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Columns and Reflections

The Depth of a Feeling

from On My Anger, 2002

How can expressing something do justice to what is beyond expression? How can words explain what language cannot comprehend? Yet words are all we’ve got. Or at least, all I’ve got, while I remain alone.

This is where I lose you. No, that was long ago. Somewhere between the kiss and crying in my arms there is an unfulfilled aspiration. And I tell myself Time is not a line. Well, it’s certainly not a circle, ’cause I’d go right around back there any day. Live through all that hell again if you would do it with me. Well, as hellish as boring middle-class life can get. One of us is closed. You in your Oprah-isms and your clichéd quick-fixes and your refusals to engage. Or me in my myopia and my inability to move on and my vanquished hope. Either way it’s me who loses.

But have I really lost anything? Not having had it in the first place. Or did I just wish for one pain too few? Because I enjoy it. It’s distressing and depressing but it’s hope and that’s a pleasure. Or it’s a pleasure for being what it is. Or an imagined pleasure born out of desire. Dreams are where it lies. In sleeping or awake.

There I fulfill You and Me and to hold you is enough. But to surface and to find things are still the same is torture in itself.

Fire is the element that describes it best. Burning, smouldering, flickering. Dangerous, often painful, but necessary for life. This is my heart bleeding before you; this is me down on my knees. In darkness I stumble. The deeper I get, the more I don’t want out. To see light now would blind me more than ever. And where would I be when my sight returned? Somewhere unrecognisable, for darkness is what I’ve become accustomed to.

Well excuse me; I think I’ve mistaken you for somebody else. Somebody who gave a damn. Somebody more like myself. Tearing me apart.

I cannot move mountains. But maybe I will have moved you.


(Italics are lyrics from Jewel’s song Foolish Games)


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