Many of my favorite novels are told from the first person, at least in part. I recently read Erlend Loe’s latest book; in it, he brings back a beloved character, an outcast who doesn’t fit into the world of ‘normality’. The story didn’t appeal to me as much as the first one but the narration was equally captivating. So this outcast comes back after having lived a solitary life in the woods for a few years, and estimates his wife’s new partner from afar. “He is unbearably symmetrical”, our hero thinks, “everything he has on one side of the face is there on another.” (A loose translation on my part as I didn’t read it in English.) Who writes that, if you know what I mean!? Loe has a way with those everyday nuances people take for granted and things that go without saying. You can’t help but feel with this character, and through a simplest of sentences, realize the intensity of his emotions.
(To be continued)
carries all there is:
we meet, and we part
each time like the first.
wrench the roots
we hang on to the clutter
looking to tape back who we were.
zoom in and out from
the inside of cracked eyes.
we wade. To lull and
forget – if for moments –
is providence of a human heart.
Once the veil was lifted our fellowship began and, as I got to know the many facets of fear, I developed the ability to see it in others. In time, I came to peace with fright emerging in my stomach in the face of unknown. I recognized that it was a trademark of being human rather than what derived from the experience: fear keeps us moving forward.
Without freezing when my own anxiety draws closer to greet me, a sense of identity emerged and I discovered that I am amongst those who will never quite know who they are.
Some of us have anchored characters and some, like me, act as chameleons of experience. Still, every now and again I like to take a peek over my fence.
(Part IV – The End)
Read part I, part II and part III
Delicate and stark
Capricious and fugitive
A mistress and a betrayer
Patient like a river
Resilient as winds
Holding fates and mysteries
Ever so strongly:
Is hope the first or the last pillar
Of being alive?
I got up and conducted daily routine: face, food, hair, clothes; mundane offered little comfort in the morning of anticipation. I chose jewellery to wear with hesitance, all of the world turning, for a moment, into a quivering hand.
As doubt swamped my insides, experience told me that fright was irrelevant. Behind their eerie theater masks, stakes and odds played a minor role in the movie of facing my fate.
That day, like any other, I did the only thing I could. I got ready and gave it my all.
Is it my imagination,
this new bond
a thread that appeared
as we met?
Is it an unfolding,
new chapter in the tale
dressing up a daydream?
I can ponder if it’s likely
for a tie to be one-way
but even if those reveries were true
the key isn’t in my hands.
Will we meet again?
It sneaked up in gentle fashion, resembling a change of seasons. From belonging to the winds, roaring along, to the place of stillness so decided, that feeling stuck became a life.
There was no joy in previous joys and no rhythm in the ticking of a clock. Hideaways were there no longer. Resistance lurked in striving not to resist and, burdened with contemplation, I fell ill. Once deep in the ground and tied to the limit, I stumbled across crumbs of relief.
Softly as it came, many moons behind time, a fading of the fog revealed that the cycle was complete. And I found that nothing was wrong with the world.
It was my own skin I had outgrown.