and again

by Amy D.

(composed December 19th, 2013 — for a friend)

Better to just begin. No apologies, no profundities. Just begin.

Presently I’m curled in my favorite nook at my favorite teahouse, losing myself in the din and a pot of Rooibos Chai. I’m steeped in solitude; I’m re-bleeding into a place of the past, one that burrowed under my skin and stayed. That’s what happens when you let yourself love a place, I suppose. Or a person.

I see ghosts in this teahouse. I see myself and a dear friend sharing tea and poring over pages. We pause for laughter, heady on the spices we sip and the dreams we chant between only ourselves.  We have Things to Say. 

But clouds will gather. Rain falls, and dreams defer. Teahouse afternoons and a long, languid season in the Virginia countryside seem little more than a dimly lit revery, when we perched on porch steps and squinted into the sun with hearts booming, selves brimming with everything that could possibly be.

And again we question the Things we have to say. We lose our voices in the din, a din unlike the teahouse sort; this sort is cold and crowded. It leaves a sharp, tangy taste, like metal, on our tongues. It whispers, Who are you to say anything? Who are you to be heard? All has been said. You are foolish and vain to try it.

Call us foolish and vain. Call us pretentious, idealistic, navel-gazing, young. We speak because we can’t help ourselves, and because, well, perhaps it isn’t about saying a new thing in the right way, but the right thing in a new way. We’ll “stand and strive, until at last, rage draw out of [us] that dream-power which every  night shows [us] is [our] own.” Yes, that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll descend the steps and walk the storm, squinting through sheets of rain, soaked and laughing so loudly our voices carry over the thunder.