Heart Cave by grace mcgrade


My heart feels heavy and full of blood, pulsing waves of euphoria and grief to the tips of my fingers, wilted petals.

Our trajectory has split. I live in golden days and silver nights and I no longer crave the taste of your cyanide lips. I am accompanied by my pretendings, imaginations and dreams- all more lasting and defined than the folding shadows you carry.

My flesh finds you familiar and my teeth remember your name- but the fire is tired, and I have no care to chase after embers and sparks that have been soaked in your spirit.

My stomach no longer growls when yours does, and we dream separately again. Even when our elbows and fingers are pinned and sewn together, and your blushing head is buried in my bosom, I feel tides of allure for more drawing me far, far away.

I follow signs of serpents from angels, callings of curtains of willow and moths, silhouettes of castles visible through prisms of mist.

I still want you to long for me, and maybe thats cruel. I want you to see the opalic sun spots in my eyes, the jewelled insects on my hands and hear the echo of my boots when I walk away. I want you to feel my unquiet rage, but also my undying love, as infinite and iridescent as the beckoning ocean.



THRESHOLD SPACE by grace mcgrade

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Scotland felt like home before I arrived. Halos of golden light descending onto endless aisles of plush soil, pathways to cathedrals of trees; Spraying color through leaves like champagne. prisms of shadow threaded through the morning ether.

The Mossy troths and moors and freckled with dew and silver lichen, hollow tree trunks and mushroom caves, plush beds of sprouting emeralds and limes, dusted with wild flowers and yellow cacti that smell like coconut.

There is an air of change about. It is the bridge between seasons, unsettling, flickering boldly with the spark of possibilities. The summer sun begins to shorten, leaving a shading of uncertainty across the land. I am on the brink of immense change, and my body can feel it.

In the space between fragile memories I speculate all the things I could have said and done but didn’t in my time here. And I decide everything is just as it should be.

I have been given the gift of restored imagination and vision- the space for me to dream up all that life could be, something free of the structures and limitations of anything manmade. I yearn for something that mirrors the impossibility and connectivity of nature. To be in communion with nature, and therefore in communion with pattern, the organic ebb and flow life follows with fearless improbability.

Once you wake up, you can’t go back to sleep. Even if you want to.

I believe there is a part of everyone that is all knowing, perhaps even existing above time. Perhaps, aware that in waking up, we have to take radical responsibility for everything happening in our reality. This is no easy truth. Suddenly, every thought, subconscious desire, even atom thin, buried in the tumultuous folds of the psyche - is weaving our worlds. Intricate and massively intelligent, propelling faster than the speed of light.

Everything is symbolic, even the most microscopic of details will mirror your macrocosm. Everything that has happened and will happen is within your control. You are a complicit designer in the tapestry of your ornate life. The story can be your own.

Take back the story. Be your own salvation.

I am in threshold space, returning to Los Angeles, following tethered threads that connect me to a past that has lost it’s allure and color. I worry about this barren wasteland of endless entertainment- the compulsion to be a part of the show. To do your part for the distraction. I don’t think most of us realize that we want to create rather than distract, but we are regurgitating and repeating culture. We are being entertained and distracted into the apocalypse. Lubed up to numbly accept our planets demise, assuming the only thing left to participate in is the show, the grand illusion.

So we wait, giggling and drooling with glazed eyes, speaking less, feeling less, escaping more. I don’t want to contribute to this illusion any longer. I don’t want to put the fucking virtual reality headset on.

I want to leave having fought and expunged every last breath of resistance against the rape of my planet. I want to have immersed my senses, to have explored mysteries and drank unknown waters, to have cried out for the truth and wept for consciousness.

Not to imitate some half-lived 2D idea that has been vomited on a loop by Hollywood.

