1. Patience. In a world reigned by intolerance, let the winds of change carry words of peace and kindness and may they bring the most serene breeze into my restless heart.
2. Health. Like an old and wise tree, let me find healing in the shedding of my leaves. That each dry and rotten piece of my soul may find its rightful resting place, on the ground, away from the rough bark of my body.
3. Forgetfulness. As a fully undressed piece of autumn nature, bare me of my feelings and my weight, so that I can be reborn in the next spring, with overflowing strength and potential and no fear of never bearing fruits again.
4. Rain. Because what more could a heavy and parched heart want, than a gentle and refreshing shower to quench its thirst and help softly pluck away what might be preventing its inevitable flight?
5. Time. I often find myself lost in all its immeasurable flow…stuck between having too much of it on my hands or not grabbing its tail when it seems to want to get away from me. Like a powerful magician, make my will alone bend the hands of the clock of life, so that I can rush through the frosty winter days, stop when I finally find that fire I’ve been yearning for, and live the rest of my seasons burning impossibly slow in its embrace, until there’s nothing left of me but ash.
6. Strength. Let my feet be firmly planted on the ground, like jumbled, but secure roots. May I find that, while my soul screams and quivers, my arms and my words, like robust branches, remain unfazed by the violent storms of change…
7. Light. For a girl who has been slowly turning grey, but never ceased to believe in the brightness of the stars above or the warm colours of a sun that just started to set. Pray that her melancholic eyes, may possibly turn that unfading blue twinkle into colourful, blinding, New Year’s Eve fireworks!
8. Comfort. If ever, like you, I were to fall, I’d wish for your grace and peace. And after the plunge, like in a bundle of snugly socks and cozy jumpers, I’d land softly on a mattress of you. And, like a child in her favourite park, I’d laugh.
9. And lastly, love. Because in it lives every single one of these wishes and every other prayer that could possibly matter.
” Longer than I thought I was capable of… ”
” Still…you haven’t left yet? ”
” Would it be easier on you if I did…? ”
He didn’t know how to answer.
It often happened when it came to her.
She had always been very smart with words.
They were her charm, her weakness, her weapon.
She knew how to use them better than anybody.
Maybe that’s why she made others speechless quite frequently, him included.
Not because they reminded him of deep green forests or endless waves of crystal blue or the sweet and smooth richness of brown chocolate.
But because they were true and betrayed all her most secret thoughts.
Gostava de pousar os olhos nos meus.
De ver o que vês, quando te quero gritar à alma e vasculhar as tuas memórias – aquelas que ainda são segredo – naquele meu silêncio de contemplar.
O meu olhar sempre foi bom conversador, mas esqueci-me da sua língua materna há muito…o dicionário ainda está numa das minhas prateleiras e sei-o de cor, mas nunca fui boa professora no que toca ao entender de mim mesma.
Ainda, no bolso, das portas que fui abrindo para ti, uma a uma, pensei ter as chaves. Fui-me esquecendo delas pelo caminho e, agora, com os bolsos vazios, sou uma casa de portas escancaradas , que não param de bater, à mercê das correntes de ar da vida.
Não quero sair de mim e encontrar o retrato de alguém que apenas soube sofrer: de lágrima fácil e insistente, sorriso agridoce, que suspira “e ses…” e mendiga amor.
Quero ser o sorriso apertado contra o teu peito, que os teus olhos fechados e cansados nunca viram.
Quero ser o carinho leve ou o desejo forte, que fez as tuas mãos pousarem em mim, como dedos que brincam e deslizam em tapete de degraus brancos e negros, de onde nasce a música, às vezes.
Quero ser as noites mal dormidas, a sonhar com o amanhã.
Quero ser super-nova e explodir de amor!
Quero ser oceano sereno e cintilante, onde navio algum será capaz de perder o norte.
Mas tu não estás.
E eu continuo, insecto tonto, debaixo do olhar atento da lupa da amizade, à procura do que outrora fora a minha casa.
I’m a tall young woman.
I can probably fit most of my friends under my arm.
And that’s fine.
They say it makes me the most wonderful hug giver.
So when people, in an effort to be endearing, start calling me “princess”, I can never quite relate to the term.
The fact that I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, never helped my case.
Hanging out with the boys, always covered up in bruises, but never broken.
I portrayed no risk of making their worlds or their minds turn upside down with my flowing gown, tiara and sweet perfume. My bow and arrow and my good, but a bit worn out, boots made for a peace-offering sign.
I was best expected to help them in their conquests.
I probably did, once or twice.
But I never felt like one of them.
I discovered, quite late, that the music the world of ball gowns and old-fashioned courtship played tugged the strings of my heart.
Nowadays, I transpose them into meaningful conversations on old coffee shops, walks on parks holding hands and genuine kindness. That’s the key I adore to play and be played in.
Sadly, fate dealt me the hand of being too heavy and too big of an instrument to carry.
Some strong, courageous people have tried to pick me up, allured by what they called “a rich sound”. Consequence of that big hollow space I call heart, where the sound can jump around without any obstacles.
