Holding Onto Strings

June 7, 2013
I am entirely paralyzed and live to fill the vacuum it creates. I long only to glance upon the thing I am lacking, a pin prick against soft skin, a light in the utter darkness, a ray of sun over a glacier, hoping it spreads with prolonged consumption. I want a glimpse of the full spectrum, shades of red, blue, indigo, every color imaginable and hopefully some never even seen before. All I want is to feel.

Yesterday when I was roaming around my basement doing some overdue laundry, I came upon a box or two full of awards, medals, and trophies that I have accumulated over the short time I’ve been alive. I suppose there are no coincidences, because the first thing I touched was the oldest, moldiest paper I could’ve of picked up. Sure, it was laminated, but it was still moldy since the basement flooding in ‘08. Preserved in its imperfection, cruelly blessed, like an aged man gaining immortality on his deathbed. I compared it to a more recent medal, first place in poetry, my name engraved, with a pen and notebook gleaming proudly on the other side. It struck me, that my childhood should be reduced old bits of cellulose, some metal, and plastic. It reminded me that we only are holding onto strings of our past, nuances of events poorly preserved in our memories. I am frozen because I have lost what was once mine, I cannot re-experience or reanimate any moment in my past, whether it be just yesterday or a decade before.

I often wish I had the power to freeze time, like Zack from Saved by the Bell; I cannot stand the idea that time keeps passing and my childhood as been left behind because I am a visual artist, I take my environment and mold it, along with the strongest feelings I can muster,into verses, stanzas and revelations. It frustrates me to no end that I am not able to relive my past experiences that I still haven’t worked through. Poetry is the catalyst through which I can perceive the world. When I read my poetry, I can feel the way I felt when I wrote it; it is how I record my experiences. Yet I am not able to go back and record what I have already lost. I can only remember what my mind soaked in as a child, it’s like looking through the eye of a needle to see the moon. This is my paralysis. This is the dilemma I face as an artist. To me, being paralyzed is being blocked from my past emotions, I cannot write lucidly about things I can no more feel, for I ceased to have the mindset of the child who felt those emotions. Despite all efforts, I cannot take the movements of youth to choreograph a poem that may document the slow slope of learning or the bliss of being young.

So now as I gaze upon the dusty cardboard boxes full of my mementos, I think about the poetry in life that cannot be written, gazing at me through the memories of scraped knees, first roles, and puppy love. Even though I must accept the fact that I can never revive the scraps of memories to their original condition, I hold on tight to the moldy stains and sugar canes of my youth, eager to sew in the new experiences and life lessons into the ever-unfolding quilt of the present.

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