Siren by grace mcgrade

  He told me I was like a Siren. A Siren who had lured him away from his journey, who had stolen him into the sea. At first, I was flattered, picturing a mermaid with translucent jade skin, dusted with champagne sunlight and sea foam, with hair wild and cheeks aflame, enveloped in tendrils of purple seaweed. I saw it the way I saw everything else, like a story.     As our relationship developed I saw that he spoke of something carnivorous, fatally provocative. Emitting demonic fumes, like a venus fly trap, until I could lure him into a bottomless cave. Only to envelop him, chew him, swallow him and spit him back up in splinters and fragments of flesh that sprayed across the midnight surface, engulfed by the oceans tongue. Perilous and hungry for men. This is the Siren he spoke of.     He said wanted sink into me, deep, heavy, like melting in a witches brew, like dissolving into the stars, sorcerous, and intertwined like celtic knots.     I was seen as a pitstop on his heroic journey, the temptation to his messiah, a side effect to his immaculate vigor. He was unable to view me in my totality, as separate and soverign.    As a woman, you are not supposed to be aware of the potency of your own sexual power. This is why we were burned at the stake.     The more I do away with convention in search of expression and comfort the more beautiful I become. This scares him.     I am wild, hot blooded, elusive, angry and untamed. I will not be small or discreet or apologetic. I am the snake that unfurls and riles through the dirt and I fit into the places you don’t want or expect me to. I overflow and seep into the earth, melt like wax and beat the breath of the moon. My sex is my power. In my body I carry the allure of the feminine that drives all nature. You can try to assign me as the characters you need to act out and exorcise your trauma. The traumas from your mother, her mother and the great mother.     Try, and I will haunt you in aromatic memory, and leave you in a garden of agonies to rot and ferment.

He told me I was like a Siren. A Siren who had lured him away from his journey, who had stolen him into the sea. At first, I was flattered, picturing a mermaid with translucent jade skin, dusted with champagne sunlight and sea foam, with hair wild and cheeks aflame, enveloped in tendrils of purple seaweed. I saw it the way I saw everything else, like a story.

As our relationship developed I saw that he spoke of something carnivorous, fatally provocative. Emitting demonic fumes, like a venus fly trap, until I could lure him into a bottomless cave. Only to envelop him, chew him, swallow him and spit him back up in splinters and fragments of flesh that sprayed across the midnight surface, engulfed by the oceans tongue. Perilous and hungry for men. This is the Siren he spoke of.

He said wanted sink into me, deep, heavy, like melting in a witches brew, like dissolving into the stars, sorcerous, and intertwined like celtic knots.

I was seen as a pitstop on his heroic journey, the temptation to his messiah, a side effect to his immaculate vigor. He was unable to view me in my totality, as separate and soverign.

As a woman, you are not supposed to be aware of the potency of your own sexual power. This is why we were burned at the stake.

The more I do away with convention in search of expression and comfort the more beautiful I become. This scares him.

I am wild, hot blooded, elusive, angry and untamed. I will not be small or discreet or apologetic. I am the snake that unfurls and riles through the dirt and I fit into the places you don’t want or expect me to. I overflow and seep into the earth, melt like wax and beat the breath of the moon. My sex is my power. In my body I carry the allure of the feminine that drives all nature. You can try to assign me as the characters you need to act out and exorcise your trauma. The traumas from your mother, her mother and the great mother.

Try, and I will haunt you in aromatic memory, and leave you in a garden of agonies to rot and ferment.

Cryptic by grace mcgrade

I liked you best last night.

I liked you best because you looked soft and tired, slightly hungover, and almost vulnerable. I can’t seem to otherwise penetrate the glass encasing you have built around yourself, of intellect and formidable cool- equally terrifying and inviting.

I am cornered by the unbearable notion that in between these sickly walls, I cannot reach out and feel you like I would like to.

In my mind, I grab you and stroke you and maybe even vulgarize you - a little- but most of all, I speak to you, without fear of the intruder in the room, the intruder who links us together, the very loved intruder whom we protect (perhaps to save him from hurt, but more likely to save us both from the insurmountable obstacle of being vulnerable.)

