she feels like the imaginary self.
she reminds me of you, dearest d, and your
collection of jackets.
when thinking of losing beauty and getting older, something else, something more exciting, emerges:
“[it] is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.
A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944
(photos: tea and cactus)
“Dreams, memories, the sacred–they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.”
~Yukio Mishima, Spring Snow
sophomore year in high school was a major identity struggle – already labeled class nerd, the ugly girl with bad perm and glasses, and the girl who got beat up in PE class. i took the worst advice from a friend who was in band:
“be a flag girl!”
“Love consists in this that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
(one of my all time favorites. a photo from the archives taken by my father before the birth of A.)
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave
She wore it during my medieval literature class – rose perfume.
I whispered to the girl next to me, “It smells like death in here.”
Originally, I thought the scent belonged to the blonde sitting several seats away. It wasn’t until later, during her office hours, that I realized it belonged to the professor.
Her rose perfume, the one earring that dangled from her left ear, her index finger air dancing in a rhythmic fashion as she recited a passage from Beowulf:
A CUP she gave him, with kindly greeting
and winsome words. Of wounden gold,
she offered, to honor him, arm-jewels twain,
corselet and rings, and of collars the noblest
that ever I knew the earth around.
Ne’er heard I so mighty, ‘neath heaven’s dome,
a hoard-gem of heroes, since Hama bore
to his bright-built burg the Brisings’ necklace,
jewel and gem casket. — Jealousy fled he
I made the distinction that I didn’t care for her kind of eccentricity – her choice of perfume. My perfume had base notes of sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, musk – a disguise of layers like plumes of rising smoke.
Hers was a single note, a strong penetrating scent that was obtrusive and lingered like a death march. She often changed the dangling earring but never the perfume.
It is the irony of our finicky nature. She would later become a reoccurring character in my life – a woman who appears in the back of mind more often than old lovers and friends. I felt sorry for her in youth’s ego, thinking no man would ever marry such a woman who lived so closely to such archaic, dull writers as Chaucer and Kempe. The one earring was a cry for someone to save her; and the rose perfume was an intonation of her death.
Perhaps she was the possessed kind, leaving imprints for the vulnerable to follow. When I stepped out of the shower this morning, after applying moisturizer and brushing the gray strands to the side of my face, I reached for a sample bottle of perfume (since I am currently without signature scent).
It smelled of roses. And I loved it.
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”