My body, my instrument, my key

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.


Are you okay?

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.

Rambling thoughts

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?

Hey, little one.

Hey, little one.
Yesterday, I let you down once more and I’m sorry for that.

I know that you’re angry and that I promised to treat you more kindly, to hold you more carefully and to listen to your needs more frequently…but alas I failed once again and, ultimately, I always let you suffer the worst blow.
We’ve been through so much together: climbed too high walls, gave ourselves so many times, trusted too often, cried too much, sang too loud and fought too fiercely with one another.
I’ve seen you grow and I’ve watched you bring so many good people into my life.

The truth is this is not the first time I’ve wronged you.
We’ve been here before and every time we’ve come out of it stronger.
But how much strong can we get before we run out of energy? Out of hope?
I’m exhausted right now and you’ve always been a bit weaker than I.

I know you’re not so little anymore and that you crave your space and your freedom.
And I, honestly, want to grant you that wish.

After all, you’re the sole reason I’m still here, alive and breathing.
This time, I was too stupid, too hasty, when I should have listened to your slow step…when I should have walked a bit slower, mindful of your pace, of your time.

I’m sorry for not trusting you.

I’m sorry for letting you tumble.

I’m sorry for scraping your knees and your hands in the hard pavement again and again.

I promise I’ll get better one day.
And I know you’re immense and will forgive me in no time.
Until then I’ll kiss your bruises and place those plasters gently upon your wounds.

And when, finally, they get all healed up, it will be Spring again, dear Heart.

Rainy Days

One day, you’ll wake up and she’ll be gone.
There will be no note, letter or text left explaining why or where she is headed to.
She won’t leave anything behind besides that empty space in your bed or her scent in your sheets.
At first you won’t care – you never do – thinking she will eventually return. But hours turn into days…days turn into weeks…and weeks into months. And when the thought that she actually left you for good, this time, settles in your mind and, most importantly, in your heart (that place that should have woken up the moment she took a step out of your goddamn apartment), you notice it’s been quite some time (years even) since you saw her face, the twinkle in her eye, the smile that rendered you speechless the first time you met.
You, finally,  catch on the fact that you miss her.
Right after the conclusion dawns, you understand the reason why she left. And with that discovery comes the realization of what could have made her stay – your love.
But it’s too late now and she’s just one of those missed chances that don’t usually come back.

The next time you see her, it will be in a random coffee shop or train station. Maybe even just passing by her on the other side of the street.
She will linger her eyes on you, a bit surprised at first, and the figment of a smile will play in the corners of her lips; her hand will rise painstakingly slow, as to carefully wave.
But, before you have time to respond, she’ll be gone once more, without a trace.
On that day, the rain will fall again.

Se quiseres.

Se quiseres entrar, deixa ficar a vergonha de lado.

Deixa as incertezas para outro alguém, que não tenha visto já os cantos do teu sorriso ou a firmeza da tua palma da mão segura.

Se quiseres entrar, despe os preconceitos e deixa a gargalhada soar.
Que importa que olhem para ti e te pensem louco?

Que diferença faz a opinião deles, se é aqui que queres permanecer?

Se quiseres entrar, traz o coração.
Sempre foi de bom tom trazer presentes na hora da visita.
Não são precisas flores, chocolates ou garrafas de vinho.

Traz-te a ti, ao teu coração generoso e às tuas meigas palavras (traz as más, também, que tudo o que é demais é exagero).

Se o teu desejo é ficar, lembra-te de trazer amor. Daquele que faz borboletas no estômago ou nos faz sentir flutuar no meio do oceano.

Traz o amor que acorda de madrugada para pousar o olhar em quem descansa. Aquele que se lembra das datas importantes, das mensagens por responder e dos beijos na testa antes de adormecer.

Traz o amor que carrega frases doces nos lábios e nos braços, mas que sabe ser duro quando a vida pedir.

Traz o amor que se zanga, que discute, que não entende, que duvida e faz gritar e chorar…mas que acaba sempre por ceder à conversa e ao compromisso de ideias, vontades e opiniões (porque a harmonia é sempre mais importante e o crescimento e a paciência precisam de ser aprendidos).

Traz o amor que aperta, gentilmente, as mãos e preenche os espaços por entre os dedos…mas que, desesperadamente, procura todas as curvas, relevos e reentrâncias de um corpo por explorar.

Traz o amor que tem esperança, que sonha com o futuro, que vive o presente e que não esquece o que o passado lhe ensinou.

Traz o amor.
E a vontade de sair nunca aparecerá.