Distance. They say adventure is the heart of life; without it, we cease to grow. We go as far as the eye can see. We go wide in search of things unknown and battles yet to win. We leave land and set sail, circumnavigate and make names for ourselves.
Henceforth, you shall be conquistador of the Seven Seas and I the tamer of the lion that is the Ocean. We are pirates on a mission.
Depth. As a light sleeper, I admit to watching you cradle me to sleep. You know just how to rock the sailboat of my being until I drift seamlessly into your loving waves. Gently, a lullaby between crest and trough, between the rise and fall of the beat of your breathing, my dear I cry ‘depth over distance’ with every tear of joy. From my eyes they pool and flow, upwards and inwards to form the body that is you, my darling body of water, unending as the raptures of the deep. In you I find the strength to keep swimming, to go deeper, to grow deeper, deep roots enough to stand tall, downwards and outwards, much like a tree in the middle of the Pacific, or free falling into love, or life (I no longer know the difference).
Perspective. Tears are but drops in the ocean. We are but two people in the universe.
Life/Love. Yours is the ocean that invites, not to go wide in search of the unknown, nor of battles to be won, but to swim downwards and out of one’s self. A deep blue ocean that swallows shallow red fear. ‘Depth over distance’, my cry in this personal battle, with every breath or lack of, with every meter closer to the bottom, every foot further from the surface. Heavy, your very existence reminds me of the lightness that is air, and I am no longer afraid. You tell me to hush, for the trembling is not the start of dying but the tremendous force that is the will to live, or love. (I no longer know the difference, but in you they are the same.)
Inhale. “Darling, you are a body of water to me.” You can devour islands whole and caress a sailboat to safe harbor. In you I find depth and distance, but if you ask me to stay and grow roots in your ocean, I will.
My family and I were filling out scholarship forms for a financial grant yesterday and we were all laughing about how we own literally nothing of value that we could sell and how all our appliances and furniture were presents to us and our fridge is 9 years old and our car is from 1997, and we didn’t know what to put in “clothing budget” because we didn’t have one. We laughed over childhood memories with our furniture and how we were such survivors without air-conditioning. We agreed how it was so strange that people would think we were well-off because we speak English. We marveled at how we never get sick because we don’t have medical insurance, and about how it was amazing so many people bless us with things just when we needed them, and giggled about how our washing machine doesn’t really work and how thieves would be incredibly frustrated with us.
Then I realized how long we’ve owned some things and that the only constant is us, family, and how being together is really the only important thing, always.
I knew when I said
I love you
that I was inventing a new alphabet
for a city where no one could read
that I was saying my poems
in an empty theater
and pouring my wine
for those who could not
A foldable paravent titled And A And Be And Not, made of dichroic glass segments by German designer Camilla Richter