Thursday, March 18, 2010

In the dark

Dear you

Here's the thing though. I say that my poetry doesn't move you because if it does, you keep that to yourself. That's not something you say to hurt someone; it's something you say because you are hurt. It's something you say because you wrote from your heart, something that you believe should make even stone bleed, but the person you wrote it for did not allow you any part of any warmth they felt, if they felt any. People can only know what you feel when you express it; they cannot see inside you. And yes, they get you wrong; you can feel maligned when they have you wrong. But they can only say what they feel you are like. Of course you have good reason not to share what you feel but if you don't, the other cannot know. And to the other, a cold shoulder looks just like a cold shoulder: what else can it look like? No matter what the intention behind it is, it will seem that way.

I know I am selfish and I can only express the pain of being out in the cold. I am not saintly; I am like a small child who wants the warmth of their beautiful friend, and cannot understand why they do not have enough meaning that the other person will want to wrap them up. But the small child is not trying to hurt anyone when they cry in the dark; they just want the light to be turned on. And when you are angry with the child for crying, their pain redoubles. I do not know what your childhood was like, but in mine, sometimes I would be sent to my room and my light turned off. I would cry in the dark, and nothing felt worse than that my mother seemed not to care enough that I was in pain to come and hold me. I did not know that she was suffering to hear me cry because she was convinced it was best not to express it. She was wrong: there was no lesson to be learnt from it. This is why I say I am suffering for an abstraction: she did not respond to me as a person, as a being, and that was wrong. If the small child crying in the dark becomes an adult in waiting to you, who must be taught that actions have consequences, or whatever lesson I was being taught, that cannot be right. At the least, the child feels to themself that they are a being, not a concept.

You know what you are like? You are like the sun on a rainy day. Don't you know that it feels cold to have the sun turned out? It feels like I have been punished and I don't know why. I know it is hard to love someone when you shouldn't. I don't diminish how bad that can feel. But I don't know why that means you should stop. It must be painful to do that. I know you are kind and will not enjoy hurting me at all. I am not thinking you are just callously serving yourself. I know it seems like I don't understand; but I understand, I just don't appreciate it. No matter what reasoning leads you to feel it's better not to love me (or make me feel beloved, because you are right, of course, that I do not know your feelings, but I am trying to say that both seem the same from where I stand, and maybe you do not know that), I am left the person who feels unloved.

I understand that you chose your life, but I thought I was part of that. I thought I was important and that just ridding yourself of me would be a bad thing. It hurts that it's less painful to be rid of me than to suffer for having me. And if that's not true, be with me in the way you can. I would rather have any small part of you than nothing at all.

Please don't be angry with me, sweetheart. You do not know how wonderful you are, how good it is to know you; if you did, you would understand how painful it is not to have you in my life. You know that people in places like Iceland go mad in their long winters, because they do not see any sun? They do not go mad because it is dark. They go mad because they remember how good the sun felt and cannot stand to have it gone. Like them, I do not care that I am mad, or what anyone thinks about that. I care only that it is dark.



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