old people

A Time for Souls

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Intimate. Your face so close on the pillow. The blue of your eyes. The strands of silver in your hair. The way your mouth curves when you're lying sideways. Every morning, this is what I see. Every morning I sense your scent. Every morning I wake up next to you. Matter-of-factly.

But I don't really see you. Too often have I looked at you, smelled you, heard your voice. Before you speak I know what you're going to say. I hear what I expect to hear. I perceive what I want to be the truth. I keep encountering myself – not you.

That's the way it is. This is how most people grow old together. Always the same word combinations, repeating like clockwork. Always the same things we have in common, the same differences, the same conflicts. Well-rehearsed during years of familiarity, some things have become rituals. Rigid, lifeless habits. The way it is.

Back to square one. To the unconditional openness of when we were getting to know one another. When our hearts beheld each other. But the beginning remains the beginning. Impossible to restore. It remains magical, belonging to the past. The starting point of our journey together. There is no "back to square one".

And yet: something else can be regained. The magic itself. The open encounter. Recognizing the other human being when the personality's layers are being peeled away. Something lights up, fragile and bright – and powerful. The core. The soul, at home in eternity. This is what remains when you look through the garments of culture.

When falling in love we're gifted with the brightening of the souls, hardly perceived yet naturally there. During the years together the soul never imposes. Is forgotten, obscured by all those projects. And buried beneath everyday banalities. The way it is.

Or it is reserved, exclusively to itself. Then, however, it perishes. Its luminance diminishes more and more until it encapsulates itself. The soul only lives when it is wanted and nourished. And when it meets its own kind. Then it can vibrate, resonate – and communicate. Then the dialogue begins. Truly encountering the other human being. That familiar one lying among the pillows.

It is an encounter without words. It is a time for our souls.

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