Yes, in my mind we have a full, complete, apocalyptic love affair, the stuff of myths and movies. In the space between stolen moments, I reshape and colour us into something big and great and passionate and fluid. All heart and madness.

These tales are much better than the half formed, undefined reality. This almost lazy triangle we have to constantly recalibrate ..

But I think we both prefer the incandescent secrecy, in case the real thing was boring.

My Alien Experience at Coachella Weekend One by grace mcgrade

 

If I don’t narrate the events of my life with rigorous honesty and fearlessness, I am afraid my memories will shift and slip away. The following story is told with sincerity, vulnerability and truth.

Some say to have a mystical experience, you have to go to the desert. If you think about it, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Moses..all of them went out into the desert at some point. There is something about the desert, about the absence of water and a vast barren terrain, that seems to act as a stage for divine manifestations. Coachella weekend one is no exception.

My friend Laz and I were driving down to Palm Springs to do an art installation at the Ace Hotel for the weekend. It was his thing, really, and I was just happy to get out of L.A. The plan was to set up a tent, an altar and a temporary “Witch Doctor” station, where we would prescribe spells under the gentle guise of ‘art’. Laz, with his background in superstition, folklore and sublime artistic talents- was the main attraction. And I was there to implement my intuitive skills..talents I hadn’t quite owned just yet. I was still in the ‘broom closet’, shall we say..still hesitant to present this deeply personal side of myself to what was going to be the greater Los Angeles area, crammed into Palm Desert. Quietly afraid of ostracisation, maybe even of  being burned at the stake.

As we slid past the windmills, copper and gold dunes and Coachella traffic, Laz recounted a dream he had about driving off a cliff, whilst I chained smoked through the humidity. I rehearsed what we had planned in my head. Arrive at the Ace hotel, set up our tent,  then go check into the Airbnb, begin at night, do the whole thing again tomorrow.

We had each brought boxes of sacred items, Laz’s had been acquired in Haiti and at a local botanica, a store run by a Shaman with two pet parrots , walls painted with hummingbirds and sugar skulls, Guatemalan fabrics- selling oils and amulets and wax candles in strange shapes and violent colors with exotic names. The items were pressed into an old box that suited it's contents. We planned to construct a grid to each of the four elements, creating a high vibrational space for healing.

I collect things like make up and fortunes from Chinese restaurants, photos of old boyfriends and letters from friends..but also bones, feathers and dragonfly wings, crystals and candles, rocks, shells and dried flowers. I keep them in a box at the foot of my bed, and when I am short of inspiration, I trace my fingers along each one. On New Moons I spread them out in front of me, like an intricate map, and I follow them into other realms.

I was going take others with me, this time.

As soon as we parked the car at the hotel, I noticed a feeling in my stomach, a feeling of a lack of preparation before something astronomically changing. Almost like when you are on a plane, and you realize you have forgotten something. I knew something was about to shift for me, for both of us. What followed this feeling, in the desert, was a sequence of events more bizzare and euphoric than can possibly be conveyed through writing. A synchronicity safari, weaving out of us faster than we could record.

 

The Ace Hotel is a strange combination of pretentious, dingy and chic. It's occupants were always bikini clad hipsters and men with well groomed hair on their face and none on their chest.  We assembled our station by the pool of the hotel, or rather, Laz assembled it, while I watched and contributed by adding helpful affirmations and smoking. When we were given our wristbands for the event,  we gasped. They said “We’re Here Now”, in the font of Ram Dass’s Be Here Now. This is the closest thing I have to a bible.


