Midday Musings #1



I remember when I first glanced at the house in Nimes, the one that made me really start believing I could have lived before. Previously, the speculation was just that: a doubt I repeatedly pushed back to the darkest, best hidden corners of my mind. The ones that whispered memories; that slid feelings into my heart, feelings for people long gone, feelings for people whose names and faces I have forgotten but who I still grieve for every day when I wake up and remember that this is my life now. Seeing that house forced me to face and acknowledge what I’d known all along but couldn’t admit to myself: the possibility of there having been a ‘before’.

For a reason I hadn’t been able to identify  at the time, I couldn’t stop myself from glancing behind me as Mom, her friend Sophie and I walked past it into town. I hadn’t known at the moment that what I was feeling was recognition, that thought came only moments later when the building was no longer in sight. But the more I dwelled on the matter, the more I was able to identify what had made me look back in the first place. I linkedmy emotions to what I’d felt when I’d gone back to my childhood home at Rue des Roses.

In December, I’d felt sadness underlaying all as I stood facing my former home. Perhaps it was more melancholy, that deep yearning for places long gone, that feeling of missing home. I could have felt joy – perhaps that is what should have happened – I assume there was too much bitterness, too much anger for what I’d lived through after we left, for finally having my eyes opened to the adult world and how cruel, cold, ruthless a place it could be. For having the mist dispelled and not being able to reach its comforting warmth, for it leaving me cold and lonely. I’m hoping these views  will change with time. If I leave. “When”, if I’m lucky.

And I felt those exact emotions as the 3 of us walked through the nearby streets, as I recalled the faded front, the closed windows, the closed shutters that isolated the house, made it seem so much further away from me, so much more intriguing. I was hit by longing for that past, missing home, a deep-rooted, undispelable need to reach towards that house and discover its hidden secrets, to be reunited with who I’d once been.

That place was home, just as much – and perhaps even more -than where I’d grown up for 5 years. I could ignore the truth no longer. There had been a past. There had bee, people I’d once loved, others I still love and that occupy such a big, heavy portion of my heart that I feel I have room for no more. That my love is spent, that that is irrevocable. Perhaps that is why I relate to Charles Dickens’ estella, for she cannot love and how can I possibly feel that I love? When all I love is lost and undeniably out of my reach? When the ghosts I grieve fore refuse to relinquish any – no matter how insignificantly small – part of my heart that I could fill with love for those who live today.

‘You must know […] that I have no heart’, estella said. That is a truth I struggle in trying to forget. For how can I not think such thougths if I cannot rouse an ounce of feeling in such a heart as mine? Is my fate to roam the earth without ever mustering any more love in my breast than that love I have given others long ago? I don’t mean to hurt, however I feel that simply by being incapable of returning these feeligs I harm more than I could ever repair.

That is why I cannot tell. I simply cannot put others through learning that I was never theirs, that I belong to those loved ones long lost, whose very existence they are unaware of.

‘The contention came, after all, to this; – the secret was such an old one now, had so grown into me and become a part of myself, that I could not tear it away’ (Pip). Perhaps one day I’ll discover elements of what happened back then. Discover who I was so I can put to rest those qualms that sear my heart. So I can finally kiss those lovely faces goodbye, let them drift back to nought so I can move forwards in this life where they don’t belong.





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