You Can’t Be Contained by Micheline Ludwick
I visited you yesterday. It had been a while, I know. I didn’t even bring anything, which I realize lacked thoughtfulness. I figured someone else would fill your vase, and they did. I felt guilty and then I didn’t and now I do again. I’ve been too lost in my own world lately. I’ve been in transition. The kids. My job. You know that. I have a box full of excuses, piled up like old letters. Like the notes we couldn’t bear to throw away from middle school. Yet the excuses don’t reveal the real reason I stay away. There’s something I need to confess.
I don’t like where you currently reside. It doesn’t feel like you. All the houses look the same, encased in their cold, glossy stone. The wind blows endlessly there. Blows away all signs of you. Where is your singular light? Your cozy warmth? It’s not a comfortable home. Not for you or for those who visit. I hope I’m not offending you or anyone who claims to enjoy going there, but I need you to understand why my visits are rare. That place does not represent the true you. It’s a little too modern. And you know me, I love modern. But that’s not you. There’s not much character. And you? You’re quite the character.
But I have a hunch you don’t hang out there very often. Perhaps the reason I don’t feel your vibe in this new place is because you don’t really connect to it either. You’re there when you should be, to bring comfort to those who need to visit you at this familiar location. And maybe you can sense that I don’t feel very comforted there. It’s not your fault. You shine in so many other places. Places outside of the box.
Like that ocean near your old home. The one that we once shared. Like books set in the South. I can read one and you’re right next to me, your voice in my ear as I come across some classic Southern name. No one could do an accent quite like you. Like the songs that you sang in your confident tone. You’re a star in my world. I see you on a clear night in an opening between the trees. You cast your brilliance down on me and I feel right at home.