 

The altar was set up quickly, and we decided to go unpack our bags at the airbnb. I said that this felt like a dream, in that way desert humidity makes you feel euphorically drowsy, almost like you could melt into your surroundings. When we opened the door of the mid-century home, a wall decor replica of my tattoo of a Gardenia was hung on the wall. The tattoo, which was done by my close friend Marielle, came out of her imagination- I couldn’t rationalize how it could have been added to the stock of some random furniture store in Palm Springs. But, like most people, I chose not to assign meaning to it and silently dismiss it as a surreal coincidence. I told Laz, this feels like a dream. When we stepped out into the poolside area, there, painted on the brick wall in huge letters read “Your Dream Here” I decided at this moment that coincidences don’t exist, at least not at this amplitude and pace. Laz, who was witnessing these events unfold was giggling excitedly, affirmed their magnitude, which was comforting because I could easily have been having some sort of thirst driven hallucination.

 

We returned to our tent at the Ace that night, and sat behind our altar, illuminated by candles that dripped in different colors. Bees and flies flew onto our table, and shimmered between the glitter and tarot cards, the bones and crystals. We invoked Earth forces and Star beings, asking for guidance and protection. Soon after,one by one people entered, first a leather-clad Musician who talked about loss and an inability to find the right job. In this setting, I could feel myself downloading information, almost in a language I didn’t speak- and shocked myself by my own accuracy and boldness in my understanding of these individuals. We prescribed rituals for him, and he ended up crying for about ten minutes- another shock that Laz and I attempted to contain with hugs and affirmation. There was a girl with arthritis who asked us to heal her wrist pain, and declared that it had subsided after we put our hands on her. There was a man who said he had been pulled and told to come over here, and I was told to tell him (by what or who I still don’t know) that his Grandmother was watching over him. In these instances I feel I was somehow picking up on ripples of a voice that did not belong to me. In the winking candlelight there was an air of unreality, with Laz my only tie to the real world. We were transmitting some borrowed power, borrowed from a place we didn’t quite understand. He spoke words out of my head, as if we shared a bottomless tidal pool of knowledge that diverged in and out of each other. Each visitor in the tent left in tears or in awe. But no one was more awe stricken than either one of us.


That evening, we returned to the house in a pleasant daze, and danced and danced till we were drowsy and could dance no more. We smoked outside and spoke of our family and the trauma we may have inherited, through blood, but were determined not to repeat. We talked about love and loss. We lay back on the outdoor couch and stared at the stars in the night sky, the only stars I had seen in months. I said that I didn’t know if it was healthy to live somewhere you couldn’t see the stars, and he agreed. They were vast and expansive, winking, twinkling and calling out through the violet sheets of midnight ether. If I looked closely at the the space between stars, there seemed to appear more and more parcels and fractals of light.

 

After staring up, necks tilted and eyes wide for what seemed like hours, a cluster of three or four stars began to move in a very peculiar way. They were not twinkling or blinking, but darting around in circles and back again. Almost as if they were tearing apart, or dancing. I initially assumed they must have been drones, but the proximity and luminescence was that of a star. Laz and I were in shock, and followed them with our fingers, confirming that we were both seeing the same thing. My heart thumped and my palms began to sweat. Laz started laughing and almost crying. We watched until they seemed to stop and begin to tear open, sending currents of energy towards us. Both of our mouths dropped open, and we began to vibrate, receiving a transference of light filaments that reached my heart and sent sparks through my body.

 

I couldn’t tell you how long this phenomena lasted for, as time seemed to disappear for it’s duration. We were both in hysterics, in bliss, in joy. We spoke more for hours, and the next day, Laz took an app that scans the sky and told me it was the Pleiades star cluster, the same star cluster my friend had very deliberately left a book on the week before.

 

The next day we drove back, on an almost straight desert road to Los Angeles. We sat in traffic  and both cried. We cried about being lied to about our own divinity, about experiencing something so beautiful and pure, so organically. About the intensity and depth of life that at one point, we had both resisted. About the trajectory of impossibility and unreality our lives took when we decided to trust feelings over facts.

From that moment onward, every fractal of a second in our lives were colored, and shaped by a dimension of the mystical, because it was the only thing left that made life worth living. I can feel in my body that life is only half-captured by the senses. There are spectrums of color and lights, chimes and scents that will evade our cognitive mind- but it does not mean that they don’t exist, bearing witness to us. We concluded the power of thought and belief is what life follows, so we decided were warriors and wizards and angels and high elves and that was our reality.

