I miss the life I used to have, or at least the things and moments that could have become something beautiful. Forest walks, playing music by myself on the old wooden bench among soft green hills, brushing horses, and flying kites in the autumn sky when the fields were full of golden stubble. I miss sitting in a small, dim room with a friend singing Irish songs to the few chords I could play on my guitar. I miss how freely I could breathe in the moments I forgot the 95% crap my life was then. I miss girls’ nights spent writing insane stories, watching fantasy movies, making up names, and dreaming of space ships. Winter was full of backyard sled-hills made from buckets of snow, summer was stargazing, family singing in three or four languages at the same time by the fire, and listening to stories on cassette in the gloomy light of glow sticks. I miss wooden sword fights and walking around the garden while hooping. I miss the unspoken promises of adventure, of a life full of jugglers and stories and wandering bards, of science fiction and wonderful worlds, of walking the edge of nature and following stony creeks below thick overgrowth many times more. I can’t remember how to get to those places, I wouldn’t know how to find the ones who would have walked with me back then, how we would sink back into who we once were, who we could have been. I want to cry every time I see the hills, the autumn forests, the open space rolling in waves of green and gold and blue, unlike the flat open landscapes I can go to now. And still I know that what I miss is a fantasy. The songs have been sung, people moved on, the old market shrunk to a joke of itself, creeks have been lost and forgotten, and the horses I knew have grown too old to carry anyone. But we could have had something beautiful. I miss having someone who would reminiscence with me, to write and paint these unspoken dreams of where we were headed for a few short years.
Because it reminds me of the good things in my past – playing the guitar with a friend while singing the German version of this song horribly out of tune (to quote my little sister: she said something along the lines of “the two of you are singing three voices”), riding without saddles on ponies in the forest on a stormy day, meeting a guy friend of mine in a pub to practise talking English, singing and playing Irish songs in a small room at church after youth service on Saturday nights.
And the song fits the mood of one (emotional) landscape in my fictional world. The rider at night, watching the northern lights on the heath, following the polar star, and sleeping under a roof of reed to wake up in cold morning sun over foggy moorlands a day’s ride from home. She could have been me.
I used to like the cold
then I turned to warmth, to summer heat, to storms and thunder on sweltering days, to soft autumn glory
but now I remember how open fields of snow used to give me space to breathe, a canvas for clear thoughts
and I recall how my lungs opened, exhaling dust and taking in the cold expanse of mountain ranges for the first time
I miss real winter
last night I discovered
that my unlikely muse is not only autumn at the turning point to clear winter,
with warm forest-wood eyes and at the same time piercing snowflakes
but the calm and steady touchstone of warmth on these cold days as well,
a blanket of friendly thoughts keeping the wind outside a Nordic wood cabin full of white pillows
so yes, I miss winter now
When I was young, I dreamt of space – space would be big enough even for me to find a place where I belong. Only the interstellar nebulae with their multidimensional structures of infinite colour spectra would be complex enough to hold all my dreams and thoughts. At school people used to say I was from Alpha Centauri, but I knew more than them about the worlds beyond our atmosphere, so I told them they were stupid because because Alpha Centauri was, is, will be until it explodes a star, not a planet, and my body is just like theirs, like yours, not made to live in the fires of a sun but in a realm both earthy and filled with cool air tasting of home and freedom. They tried to extinguish the flame of my adventurous spirit, my sense of wonder, tried to chase me out of a starry-eyed scientist’s Eden. But here I am, burning slower now that I’m not in the body of a child hungry for candy-cotton clouds of mysteries anymore, but still I’m burning strong, I reclaimed space and the oceans for my dreams now that the past seems farer away than the moon, so yes, you can call me star-child. I’m what some people might call indigo, a stranger, a visitor. You won’t be able to find my sign on the zodiac, you won’t know my ancestry so you might think I’m fairy born, one of the wee old folks dreaming away among moss covered stones and ivy curtains blowing between trees, but it’s just that the instincts for a way of life older than theirs and yours are encoded in my genes, my soul knows it was created by the only one more ancient than the stars. So call me star-child, for I am their younger sister.
“[…] You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God […]” (Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”, 1927)
And yes, the thing about fellow students at school claiming I was from Alpha Centauri really did happen, and not only once.