If My Heart Is a Picture
DECEMBER 14, 2020
An open letter for “If my heart is a picture”
I’ve been looking forward to writing this the past week but have been busy working, and sometimes needlessly meandering in the bare halls of my existence. Oftentimes, almost mechanically (and embarrassingly I admit), I will catch myself engaging in the invisible shores of overlapping codes that consumes our beingness and our time. But, it’s a fascinating world altogether where the line between being connected and being detached is so narrow that belonging and acceptance is easily feigned. A nod of acknowledgement is exchanged in those fleeting encounters but sometimes that’s the only thing we do and can do. Hah. Funny that it is a realization we have gotten so much used to that we live, breathe, eat, walk, squander, fulfil our desires-you know, the daily drill–for a temporary indulgence. It’s an endless, and sometimes limited list but, I digress.
It’s a cold Wednesday morning. Sleep has abandoned me a little bit too early leaving my half-slumbered bones clinging for an hour more no matter how dreamless it would be. But deadlines do not wait, and neither do the day. I sit in front of my painting table (with coffee in mind) reading a few of my friend, M’s, self-published works online. I’ve read and reread them on certain, and on random occasions because they were never not interesting, and because I’ve seen pieces of myself between the “I”, the “always”, the “almost”, the “should” and “is”, the “me”, the “you” and the “you and me”, the “mine” and “my”, the “why” and the “yet”, “the self” and the “other”, the “maybe”, and even in the commas, and repetitive words. His writings never failed to strike a chord, where the self, my ever-weary self, tears apart when the small bits of myself that I cannot put into words find familiarity.
I try, only as much as one is allowed to flatter another, to speak in the same manner but the words every so often (good riddance! my mind exclaims) stops at the threshold. A few incoherent things will find its way towards my uncertain fingertips riddled with cliché and misgivings, ending in a sigh of resignation, a resignation to the fact, that wordsmithing isn’t the Hercules of my creativity. So, I paint. I paint, as honestly as I could, as honestly as I should. As honestly as I permit myself to bare that same self, to unknown eyes that may, or may not find affinity the same way I have found kindling to the painted words of my lovely friend.
So these works are my have, has, my is and was, my are and were. My be, and/or, not to be. This is where I hide my loves, my sorry’s, my regrets, my sorrows, my fears, my yearnings. These are my wonderings and wanderings. My when, where and what. My past and present, but not the future, not quite, because there is a charm when one does not dwell and ache on things that aren’t bound to happen yet. These are my unnamed boredom, my troubles giggling in the night, my certain uncertainties, my shameless pretentiousness. My defeats. These are my almost’s, my maybe’s, my always’ and my never’s. This is how I say -due to my lack of knowledge for conjugations, syntaxes, agreement and non-agreement of this word and that word -this is how I say, “I tried”. These are my overly confident commas, my convoluted periods and quotation marks and other punctuations that writers use to embellish and make a firm point. These are my simple and humble happiness. Each blank canvas, I uttered sincerely, through lines, shapes and colours, with my sheer self waving a quiet hi, hello, good morning, goodnight, goodbye, this is me.
M, in one of his posted letters quoted the novelist, Clarice Lispector: “Nothing is more difficult than surrendering to the instant. That difficulty is human pain. It is ours. I surrender in words and surrender when I paint.” I’ve read this line more than once. I’ve pulled it apart, probed, inspected, felt it. The words reverberated and I basked into the warmness of its meaning, delightful, comforting, and a little bitter.
Night is at the doorstep; it took some time for me to get to this part. It’s now Monday. I smiled and thought about tomorrow’s chilly morning air while having a cup of coffee and listening to the shuffling of people going on about their day. Distant places I have never been to would traverse my already occupied mind, and I’ll have dreams of things and feelings and memories that aren’t mine delightfully caused by all the energies undulating at the same time reaching my sometimes still being. Yes, they were mine, but they were also other’s. I smile again and carry on with my own course.
I feel like I have rambled long enough so I am now taking my leave. I do hope that you find some sort of charm in how I dot my i’s and cross my t’s. It’s been a pleasure writing this. ‘Tis but a little glimpse of the entirety of what I want to say because it is only what my limited language could offer but I do hope you find a little something in the light, and shadows, and my breathings.
Have fun and enjoy the coming holidays.
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