Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Penelope Letters


Ulysses, how far am I from you today? It is my waking thought. A blunt guess at the distance between us: miles. Our psychic distance, the emotional distance between our hearts, or our souls, contracts and expands the physical space. We vibrate at different frequencies, and that too explains distance. Our lives hum in different keys.
I imagine you slipping through the present as smoothly as a fish in its skin. I am ekeing out the past and shoring myself up against the future Ulysses. Time has slipped its moorings and I don't know where I am.
What is distant? What is near? I draw you to me by means of what mild magic I possess. I practice the ancient fragrances (call it art) of seduction. Draw near while I am still far off and make me whole. I offer you my splintered, fragmented life and hold its pieces out for you to do with as you will. Please, cover the distance between us. I want every speck of distance to dissolve into closeness. Distance is the economy of space that confers value upon us. What I hope is that the further I am from you the more you regard me.
Cook says distance makes the heart grow fonder, as she brings the blade of the knife down cleanly upon the lamb's leg. I am struggling to define myself without you. What does she mean by fonder? Madder? Softer? Think of my poor soft heart beating is buttery beat in my breast, furred with desire. Does this distance between us make your heart grow more desirous, Ulysses?
I am in the grip of desire and it attaches to what it can find. My dreams are peopled with lovers not all of whom are kind. His mouth covers mine and we fall backwards into the dream - it is as much as I can do now, to get this letter written – and I waken both beset and bested by lusts and prey to anxieties beyond my understanding. Distance would come as some relief from all this. It would be observed as a kind of respite. A possibility of gaining renewed fortification against the onslaught of the craziness of missing you.
Distance is a sea between us that cannot be crossed. Its waters are now sparkling under the sun, and inviting. Come in Penelope, the water's lovely. But this is a mirage, a chimera. Because when I climb down to the sea, to try and meet you, the waves grow green and turbulent and I am tumbled beyond the perameters of sense, arms flailing, eyes blinded by the force of this distance.
Distance is a melody played on a far harp. It is enticing. It invites you to close the gap, to lie down under the magic of its music. But the notes are carried away on a warm breeze, and it leaves in its void a peculiar nostalgia for closeness. It is a plucked string vibrating in an empty church.
I am beyond comprehension now. I am without hope for closeness. My body longs for your shadow but I am living my life out in the unflinching light of distance. I have longed for you so long I hardly know what longing is now. And yet, Ulysses, it is as vivid as a scratch upon your cheek. Does that seem uncommonly close? Let me tell you, distance has this habit of falling away at those moments when we least expect it. There are times when I find your presence disconcertingly close. So close I still can't see you properly. I have no perspective on this. Your bulk diminishes me. I am back in your presence again.
Perhaps this is how love stows its gifts away, in little slices of silence, as when the wind just curls away to nothing and even the everyday waves of the sea fizzle onto the shore.
Come and claim them again, I beg of you
Or I must ask the gods to intercede on your behalf
At this moment I am
Still your loving and virtuous
Penelope

2 comments:

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Ah Penny, my sweet dream weaver, just one more adventure, one more horizon...

Morven said...

Oh to dream the dream of ultimate desire unfulfilled. How wonderfully poetic, thank you