The Art of Longing
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
9:57 pm, August 21, 2021
en Casa Frida, San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico
Breaks squeak and a toddler calls, ah, ah, ah.
Or is it ma, ma, ma?
No, just sounding, again and again …
At last, a female voice responds.
I thank you, Casa Frida. And you, Universe. And you, Life, Destiny, Reflection, As Above So Below, Having Is Evidence of Wanting … The Way Things Are. Thank you, All.
Yes, this is exactly what I want . . .
Such admittance after ingratitude met with a Universal smirk, But isn’t this what you wanted?
Then, gently, We’re only giving you what you want:
Alone time with endless spliffs and red tea with dream, and cream, the ocean a soundtrack and a trot away, crickets and cockroaches, an open air balcony and newly clean kitchen, writing, reading, tarot, cappuccinos con soya, peace, barefoot running, the slanted beach, solitude.
In paradise I drift wistful, lamenting aloneness.
The Way Things Are looks on, bemused, tolerant.
Like a child, I ask for something, get it, want something else. I forget even to cherish what came, to say thank you, to notice care-full effort. Always I want something different.
Always I am longing.
I am in love with longing.
Maybe more than being with others, I love to long for them. I love to long for my Lover. I long and long and long, deeply, devotedly, devoutly.
I don’t wish to leave my longing. I love it and I lust for it. It is very romantic. Very tragic. Very sentimental. Very dear.
Am I willing to give up longing for having? Doesn’t any good romance eventually include coming to have that for which one has longed?
But when one gets what one’s longed for, the longing is lost.
There’s a stubborn nobility in longing. A grittily determined solitude. A holding out and a hanging on, a scrappy loyalty to some person or ideal that runs deep … too deep ... that rings true … too true … to ever be reached or resonated.
Having is a different thing. The fortune of having is so great one feels terrified to lose it.
Having is nowhere as safe as longing.
It’s not as romantic, either. Having becomes practical, everyday, annoying, endearing …
Longing remains forever idyllic and fantastical. It perfects each past and every possibility.
My unconscious whispers, Longing makes better art.
Do my stories lose potency in a state of having versus a state of longing?
It’s possible. They say an unfulfilled heart produces poignant art.
More than once, I've thought, “I must love missing people.”
I say, “I miss you,” aloud, alone, again, a thousand times. To Kalyn, to Ollie, to the friends and animals and family in my heart but no longer in my world.
I carry many people and places and pets. It keeps me longing.
Maybe some longing is better than other longing.
Maybe there’s a better way to long: The way not so nailed down by the past, not so defined by missing, which can be similar to, but is not the same as, longing.
Missing always implies longing, but longing needn't imply missing. One can long for something one has never known.
Perhaps I’ve limited my longing by confining it so much to missing.
If longing can beautiful and poetic, can I turn longing for what I’ve never known into beautiful poetry?
Can I trade the uninspired recounting of what I have known already for that which I long to know?
I drop the heavy past and reach for feathery possibility.
I am still longing, but my longing becomes lighter.
I continue to call out into the night.
When a voice answers in the morning, it will be one I do not yet know.