“It’s not as if our lives are divided simply into light and dark. There’s shadowy middle ground. Recognizing and understanding the shadows is what a healthy intelligence does. And to acquire a healthy intelligence takes a certain amount of time and effort.”
After Dark, Murakami
I open my eyes, and there you are. I can’t be sure if you were hiding in the shadows or choosing to stay away till the time was right. I don’t know if I understand what you want from me or what you mean at all. But as you tower over me, pouring down on me like the first summer rain, I can smell your sweet presence in all its beauty. I can feel you touching my soul, changing me in ways that I cannot comprehend. The ripples you have made in the calm waters may never settle, as you throw one pebble after the next – not fully understanding the web that binds me, the chains that hold me and the guards that won’t go down. But you linger. In my thoughts, in my sleep, and in every conscious moment. Digging deeper into the grey matter, contaminating the air I breathe, being the mafia that captures my heart.
I know who sent you; I know it was all a deviously designed plan. I know you won’t stop till the gates break open. I know you will pull me into you like an irresistible current – never to swim back ashore as the same person again. You and the universe together have it all figured out for me. You, my calling, have finally come to me uninvited, and yet you have become the life force that drives me. So when I open my eyes and see you there, I know I have been waiting for you all my life – waiting on the day when you whisper softly in my ears — wake up, baby.
I open my eyes, and there you are. You are the penultimate circle of fire, the one that catches on before the wildfire. And yet, if one can’t seem to understand the power of little things, one can never understand how a single match can lead to a wildfire. You bring me purpose, reason, awakening and desire. You show me a mirror that fears what it may reflect. You have no form, no scent, no threshold. Sometimes, you can feel like the purest white cloud, and at other times, you are a chaos of colours. You may be the covert operation, the unredeemed truth, the dreary back alley — much like the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Never on one side, always shifting base like a migraine that won’t go away. Persistent.
And yet, you are liberation, salvation, and freedom. You are the blackest black of my soul, the part that needs no light to grow — fuelled by passion, love and all things beautiful. You may be the gambler that leaves me with nothing or the one that gives me everything – reminding me that nothing lasts forever. You may be the ransom I pay for the lessons that need to come my way. Or, you may be the song that fills me with promises. Whatever you decide to be, you are still just a shadow rooted deep inside me. Locked, jailed, never to be freed. And yet, you mock me every time I pass you by. You own me even when you don’t. You, my dark side, will always be the one who I want to be enslaved to. The one that always gives me all the answers, only to find myself tangled in a new yarn of puzzling questions.
Like a sheet of water in a desert or on a hot road, you are an optical illusion of false promise. A mirage of the possibilities that come with walking into fire. You make me the fighter, the rebel, the outlier, the dreamer, the dragon rider, and the free spirit. Not the sweetest to taste, but always the necessary evil – you are the balsamic vinegar to my salad.
So, stay there, my rebellious edge. Because, when I open my eyes and see you there, I know I have been waiting for you all my life – waiting on the day when you whisper softly in my ears — wake up, baby.
I open my eyes, and there you are. All of a sudden I feel this warmth in my heart, this spring in my step, this music in my head. I don’t know if dreams can feel so real, if things can be this goddamn amazing. Something inside me is telling me to give in. Something outside me is pulling me to you. Like an irresistible shot of tequila, a red lipstick waiting to stain a glass, laundered sheets waiting to be rustled, or a hunger waiting to be satiated — you have a power that is overwhelming, compulsive, potent and fervid.
Your soul is utterly captivating — a warm, rainy day dying to be danced in.
Your gentle nothings are finding their way into my heart. Killing me softly. Touching my soul in the sweet spots. Bringing my mind to believe in bizarre, unfamiliar thoughts. Leaving me beautifully tangled. Leaving me stuck in a moment. Throwing in stars, beacons of shining diamonds, rays of the setting sun, waves of the calming tide, secrets of the timid heart and words of the beautiful mind — all into one big, burning cauldron of seamless magic. And from it, you rise like a cloud of intoxicating fumes — my phoenix of love. Love, that waits for its time. Love that stays for infinity and beyond — in a place where the grass is greener, the light is brighter, the taste is sweeter, and high hopes linger; where there are nights of wonder, with the dawn mist glowing, the water flowing, the endless river — Forever and ever.
You are the boundless joy that I get to wake up to each day. So when I open my eyes and see you there, I know I have been waiting for you all my life – waiting on the day when you softly brush away the strands of hair that rest determined on my face and whisper softly in my ears — wake up, baby.
P.S: Some words in the second last paragraph are borrowed references from the song High Hopes by Pink Floyd, written by Polly Annie Samson and David Jon Gilmour.
This is also a post that was written months ago, all this while sitting as a draft, waiting for its time.
Photo credits (and help with concept planning): @vijayanand_celluloids on Instagram. Thank you for being one heck of a human, one heck of a photographer and for giving me the creative freedom and support I needed to shoot these pictures with the utmost comfort and confidence — for being the one who brings my vision to life. Forever grateful.
Until next time, XOXO