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Quantum Love and Sex at World's End by grace mcgrade

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 I often wonder if I am alone, or perhaps among a dwindling few, who still hold on to the spirit of romanticism in modern times. This age, increasingly foreign and disconnected, can make me feel like an alien, peering in on a lethal experiment.  I remain looking, mocking my naivety in what should be my prime years of romantic exploration.

The setting for my half finished love stories never remains constant, although takes on an ending theme of pixelated pain. My generation’s backdrop is the end of times, either spurred by religious premonitions or scientific prediction.  We are constantly on edge, unveiling fact by fact- the exposure of truth and universal destruction, each occurrence happening as quickly as one can refresh their facebook page.

Astrology identifies the millennial generation of twenty somethings as Scorpio Plutonions. Whether you adhere to astrological predictions or not- these are pretty spot on.

 

According to astrology, this generation's soul’s journey is built around learning and exposing truths, breaking down walls, and enabling radical transformation.

In order to do this, they must experience individual awakening, and from their uncovering of the taboo- they can liberate humanity. Those with this Pluto placement will deal with loss, abandonment, death, addiction, heightened sex drive and betrayal. Through transmuting this power, and using it to heal yourself, you can change the collectives attitude to transmutation. We are increasingly separate, often incapable of making eye contact, glued to our phones, our fingers achedly swiping for the next best thing. I wonder if this is perhaps not a symptom of apathy, but quite the opposite.

Maybe we feel too much, maybe we resent the crisis we've been handed, are afraid of feeling the despair because each moment is being retweeted as our last. In feeling, we become a part of it all.  

Interpersonal relationships involve delving in the despair we try to drown out. Our relationships with ourselves can be worse too, privy to the trends of the ever changing media, reduced to actual “likes” and contingent on presence through a screen.

Society teaches us about sexuality from two extremes, either shame based abstinence, following a religious rhetoric- or a careless promiscuously as easy as an endless cloud of pornography, or a swipe and 2.1 miles away. Regardless of where on this skewed spectrum your beliefs lie, there never seems to be much discussion about the non-physical aspects of sex. It is, after all, the closest we can get to another human. The gateway for all procreation. And of course, incredibly, inconceivably, magical.

The few times I have been lucky enough to achieve an instance of love that transcends all moments, past, future, and facebook live- I have been lifted up and revived.

Those moments are few and far between. I tried dating apps, but I couldn’t help but wonder if they rob us of serendipitous connections. You can’t feel someone’s smile through wifi (even if they are only 1.2 miles away). Being in love made me feel like I had safely returned to my own planet, there was a familiarity to touch that exceeded the end of times, a familiarity to trees, to all of life. Even grey cityscapes, smog sunsets and the age of technology retained a magic that was long forgotten.

Somewhere between the polarity of toxic abstinence and hypersexuality, lays a subatomic dance that exceeds the lengths of the cosmos. This dance, as old as the stars themselves, is now known to us as “quantum entanglement” The basic idea of quantum entanglement is that two particles, having once interacted, can be intimately linked to each other even if separated by billions of light-years of space; a change induced in one will affect the other. They will  continue to affect each other, even when separated by time and space. Einstein called this ‘spooky action at a distance’ And it indeed is, spooky as fuck.

In applying this principle to humans, think about our molecular make up of particles and fluids,  and think of the moments when people would experience entanglement: being twins, being the recipient of a blood transfusion, organ donors, family members, and of course, being sexual partners.

To bring this back down to  earth, consider the moments in sexual  relationships where you have intuited a partners actions, where you feel another’s presence and emotions from miles apart. Where maybe, you have fallen in love, and found the line between your feelings and your partners  indistinguishably blurred. This is actually the result of these particle dances, particles that are meshed together in the most intimate of ways.

