I can never hold in my hands what keeps me; I could never hold you at arms length or pull you up from sinking. Why should I have kept you afloat with the power that sinks me? To keep you singing I continued to sink, to keep my love for you I left you. To keep my love for this earth, I would sink into it; to keep my love for these birds I would go without sleep; to keep my love for sleep I would spurn it, but do I love this sleep that keeps me from waking? To keep my love for you I would spurn you, too; to keep on living I would die a few deaths; to keep my independence I would go without food or shelter; to keep loving you I would go through hatred.
As you go through you must remember I never said I was terrorized by the dread in your soul, could it equal the dread in my own? I never said I was reticent of your intensity, could it ever diminish my own?
And who is a boy and who is a man? Who still lives in an immature world, where he is at the center? Who is not at the center of an immature world? Though someone might claim to be out past selfishness on unselfish seas; but there he is, alone on the sea of unselfishness. And towards whom is he being unselfish? Is he being unselfish towards himself? Well, that sounds a lot like selfishness. When they tell me, ‘You cannot, but with our help you can,’ is that unselfishness? I believe that is the worst kind of selfishness. It is a selfishness wrapped up in false humility that belittles the individual, rather than a true humility that calmly knows the strengths and weaknesses of the individual self.
I do not quite have the calm soul that is needed in order to let stillness alone to do this writing. Stillness writes out of the chaos in me and I record its words. I wrote you a letter with all the fierceness of a lion and yet I am nothing more than a dove. I am nothing more or less than everything I am, which includes nothing, which includes the fierceness of the lion, which includes the meekness of the dove. I’ve been meek and hard like an oak, he sang.
I’ve seen the seasons come and go, and I’ve come with the seasons going on under me; I’ve come and then I’ve gone and so am like the seasons. I am like the moon crystallized into cold light; I am like the unknown cresting the horizon to remain unknown; I am like the young woman who stands at midnight in the crowded street and cannot find her lover; I am like the young boy holding hands with the girl at midnight on the empty street; I am like the book read and re-read but never understood; I am like the fire that burns and burns, but its embers still remain hidden under the ground; I am not always like you, and I do not always like me. I am like the man who needs reassurance that his soul still burns because he does not have faith in the soul for its own sake. Why should he need validation that the soul still burns? Because he is empty? Because his heart and mind are filled with the long burning of his soul?
I do not know, and I cannot say, what leaves my head when she passes my way. Please pass this way, I think I need you. Some days I’m strong, I don’t need anyone else. Other days I’m like a cabinet without any clothes. Other days I’d just like some gypsy to come around and give me a reason to dance.