The sound of their voices and the twiddling of their fingers always filled me up with the most wonderful melodies. But each one of them got eventually tired and, without notice, ended up fading into complete silence.
And silence is what I’m used to.
Like a draft sheet music, my body, my heart and my memories are marked with endless symphonies that never gained form.
My instrument and my key, I know them intimately.
And although I’ve tried my hand at writing, I was never much of a composer.
Even if I was, I would surely be faced with the most aggressive writers block.
So, while the silence stretches, let my heart be filled with the occasional breeze of a few notes until, one day, it becomes home of a full orchestra and the most beautiful concerto.
It’s hard to admit you were wrong.
Even if you’re not an overly proud person. Even if you’re prone to error. You still retain that little bit of pride in knowing exactly what you feel, even if you cannot put it into words.
But what happens when you realize you’ve been swiftly lying to yourself for quite some time, while you’ve been fervently stating how you despise any kind of lie, deceit and dishonesty?
People have been asking me, quite frequently, if I’m okay.
That question triggers an automatic response from my body and I’m never quick enough to stop the smile or swallow the words before they’re out of my mouth: “I’m fine.”
As difficult a habit as it is, you’re bound to notice the lie and succeed at stopping it. Maybe because a stronger trigger has been activated or you finally lost the energy to react so spontaneously.
At least that’s what happened to me, a few days ago.
A true dear friend of mine and I had been whispering our concerns for one another for quite some time, in a secluded corridor, away from the company of our lively group of friends. When I thought our conversation had come to an end, she suddenly dropped the dreaded question: “Are you okay?”
The ghost of a smile made its way onto my lips, but one look at her eyes and I felt the weight of genuine concern tug the strings in my heart. Another trigger was promptly activated and the worries and misfortunes I had stored in my throat in the last few months released themselves like an avalanche. In my voice I heard anger, fear, sadness, helplessness, confusion, uncertainty… When I thought the endless torrent of emotions was done she asked: “And him?”
It’s important to clarify that your name had not been spoken yet and that, at the time, I hadn’t thought of you as part of what might further aggravate my state of mind. You were just another misfortune past. A sad and painful piece of the great puzzle of life accessed and dealt with.
That was the ultimate lie I had been telling myself.
Like mushrooms, the problems had been popping everywhere and your name kind of faded, like the glow-in-the-dark stars I still keep on my ceiling. Dusty, but far from being done yet.
With that thought in my mind, how was I supposed to answer her question?
Why would I want to tell anyone that I wasn’t enough?
Why would I want her to know that after you saw my soul, you didn’t find it worth staying for?
Why would I want to admit I probably liked you more than I thought I did?
But as soon as the questions started clogging my mind, a sigh slipped past the walls of my chest and I was too late to catch it. She listened and she understood. No more questions asked.
She left with a knowing smile and wishes of warmer and more hopeful days to come, for the both of us, and me with a lighter heart and the notion that sometimes not even I can understand what I’m feeling.
The next time they ask me if I’m okay, I’ll still probably smile and say I’m fine.
But this time it will be because I chose not to tell.
I’m not the same person I was last year.
Or the year before that.
Scratch that. I’m not even the same person I was five minutes ago.
I’ve been fighting this urge of putting things into words.
Five minutes ago I was afraid of rambling on about the same things I usually do.
I suddenly think I have the right to. For me. For my own sanity.
I think so strongly about everything that I often find myself changing opinions, convictions, thoughts, moods. Every little thing is an excuse to view the world in a different colour!
Please, don’t think me inconstant. I can be very loyal and stubborn when I want to.
And that’s where the problem lies. There’s always something even the most spontaneous people find hard to change.
The one thing I’d like to feel is ever evolving, is the one that stubbornly (that’s a key word in my behavior, I can tell) stays the same: my feelings. My thoughts and my heart were never the best partners in crime. They tend to pull in different directions. And most of my hyperactive state of mind comes for their constant struggling to overcome one another. Curse my natural state of being a meticulous strategist and a hopeless romantic at the same time!
Lately, I’ve been thinking…grey.
Summer, with its blazing sun, used to bring all these colours into my soul, and, somehow, they’ve been mixing themselves all wrong, until a dull grey is all I can see. It’s like there’s this lingering cloud above my head that’s ready to explode, but never does. It’s utterly frustrating.
These past few years have not been kind and adulthood hasn’t given me any answers (or wisdom on how to cope with it).
I’d like to think it’s just a phase. I always do. But I guess even the most hopeful people have it rough once in a while…
Scratch that! You know what? I’ve decided that, until I can look myself in the mirror and flash a genuine smile, I’ll probably be ok.
So let me ask this one favour of you, if a day comes where I don’t seem to recall how to smile in your presence, don’t let it sit still. Don’t let it go by as “just a phase”. Please, tell me to remember I’ve been doing this thing called “life” for quite some time, and I’ve not been doing a bad job.
And if you care to completely wake me up from that hazy grey dream, stay like you mean it and bring a little bit of colour in your pockets. I will surely paint you a whole new world full of rainbows and pots of gold. A beautiful childlike wonder!
What about that? Maybe I’m not so different than I was back then, uh?