“What a terrible thing it is to botch a farewell. I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape. For example - I wonder - could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I'll tell you, that's one thing I have about my nickname, the way the number runs on forever. It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse. That bungled goodbye hurts me to this day. I wish so much that I'd had one last look at him in the lifeboat, that I'd provoked him a little, so that I was on his mind. I wish I had said to him then - yes, I know, to a tiger, but still - I wish I had said, "Richard Parker, it's over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express I couldn't have done it without you. I would like to say it formally: Richard Parker, thank you. Thank you for saving my life. And now go where you must. You have known the confined freedom of a zoo most of your life; now you will know the free confinement of a jungle. I wish you all the best with it. Watch out for Man. He is not your friend. But I hope you will remember me as a friend. I will never forget you , that is certain. You will always be with me, in my heart. What is that hiss? Ah, our boat has touched sand. So farewell, Richard Parker, farewell. God be with you.”
I want closure with things. With experiences. With people. But not just closure, a beautiful closure. I want to give everything in my life a meaningful shape.
I've been thinking about something for days. I am so full of emotion over it. "Former love surprises artist at her MoMa retrospective after decades apart." While the video portion is quite something to see (the way he shakes his head is everything) there is something in the very brief explanation that's stuck with me: "When their relationship had come to an end, they went to the Great Wall of China to walk it together. Both started walking from the opposite end until they met in the middle for one last big hug before disappearing from each other's lives." My visceral reaction to that is so intense, I can't think about it without wanting to sob. Without feeling a heaviness that threatens to take me over. Could you imagine? Could you even imagine?!
I want this. I want it with everyone who's ever been in my life that isn't any more. Friends, former lovers, Chuck, my Grandpa.
To all of those who's souls are no longer in line with mine, but once were, I want that walk with you. I want to reflect as I walk, and gain sacred clarity. How private. How intense. I want to take the time, moving forward in my thoughts and in time until we meet and all that is unsaid is only felt, and exchanged through that embrace. Oh, it must be long. And when the end (though I can't imagine how you know it's time) reveals itself and it's time to let go, you both continue with forward momentum and a heartbreakingly beautiful goodbye. A meaningful shape.
I want it. Every time.
You from my past, you from my future.
I want to meet you all there.