She lived in a house up high, where the clouded breezes were her landscape, and their quiet rush her song. She harvested rain and star pieces, made poems from the sun. And she was drifty, and she was pale, and she spent her days alone.
She wanted to love who she was, but when she looked out her vast windows, looked down on the world, she saw that the best loved things were earthy things, woven with tree roots, stranded with medicinal brambles, and she saw too how they would be beautiful, and loved them herself. And because she was lonely, she made poems from what she saw of tree, dirt, cracked acorn, so that she could be part of the loving and being loved too.
But she did not really understand loam or lichen, or how to nestle your fingers deep into the earth seeking memory, water, buried wishes; she understood the gradients of sunrise, and the silences of white empty rooms. She did not speak with any fluency the conversations of women weaving in a circle, for her own tongue was bone-broken, heart-aching silence, the language of the alone. She kept on talking dirt though, because that was what people heard and loved.
One day she wondered if maybe she ought to look out different windows, and seek for other houses in the sky where other people might be standing at windows listening for their native song. The thought of it made her catch her breath -
But she did not move from her earthy view. The love you have, even if it is a borrowed love, unseeing of your authentic soul, is better than the true love you might never find.
I want to knock on her door, stand on her threshold, and tell her to give me all her words for clouds until she is filled up with cloud beauty, her own beauty, and learns to love herself. Maybe then she will have the courage to see the other quiet sky people - see me - and give us the poems and heart-aching stories we need just as much as the earth people need theirs.
illustration by mirjama appelhof