01 February, 2010

Sirens of South Africa___________

I had my heart dashed on the rocks by a woman with silver-blue eyes.
She didn't do anything wrong, I suppose. Is it wrong to lure a man in
with such a gaze—is it conscious? I don't know, but she did. And she
did nothing else. She left me to the swell of my heart to be swept to
her, only to be smashed against an immovable shore, a stalward rock,
I wonder how many men have lost themselves to that gaze? … How many
have been crushed by her rigid passivity?
Not quite drowned, I crawled to the safety and lonely solitude of my
boat, slipped the lines and sailed for safer waters, those waters
without enchanting eyes to steal what heart I still have left.
The old saying goes that the greatest risk to the sailor is the shore.
Until now I haven't understood the depth of it truth. Danger goes
beyond, rocks and tide. A heart is a ship ever in uncharted water,
ever piloted with a desperate and wild helm, who desires the dangerous
waters and plies for them, to his own doom and demise. And does so
again and again, until his vessel is a shell and wraith of its former
Can a heart be renewed as easily as a caravel can be replanked? One must hope.

I am not so far gone as all that. My heart rejoices with each trip to
and from the safe waters of solitude. But the dashing seems eternal
now, as the years have passed. I have learned nothing from my
failures. I am the same man at 32 as I was at 22, not as brash
perhaps, but nearly as naïve. And capable of more harm.
I am unsure whether I have grown or regressed. In fact, as a man to a
woman, I am altogether lost to what I am and am not. I am little more
than a history of failures. The few victories I have I hold as
marvels, mysteries, inexplicably at odds with my experiences at large.
And those who shared them with me I revere more than the combined
majesty of the world.
Yet they are the seeds that grow in my hopes and dreams. Have I the
endurance to perpetually dust off and carry on? … hold my head up high
after yet another plastering? … I have thus far, but my heart starts
to feel its age. Some dreams are now reaching conclusion, and others
are on the brink of beginning. The gravity of starting on yet another
stage of life alone hangs heavily like the tolling of a bell. And I
have no alternatives, no plan other than my dreams, no recourse—only a
single-minded determination to pursue what drives me.
I never meant to do all this alone. But I have never put up a "help
wanted" sign for a lover and companion. I could, and it works easily
enough. In Thailand and the Philippines I could be married within a
week. And to a woman who would truly love me and care for me
exceptionally well. And yet I refuse all of these avenues. Why??
I don't know for sure … not what I want. Bluntly put, I want a
partner, not a servant. More balance.

I fail, perpetually, to turn the hearts of those I see spirit in,
those I dream could share my life, and I there. To this failure, I am
no closer to understanding than I was when I was fifteen. Then it was
Elise Caskey, and her bottomless, unforgettable eyes. In Port
Elisabeth it were eyes as similar as any I can remember in between,
destructive eyes.

Jonah Manning

Online Journal: www.jonahmanning.name
Email - bellyofthewhale.gmail.com
South African Cell Phone:
international: [+27] 711797523
local: 0711797523

Jonah Manning
c/o Charles Manning
751 Mallet Hill Rd
Apt 13105
Columbia, South Carolina, 29223

Emergency contact:
Dibble Manning
phone: 001 - 803 - 787 - 4352
also check addresss in "to" column

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