Even if we are detached, our magnetic fluids mingle and melt together, trapping us in an  invisible net that extends above and beyond time and space. It’s kind of poetic, and beautiful, and also terrible.   In the heated delirium of sex we form quantum vows, vows that have the power to bind us to another person. The merging of two bodies of light, capsules of polarized luminous material, merging and unmerging and intertwining and dancing.

Tantra is the only school of thought and practice that has given sexuality the sort of attention it deserves, exploring the deep  spiritual ramifications. “Tantra” comes from the Sanskrit word for weaving. Soul weaving. There is nothing casual about Soul weaving, no matter how much we try and diminish and hide the potent power of sex.

And yet, we are proud and great at pretending . You can try to mentally record every second with someone, as if you were watching your own movie, seeping in the cinematic beauty of it all. But then it fluctuates, and reality hits you on the back like a stair you missed in the dark. The tangles of distant texts draw you both away, pregnant pauses and silences in the unapologetic form of blue bubbled texts. You are quantumly still with them, as if you lost a limb and could still feel it. It can feel like your very cells are tearing in half. And yet, you can still live stream their movements, each one more unrecognizable than the last.

You try and replay the movie, but we are the generation of faux apathy, and when you grasp for the shards of vulnerability amidst the cool facade of disconnection, you get cut.
Scientifically, we are still incapable of gauging to consequences of these silent resonances and quantum contracts. Perhaps heartbreak and attachment is a longing for the particles someone took with them. A mere quantum side effect of intimacy, drawn out by emotion. The upside to quantum entanglement, is that maybe if you grow, they grow too.

 

Past Life Pair of Jeans by grace mcgrade

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Time is not linear. The past, present and future are happening simultaneously, non-linear, in a loop or maybe a spiral- continuously bringing us back to things we haven’t understood. Sometimes trauma, or relationships, where the characters change, but the stories remain the same.

When we talk about past lives, I forget that they are not actually behind us, the same way time is not a straight line. Past lives are really happening simultaneously with each present moment, and the decisions we make have ramifications and ripples on those lives too..and vice versa. Sometimes, in distinct moments I can feel those ripples, like whispers. I can feel the relationships between events folding in and out of space and time with perfect impossible geometry. In stillness, I can have flashes of lucidity and feel resonances of other timelines.

I can be retracing footsteps in old locations and feel like I must be running into old ghosts of myself, trapping translucent memories with breathless wonder. I could be driving down a highway and think, this car could be a horse, or even a spaceship- and maybe in another timeline, it is.

Why do some decades or objects, cultures, or ancient texts hold a sense of familiarity? Why are we drawn to the things we are? Are they pathways to past lives or merely avenues for expressing individuality?

        

I have been told my various mystics that I was a dolphin in a past life, and an Queen of an intergalactic race known as the Pleiadians, and a witch who was burned at the stake. Also, that it’s my first incarnation as a human? It’s very easy for me to get wrapped up in these stories, or assign egoic meaning to them- but no one ever seems to get told they were a garbage man in a past life, or worked at a 7/11, or anything like that. Those possibilities are more likely. Everyone I’ve spoken to about past lives were grandiose things, like Cleopatra, or Jesus, or Abraham Lincoln.. Seems a bit strange and presumptuous, but my generation isn't known for it’s humility. This is like some new, twisted form of plagiarism. Soul plagiarism.


I cannot explain why some people seem to arrive in this world with a sense of knowing and belonging, and why others seem to gasp, grapple and sputter until the very end. Why some elderly retain the appearance of a child and why some children seem to have come in with shrouds of age. Regardless, we are all comprised of the same energy, the same luminous source material- just compartmentalized in the form of human individuality. If you are going to take credit for the lifetime of someone else, you may as well decide on just about everyone- as separation in and of itself, is an illusion.

 

Nevertheless, my life seems to have reoccuring themes and patterns, images that circle around until I can understand them. I am intoxicated by the fictitious draw of the past and future. Time hangs above our shoulders, atom-thin, like an inescapable net that compels us to be anywhere but in the present. We are all obsessed with the past, peering into our phones, drawing inspiration from old decades and romanticising simpler times. Predicting our demise.

