Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Marina or The Sea

For this fine afternoon here's one of my own stories. It talks about a very special person that goes by the name of Marina.

-“Who are you?”
-“I don’t know!”
-“What are you afraid of?”
-“You are afraid of something you don’t know?”

That is just about how our acquaintance began on one of the many lonely nights at the mirc. “My name is Marina, but I’d rather if they called me the Sea,” she wrote a few minutes later. On my face emerged a smile a mile wide that she could not see. “Is it possible,” I thought, “that in this spider-like World Wide Web, where lie is the name of the game, to have finally met a true and tender soul?”
In the end that was what she truly was; a lonely and tender and pure soul; one of those very rare beings that can create magic; who stand out and above all the rest with the truth of their soul and not with their image.
After that first meeting we arranged many dates in the wide open but actually hermetically closed chat rooms of the Web, we exchanged a lot of e-mails, and we’ve spent countless hours on the phone. And when we finally met in person, in a foreign city, in an alien land, we felt like we knew each other from time eternal; it was like we were never divided by hundreds of miles of silence, by unbearable weights of personal pain. We’ve met at the limit of a real new world, which could not only look beautiful, but also be so.
Many years have passed since that day. Our communication because of the distance and the circumstances that keep us apart, is now very limited, but with the same warmth as ever; full of love for the days gone by, full of expectation and optimism for the ones to come. The close personal contact is missing, but there is always there what binds us together, that special something that adds colors to our yesterday, that makes it look perfect, memories.
I hold in my hands her old e-mail messages; and I take a plunge into the blue waters of her existence. I can feel the salt of the sea on my body, and an immense sweetness fills my soul. I steal joy from the moments, from the words that she once silently offered to me: “I want to become just a little bit like the sea, salty, and never the same again.”
She did become like the sea, and she travels far and away, caressing some distant shores, but every now and then she sends me some special messages that talk about her world of thoughts: “…You should be like water; humid, fluid, refreshing, transparent…” That’s exactly her words, as she wanted me to smile at the “never-ending blue of dreams.” She talks to me still, even from afar. She talks to me about the people, and how much she loves the poetry in them.

Some times I find myself wondering why; why did she have to become a sea wave and go away from me? And I speak to her in silence: “Didn’t you just love our long conversations? Haven’t we lived some very special moments together? Do you remember that full eclipse of the moon that took our breaths away on that cool and joyful night at the beach?” Pictures and more pictures give life to my thoughts; pictures unique of unique moments that still haunt me and memories too magical to be erased by the passage of time. You left! You followed the path to your own destiny, as you would say. And I stayed back here, wondering: Are you still jealous of the seagulls? Do you still love The Green Eyes by Margerit Duras? Do you still worship Pablo Neruda? You really loved his poetry; I still remember how you flooded your messages with his verses; how you could make me travel with his sea-wet screams. As a song goes, “The time moves on and never turns back;” but I really want it to do that; to turn back and fill me with the Sea, to make me a Shipwreck at the seashore of your being, as I used to say…”

I thought about her and talked to her just like that for many a night, because she was far from me and away, and still is. Even if I write this letter in the stars, even if I invade all the computers in the world with these very words, probably this message, this joyous mourning will never reach her hands, her eyes, her ears.
Her face; that’s the one thing that keeps coming up in my mind’s eye again and again; it looked so serene that it could make me furious! The second thing that comes to mind when I think of her is her questions. She always asked why, about everything; about the beauty and the ugliness, about the joy and the sadness of this world, but mostly about pain. She wanted to know it all, to live it all; and she insisted that even our meeting did not occur by chance; it was meant to be; it was written as a prophesy on skies that we could not see.
She dreamed a lot; dreams of the sea! And she lived every day like it was the last. She thought of every day as something unique and never to be repeated again. And when she talked about her big love, the sea, poetry simply poured out of her being: “When I see the magic waves of the sea I know I can breathe”; “I dream without dreaming, and that dream I share with the sea.” Marina was immense, infinite, how could I ever fit in her vastness?
Many times memories tend to turn into a knife and stub your heart stone cold. Mine, are not that kind of memories. They are sweet, like a gentle touch, like a reward. Memories that lovingly push me towards tomorrow; because through them I get to know myself, I get to learn how to be myself; just like she was herself; the true, the transparent; my confidante, my mother, my friend, my daughter and my sister; she, who wrote poetry and led a poetic life; who loved with passion all the people; even those that she didn’t need. “Did she really need anyone or anything but the sea?” one would ask. Of course she did. She needed badly the madness and the passion of the ones that were true at heart; since, in her opinion, most of the people thought that they were alive, but had no clue about what the meaning of life really is.
We had too many things in common, and just as many differences. Once upon a time we both, in different places and under different circumstances, wanted to die of happiness. We both loved taking photos, stealing moments from people’s lives and stopping time. And we were both in love with dreams; we said that we knew what they were made of; despite the fact that more than once we saw them bleed. I’ll never forget one of her aphorisms: “We look for our dreams in heaven, but what the hell are we going to do if they come true?”
When I come to think about the things we lived together, about the things we said and done, I can’t stop myself from believing that it was for the best that in the end we followed our separate ways. If we didn’t probably one day all we’ve been through, the whole of our beautiful yesterday would drift away. So, there are no regrets for our separation. Besides, who knows? Maybe we are climbing on the same mountain from different paths and one day we’ll meet again; or maybe not; but that’s not what matters; the most important thing is that she still lives inside of me, a salty flood that fills and warms my soul, that offers peace to my thoughts.
Now, every time I listen to Loreena Mackennitt or Enya, I think of her and I allow my thoughts freedom to travel to all the Celtic destinations that we’ve never reached; to the road of her dreams, the one that leads to Santiago de Compostela; to that cheese like full moon that we enjoyed a summer night in Athens; to my ridiculous car-accident that made us laugh so much; to our words and our silences on her favorite jetty; to all her poems that never had titles; to all those things she gave me before flying herself away to live in some new fairy-tales.
My adoration for her torments my soul and makes me a laughing stock of myself, but at the same time it reminds me that once I had met a truthful and real human being; someone who stole something from my life and offered it back more beautiful; someone who has become my most lively recollection and my most sweet hope of things to come.
I have no clue where she now is, which is the sea that carries her in its embrace. What I do know is that if she ever comes back, she will find a safe and hospitable harbor in my very own arms. Till then, I will keep her company from afar, by reading her life-flooding messages and looking at her pictures, by pulling out from the vibrating computer of my heart all the special moments of our sea-like coexistence.

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