Is this longing or devotion? I’ve come to realize the distinction is absence. In absence devotion is reduced to longing.
I long for you in the most involuntary ways, outstretching hands in twilight hoping to catch your skin on my fingertips. The endless space always jars me awake. I am sleepless. I fill the void in my bed with silly pillows each of a different fabric hoping one will feel like you, but they jar me awake too. I have too many pillows now.
My barren walls scream of absence. So, I fill them with plants and knick-knacks but the clutter reminds me of you too. So, here I am in a house I’ve made to look like home. In a home you feel a little less alone. I fear I’ve created a tomb. Clawing in a comatose at the sides of a coffin, I hope to locate life. There is only emptiness and pillows.
I read when I can’t sleep. I’ve read all your favorites now. They’ve become lullabies. My fingertips feel you in the pages and it tricks me into slumber. I fall asleep amongst literary gods and pray for relief.
Morning beams trace my skin and I relish the warmth. I hope their dawn brings anew, but they always deliver a loop. I am spinning like a worn record off-kilt. With each pass the wound deepens and the literary lullaby fades. Soon, I know it will be a screech.
I am screaming now in desperation, in devotion, in longing, but my sound meets silence. Around I spin again. Soon, I’ll crack and silence will befall me too. I beckon the break. Bring me to rest.
What is the dream? To write something fine, that would better than I am, and that would justify my trials and indiscretions. To offer proof, through a scramble of words, that God exists. Why do I write? – Devotion, Patti Smith
I write to make sense of this insensible longing. And if we are being frank, I write out of pure compulsion; a fury of unbridled devotion. I am reduced to my fingertips; the ones that reach for you in the night and write you into life in morning. Sometimes, I pray just so they can rest. At my heart they meet their other half. Their ridges melt into each other and finally they are home; two halves together whole.
Lord, let this longing materialize to devotion. Let her come home too.