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The Chain of Ardency

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Appraisal & Perfection

Sunday, December 4th, 2022

 

I long to write to someone instead of about someone. What is the purpose of deep contemplation if there's no one with whom to share its journey or its burden? I find it difficult to understand why people are so terrified of true emotion. The moment it's translated onto paper, it's too ... real—too profound, as if the sun had struck their eyes after growing accustomed to the dark. As if they believed their wax hearts would melt in a reality too close to ardor.

I find it a great shame that I can't write to the person who evokes some sense of sentiment in me, no matter how minuscule or small. True feelings are difficult to invoke, so even if they're fleeting, how could it not be worth letting her know of something as modest as the enjoyment of her company? Even if I know these useless emotions will wane if I simply neglect to feed them! Even if they aren't worth their weight in salt or stone.

Lord knows there must be more intense emotions. Though, I'd be nothing less than ruthlessly judged and cast out without a moment's hesitation if I conveyed my feelings to anyone, let alone her. Whether it be a man or a woman who would hear them, I'd still be too soft for their portrayal—too delicate—too timorous as though I were nothing more than a few fibers hanging from a spider's web.


Yes, I know that for certain. My feelings, God forbid any at all, are too "ardent," remember?

How silly. People don't even know the meanings behind their own emotions and they're so quick to thrust weight on mine. No, no. These feelings I have toward her are simply the bare bones of fondness. Her smile and her laugh give me a scrap of solace and I enjoy her company. Nothing more and nothing less.

It's not as if there's been a chance to stoke anything else, so is basic written affection really all that startling? Nor can I forget these emotions for her are bound to fade! As if their destiny was already decided before they were even felt, it's only a matter of time before they wither like a flower without water or a tree without sun.


I can already feel their blooming absence in my chest as they pale in comparison to emptiness. Like neglecting a blade for too long, its dullness will eventually decay its purpose. And insufferably so, the second any emotion is rendered into thoughtful words oh, well, the heavens above apparently split open, and all hell breaks loose, despite it.

People seem to believe it's as if love is scratching itself onto paper when a letter is written, but do they not see they ought not be bound and confined to a single sensation? Do they not see these feelings in which I write and render are not love but connection? They're enjoyment and appreciation, and quite soberly so. Do they not see the difference?


How utterly terrifying.

Can we not discern among our own feelings, sowed from the earth of our spirits and reaped from the soil of our hearts? If they can't, then I pity them. If they can't, then they ought not appraise mine with what primitive, lackluster scale they wield for theirs. I have never felt love and so it's out of the question, tossed aside like an ink-less pen or a broken pencil—disregarded like a fractured egg or an empty bottle.

I find it heartbreaking that this simple, trifling emotion of affection I feel toward this person will dwindle in time. I know it's not a fraction of what it could be, but it'll become nothing more than a piece of petrified spirit, slowly crumbling away as time marches forever onward; turning to dust and disappearing as though it had never been sculpted and crafted so carefully. As though it hadn't been tended to with the utmost protection and deliberation. As though I did not want it.

It makes me wonder whether those pieces of me I mold for people ever restore or if I'm willingly giving away parts of my soul for those who may not be worth a single, damn thing. That thought horrifies me. I've come to realize my hope for connection has never been mutual; never amounted to anything significant. It makes sense, then, why I would believe seeking it wouldn't be worth a single atom of consideration.

Why lose slivers of myself? Why watch as my soul splinters and degrades for people who are too afraid? Too afraid to listen, even to themselves. Too afraid to want anything less than perfection. Too afraid to open their craven hearts to the possibility of connection!

How unbearably tragic it is to know that the probability for change is grim. We're only human, after all, but we demand nothing less than perfection from head to toe, exceptionally when the faintest feeling barely resembles anything close to "love." Yet we can't even decipher among any of our emotions, let alone translate a feeling as intense as love must be!

So we choose to drown it. Whether with alcohol or tears, we keep it drenched and suffocating until it's too frightened to whisper a note from its poignant melodies and we've forgotten its fervent tune altogether. We choose to harbor it, chained behind a fragile desire for unrealistic flawlessness, too terrified to recognize that asking for perfection of anyone is merely a delusion conjured by the self-doubt within our own identities.

And so if perfection eludes me, then I'll be damned if I give away pieces of my own heart, the root of everything good and passionate, to those who are imperfect themselves.

Translation I: If we don't take the time to even attempt to comprehend our feelings, then we're hypocrites to weigh anyone else's.
Translation II: Perfection, no matter the person it's aimed at, is an impossible goal; Tread carefully forcing people into its confines because if you demand perfection of them, they will demand perfection of you, and the cycle will never end.
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