Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Eulogy for Love - Chapter 1

And I'm still trying to

understand how can

a woman who's loved die

Kostas Karyotakis

You are dead now, my beloved, dead. Like my soul. Now life has lost its meaning for me. It's no life. There's no life. Why live a life that's not whole? The truth is that I was never afraid of death, though I got the chills at the idea that one day I would be gone forever leaving you behind. Forever, there's such finality in this word. But I stayed. You went instead and left me sitting all alone at the edges of a deathly fresh grave, whispering my I love you's to the dirt that covers you, and delivering oaths of undying love to the wind that blows away dreams and phantoms in its passing, and to whom you may lent your thoughts to shuttle to the moon; unless of course those thoughts were just moments ago splashed with pain, like mine, this cruelest of nights, are.

The cemetery is abandoned in the deep darkness of Hades, but the souls that have once loved shine like eternal lighthouses of deliverance, even when everything looks as black as tar. They remember, they forget, they laugh and they cry. Oh, the sad joy of loving you.

My life was always half-empty, full of non material shortages, and that's why I kept leaving; I was going away in search of you, Eleni, to the furthest corners of the earth, to the lands of dreams and long lost sunsets. I was looking for you at the places where I'd like you to be, where I'd like you to be with me. But, you were someplace else, and the wonderful sunsets looked weak and pale in my eyes, tired from the voracious glances of all the people, sad for those who loved but have never been loved in return.

Perfect is what you love with all your heart and is not yours. And you were never mine, except in some of my most crazy of dreams; dreams that make you wake up in the morning with an enormous smile painted on your lips and reflected on your soul, as you feel the happiness of existing in all your being.

You know, Eleni, you've always belonged to someone else and that gave me pain. But you were alive and that blessed me with joy. However, death, some people claim, tends to bind people together, and right now your presence in my soul has become a heartbreaking howl that makes me bleed. I am but a shadow that crawls in the dirt, a leaf that's lost its root and is carried away by the wind.

The silence that permeates this place is reassuring in a way. Here lie the living, in the outside world wander unsatisfied the dead. For those who are here have managed more or less to live somewhat, to perhaps walk the paths of wonder, while the others are more dead than the dead as they go on living, as a friend says.

I could never have imagined that a pile of fresh earth would be enough to sent my dreams packing to the other world, if such a world exists that is. But now as I see it I weep, I regret… I regret for all the tears I have not shed for you during the endless bleak nights of my solitude. Tears never came easy to me. Not then. The tears, I feared, would take away the sorrow and the pain I felt that we were not together, and truth be told, my sad, desperate self wanted to suffer. It needed it like a poison that doesn't kill you but only makes you stronger. Suffering for you meant loving you. But, how do you know, now all those tears that for such a long time I've kept caged deep within, in the destitute harbors of my soul, have rushed out and became a waterfall that drops violently in the abyss of the sea of pain.

I turn my look towards the neighboring graves. Some other people that have loved, hurt and wept, are sharing this big piece of earth with you.

Why do they bury the body, as if they don't know that the soul that lies within is a bird that longs to fly? The soul is a sister of the wind, a drop of rain, a grain of sand, a sparrow that lusts for travel. It doesn't want to rest. It wants to spread its wings and become the most beautiful runner in the skies of freedom and fantasy.

They've buried your body, Eleni, in order to rid the world of your memory, to erase their guilt. As if your grave is their deliverance, a signal of their secure lives, the mark of an end whose beginning they want to push at the back of their minds.

They must really hate us, the ones we left behind, I can hear the souls all around me whisper in my inner ear, and they seem to prepare their revenge. When the bodies of the living are asleep, the spirits of the dead are wide awake, and some nights, under a full moon, they visit the former in their dreams and remind them of all those things that they long to forget.

But, what are these thoughts that time and again keep creeping into my mind as I sit here? They never passed through my mind before this very night. Perhaps… Yes, that's it; my soul is now dressed in death and thus can only look at the macabre.

Excerpt from the first novella I've published in Greek in 2000.All the sentences written in Italian are taken from Maria Polydouri, a Greek poet.
The image is taken from here

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