It seems embarrassing now…
Seven or eight years old is one thing, but now?
The first Claire dream I could set aside as a fluke… but the second had already engulfed me.
Why so suddenly, after this time?
…Because it was always there.
I think it’s subsiding again by now, that old yearning.
Yes, I’ve felt ashamed for liking her and praising her, both then and now, never wanting to shame or disappoint her, or make a fool of myself. And now, all the more; she’s been happily married for years, blah, blah, blah…
I respect that… for what it is.
But as I reflect on myself, I can see quite plainly…
…Every time I have loved anyone…
…It has changed me.
Do I talk too lightly of “love”?
My love before has been mired in selfishness and jealousy, it’s true. But as I trudged forward through that mire, I noticed the filth of that awful swamp beginning to wash away around me, and then… behold! The source was clean! Love all along was a pure spring of water, the corruption entering downstream.
Ultimately, to step into and wade through those waters has made me a little more pure.
The higher our ideal, the taller our stature stretches toward it. My ideal was not to oppress, but to lift up; not to take, but to give. All I can give is my heart, my affection, and my high esteem.
It has stretched me, to search for angels, and to fix my gaze when I found them.
Furthermore, I learned after Bomie that whatever you do, or work hard at, to try to impress one person will someday impress somebody else. What we do isn’t lost; it’s all invested.
…Because our dreams can’t be smothered. They can be squeezed and contorted like half-full balloons, distorted and stymied by circumstance, but that shifting energy inside of them doesn’t vanish; that strong urge to reach out, to bridge some gap, or to accomplish something, to connect with a person, will eventually find a contact point.
So it’s no particular use to try to stifle those good dreams, as long as they last, however strong they are — no matter that they’re unreal. Go ahead and pursue them fully. Every effort we make, and every wish we grasp at, will render its full result — not always as we want it, no. Rarely as we expect. But that doesn’t matter; it’s fine to not be able to predict everything. The benefit is the same; if we reach out, we will seize something. If we chase something, we will capture something.
For every brick that we stack in some impossible building attempt, whether or not it all crumbles, we still find that the heap of rubble has actually left us with a higher peak, to scale and survey all our labours from the top; and that great pile of effort, that pyramid of bricks, will dwell on forever in memory as a monument to our strife with destiny, as we ponder our enlarged horizons.
Though in our weakness we wrestle even against angels, we will secure a blessing for it, and a comfort… as if heaven favours the daring.
Of course I dare to love a person, if it’s love, and not selfishness. Of course I do. Shame doesn’t exist inside that emotion. It’s the emotion of heaven.
…But… why only her?
Not only her; but she was the first, and the brightest.
At that age, it was only her, and I was embarrassed. But so far down this path, it has all changed, somehow… A ray of sunlight may light up a single patch of dirt, or a flower, but the sun itself is not so constricted. Love for one is meant to instruct us to love all.
And so, without embarrassment, on the safety of my own canvas here, with my internal palette of colours, I paint this small and private masterpiece of adoration. But private or public, it doesn’t matter; this is my testimony and witness, even if only to myself, that I have been kissed by the sun. I have lived. Amavi eius, ergo sum.
If others happen to know it… then, good. Let them live too, and rejoice.
This piece has taken me decades. …If I’m lucky, I’ll paint another still.