I’ll admit I find comfort in old things.The future is uncertain, branching out in front of us at the speed of light, into trillions of fragmented possibilities. There is fixed stability in old books, stone sculptures, antique slip dresses, and latin script. Memories are fragile, and life is brief, but these objects that have outlived us all, retain a quality of magic.

 

Sometimes, I can sense chains of events before they occur, purely based on the  paranormal phenomenon of pattern that existence follows. Relationship dynamics that seem to play out on a loop, with different characters but sometimes even the same setting...The daunting familiarity in new people who always end up being impactful. I feel more secure when domestic trivia doesn’t distract from tarot or astrology, when I can decide on a timeline and ground myself in a predictable future. Otherwise it feels like the endless array of possible outcomes is overwhelming, so many apocalyptic potentials looming over our heads in the form of pixelated predictions. All of this is so silly, because realistically, quantum physically, the past present and future are happening simultaneously.

 

Before I realized that time was a construct, I lived in a sickly and confined version of reality. It is a real miracle, that in this blip of time, this miniscule thread on the tapestry of life, I have had the chance to exist in a time of such flux and change. Now when I enter room, it seems like atoms and astral dust race to keep up with my perception, quivering, glimmering and not quite certain. I sometimes wonder if anything really exists, or if reality is just a malleable substance to be toyed with, subject to our beliefs and expectations.

 

 

 

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In Rosy Memory by grace mcgrade

 

 

He looked like he was raised by the forest, or maybe by a mountain. His skin was sunkissed and warm, freckled with dirt and hair, long tarzan locks and thick, calloused hands.

He had a love affair with plants and soil, an insatiable appetite for all that was untamed and unexplored. Forever humble to the intelligence and wisdom of nature.

It began with shifting glances in quiet moments, never quite still, our eyes fluttering like butterflies searching for a place to land. Silently reaching for each other, and never quite touching.

We danced around like this for a week, ebbing and flowing out of each others bubble, in a shy, flirtatious routine. I crouched down next to him  on the couch, and asked to read to lines on his hand. Rivers and indents of flesh, pulsing blood and worn skin that told tales of heartache and a mind  stretched too thin- where his heart and intellect were in a silent war. I traced the lines on his palm with my fingertips, the same way I wanted to trace the rest of his body. Slow, soft, recording every inch of him, till I could recite it by memory. I think that was the moment it became real.

I liked sleeping with him-just sleeping, more than anything else we did. Enveloped in his limbs, heat and steady breath. Drowning in tendrils of hair, tangled toes and fingers, breast to breast, woven eyelashes and open mouths. Entering our respective dreamworlds as one, wild thing.

This was a new kind of love, aware of it’s timely limitations. A place of recovery. I think we had both been wounded by previous variations of crazy- lovers who had needed caretakers, who had then just taken and taken and taken..until we were left empty. That adrenalizing intensity of being with someone who was unsafe, was missing. That feeling of constant imbalance, of teetering on the verge of madness and heartbreak- was gone. Instead, there was gentle care, playful possibility, tender and unpossessive.

We walked to the ruins of a castle by a seaside village. There was a rare kind of golden sunlight that day, the kind neither one of us expected to stick around- but it did, and cast a dewy glow on the road ahead. Treading lightly on trails leading to infinity, on emerald cliffs that just about hovered above a gentle sea. There was no distinction to where sky met sea, just never-ending pools of etheric blues, drawing us closer and closer to the old ruin. We agreed that we could be in Ireland, or on our way to Hogwarts. Then we lay on the beach, half asleep, in each others arms.

Naturally, we both wanted to stay longer. In that pocket of time, it was so perfect, pure and untainted by reality. To extend it would be cruel. Maybe he would have been unprepared for my wounds, or I would have grown resentful of him. This way, our love has a fighting chance, in imagined realms, in rosy memory.