n. the glint of goodness inside people, which you can only find by sloshing them back and forth in your mind until everything dark and gray and common falls away, leaving behind a constellation at the bottom of the pan—a rare element trapped in exposed bedrock, washed there by a storm somewhere upstream.
—The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows“
Can you see the music and the dance all around?
Can you see the melodies, the codas, the rare refrains, the flanged bridges, and the occasional, but unforgettable reverberations that string together one and all? Do you feel the sea of pure music, abounding all around, permeating all and one, and setting forth basal harmony to all that abide by it? Does the heavenly resonance touch your heart, and quicken it, and leave you in a turmoil of emotions and longings? If you do, Lucille, I heartily welcome you to my world – a world of symphonies, and in which every single sentiment, every single profundity, and every single chord, has a place on the eternal staves of cosmic music.
At one time in the past, you posed a question unto me, Lucille. You asked me what it was that I saw in you, and that attracted me so intensely towards you. Alas, I found myself speechless then, and I asked for some time to actually think over the question. And, in my solitude, I tried to hack away at the question, trying to reduce it to elemental artifacts, as my professional training was wont to do. It is upon this reductionist paradigm that, for many restless moons, your question remained unanswered. Until, one day, I decided to gaze at the composition, the wholeness of the question, rather than at the composites. And lo, the heavens opened up, light came unto my mind, and the answer came rushing at me, almost immediately:
Lucille, I am privy to a dance that you perform, every single second of your life, and that no one else perceives.
There is an ethereal gait… an other-worldly elegance to your steps, and to your body movements, that I have never observed in anyone else. It is like a unique fingerprint – a primordial signature by which you ceaselessly authenticate and weld your spirit to mine. I have, on various occasions in the past, watched you as you went about your life, and got struck by the sheer grace and fluidity that you seemed to command. Like a ballerina, you’ve always stepped the right way, swayed the right way, gyrated the right way, shrugged the right way, and consistently held me captive, with your movements, the right way. Never have I ever seen a misstep on your path, nor a stumble, nor a tumble, nor a sprain.
There is one particular vision about you that I remember vividly, Lucille. We were on a nature trail, when suddenly, you run up ahead of me, and cast yourself as a silhouette against the setting sun. Then, you executed a perfect arabesque – à demi hauteur, straightened out, pirouetted, and finished off with a grand jeté right across a stony brook. I was mesmerized. But what made the moment even more magical was the fact that, up in the evening skies, a large murmuration of starlings was, right then, performing the most intricate, and iridescent, whorls, swoops and loops… in perfect rhythm with your body movements. It was like both you and the passerines had suddenly, somehow tapped in to a common, ethereal symphony, and were dancing right along to it. Afterwards, we walked the rest of the way in an enchanted… almost divine, silence.
By Tao, it’s said that certain streams hold every single song that has ever been sung. If this is so, then I think that you, Lucille, have somehow bathed in certain such streams, and inherited their precious melodies. For within you, there is a resonance to a cosmic song that never terminates, never pauses, and that never ceases to tug at my soul strings. There is, within you, a harmony and grace that would make even the loftiest angels weep with enchantment. And yet, so innocently and naturally do you carry about your daily chores that I’ve wondered, on many an occasion, whether you are actually aware of this dimension of yourself. Lucille, are you aware that, by a simple flick of your slender wrist, you regularly hypnotize me, and cast me, quite bodily, into Nirvana? And are you aware that, by your presence, every single nature walk feels like a retreat into the verdant fields of Arcadia?
Such is the mellifluous hold you have over me, Lucille, that I have but one recurring dream. I dream that one day, our essences will transmogrify into twin rivers, which will race alongside each other, singing and chanting and dancing to the sweetest melodies ever visited upon mortals. And at the end of our journeys, we will cascade over a cliff, twisting and weaving into each other, until we submerge into the silent pool at the bottom. Upon which, with a final sigh, we will become but part of a larger lake – a large confluence whose myriad tributaries render it immortal. And there, we will ebb and flow, swirl and pirouette, in harmonious eddies, till the ends of time
Yours forever enchanted,
N/B: For a related note, see Lucille 1: Sonder