For the first time that she could remember, she was afraid of her best friend. Walking along the beach, shivering in the night while the gentle water teased her bare toes, the memories were a tidal wave that left her drowning in its wake. So many hours spent bonding, connecting. In the decades past, so many chapters – teacher and student, friends and lovers.. soul mates…
What comfort that connection had brought now was replaced by terror at the impending sense of loss that crashed over her when she dared to let it, though it was quickly pushed back into a dark corner of her mind. For several months, she had found ways to occupy her time. She now rested before the clock could strike twelve, and kept her days filled with tasks to distract her lonely mind. But she missed him like a child who has outgrown their teddy bear yet is reluctant to let go. Like one talks to a fuzzy old bear, she would stare into the night sky and knit her dreams together beneath his watchful eye.
She missed stretching out beneath the scattering of stars that he tossed into the sky just for her, feeling the warmth behind his cool touch, and the reach of his understanding. Never had there been fear, always strength. Gazing upon his wise mythical face had brought much comfort during her turmoil. His majestic force simmered in her heart, a bubbling cauldron of memories.
Wrapping her arms around herself, she gathered her will and lifted her eyes upward, but they fell short. Was he there? Was he ever not? Moments spent with lovers that he had bared witness to, times that were spent alone in reflection as well. Remembrance of walking along a silvery path, an outstretched beam that wanted to touch but never quite connected. When there were questions, in his silence she had found answers.
And question, she had. Seeking out his wisdom to illuminate her path – not always sure of the journey, of the direction, but never was there uncertainty about who watched over her.
There had been changes lately, and change has rarely been her friend, often bringing about apprehension, insecurity. Change brings the unknown to darken a doorstep. She did not welcome change.
There were long nights that her friend lay dormant, hovering in the background. Moments of crossing the night’s sky together had passed, it seemed, until she came to need him again at her side. Now the time has come that she’s chased him away. spent separated only by a clear pane of glass, the glimmering shadows cloaking them in secret whispers – this haunted her. It followed her into the darkness of her dreams, and lingered as an eclipse in the hours of light. It brought about a torrent of rain before she could blink.
A numbness had overtaken her, these last months. The loss of feeling in her limbs, and muscles, was simply a mask she was sure for the loss of feeling in her thoughts and her heart.
He had always held the ghosts at bay, assuring her that no matter how close they got, there was a safe place to be. Now that place doesn’t exist. Perhaps it only ever existed in her mind, and in her slow demise she was beginning to see the shifting sands that she had stood upon all along.
Now, one of those spectres seemed to have escaped and burrowed through to that concealed place, and there were no magical brooms to sweep it away. Reminders were everywhere – the violins she heard in a Tartini concerto were more poignant, the flashing black and white images on a movie screen were suddenly colored in bold emotions, the words that were nestled in their paper suddenly reached out to cry at her louder than ever before. And this demon only ever came to her under the light of the moon. She was frightened of all that lay alongside the road behind her, more so of what shadowed the road ahead.
This ghost had taken her on a journey to the darkest part of herself. A place she had been before but never with as much to lose as she could at that moment. Holding her hand, guiding her like a carnival clown beckons one to the mazes and mirrors, she had followed only to be confronted with her own inner illusions. When she finally stumbled away, it was with a tired heart and a weary mind.
Brazenly, she now raised her head to the sky, feeling an anger well up inside of her. How dare that phantom ghost come between them? All of her life, so much had been taken from her. When would there be peace, would it find her tonight? As the hours fell slowly away, trepidation prevailed upon her, much like a gathering storm.
Staring intently at the large grey moon above, she sought his eyes, his face. Where was her Man In The Moon, her confidant who had always been her calm, who now was her fear, her disillusion? When had he become the foe to hide from? When had he forsaken her? Little else had mattered as much to her in this world as the bond she held with him. Deeply lost, wondering if the tie was severed, or merely torn? When she looked now, there was only a cold stone in the night, devoid of all storybook charm.
Throughout the days, she had felt the cracks webbing across her heart, bit by tiny bit. From the Moon she drew her inspirations, her musings, her words – and without her words, it was a slow perish of her voice. As each sun had set, she would bow her head in sorrow. A gaping hole was left where the ghost had entered her soul, and through it she had chased her Moon away.
In the wind around her, she heard the quiet strains of his voice. With her hair whipping about, and her toes dug into the sand, she stood weakened but fierce in her stance nonetheless. Turning reluctantly away from the tide, her sadness having overcome her, she vowed silently to return someday. Some day she would be strong enough to battle the ghost within, some day she would find her way home.
“You’ll remember me when the west wind moves among the fields of barley. You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold…”
~ Kymberlie Ingalls,
November 12th, 2009