflight. We simply knew the house was there. In our mind we calculated its age like a strange recurring dreamtree. It is as old as I am and as weather-grained. But it has an eternal, young, fresh look like the way your eyes are leaves greening in resonance to a clear note or a well-turned phrase.
But I am learning now the language of care or waking. I could never live there with you because there are pieces in myself that do not fit and yet are also mine. I am stranger to myself than you will ever know: how my skin pores dream the ancient languages while my braincells protest the ill logic of its structuring; how my eyes stream with unlived grief while my hands shape the sounds of the moaning, gnashing sea in me.
I have run from the sea and turned back on this trail alone, still feeling the old strangeness. There, just beyond the mind’s bend the house stands still, the door slightly ajar and beckoning.
(a first attempt at definitions)
by: Marjorie Evasco
Guest Entry, The Caffeine Chronicles, My Pretzel Logic