"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Monday, September 20, 2004
Writing With Ink
clo-sure Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin clausura, from clausus, past participle of claudere to close -- more at CLOSE
1 archaic : means of enclosing : ENCLOSURE
2 : an act of closing : the condition of being closed [closure of the eyelids]
3 : part of a relationship or situation that, if missed, leaves a great big soul sucking hole.
It is one of those memories that remain crystal clear in my mind no matter how many years pass, fully charged with the same emotion and intensity as the very first moment it was created.
Light from a full moon streams through the window. In the distance, the sound of surf. Dr. Hook is playing, "Only Sixteen," sappy but poignant. There's perfume, a heady intoxicating scent. And her long dark chestnut hair glistens in the moonlight, her eyes sparkling, drilling so deep into mine that they nail this moment into my soul forever.
Some moments in our lives are perfect in their beauty. I gaze into her eyes and know that this is one of those moments. Sure, she would break my heart forever before the year was out, but that was still in the future, unseen and undreamed. And even the heartbreak would be unable to spoil the perfection of this one instant.
For that moment, I could have stopped breathing and been content.
We are creatures of story. We demand a certain progression in our lives. Everything must have a source, and everything must have a "why." Above all, everything must have a beginning and an end.
It's the ends that cause trouble, at least to me.
Now, don't get me wrong here. It's now years and years later, and I'm happily married to a wonderful woman that I love deeply. It's just that this moment, that glistening, cascading hair, still has hold of some elemental part of me and won't let go. Regardless of the years, regardless of what's happened to me, there it is.
I just want to put a period on it. I want to go find out what happened to her during all these years, find out she's a fat shrew with missing teeth or that she has had a wonderful loving marriage. Or both. It doesn't matter, I'm not looking to rekindle any flames, just to put mine out.
And yet, I'm terrified to do that. What if, in looking, I stir a dragon better left asleep, and it eats me alive? What if I cause that to happen to her of all things? (yeah, I know, I flatter myself, but it could happen.) Surrendering to the desire to write the final chapter could be disaster of the highest order.
On the other hand, without closure of some sort, this thing won't release me. I want to say "There, that's the end" and walk on my merry way, but like the fascination of a Venus flytrap to a fly, it draws me in. There is some sort of ineffable beauty, some siren call, whereby I remain enthralled, captured, and I can't let it go.
Flypapered. That's the risk, when memories are written in ink.
So, here I sit, spellbound and afraid to move, bedazzled by my mind's eye. Where is the end of the story? There has to be an end to the story!
I never had closure.
Anybody got a good eraser?
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.