A LOVE SONG
of F A Ç A D E S
The city tells of many stories and I have always wanted mine to be told in one.
Humanity has long since gotten lost. Its societies, like human lives, are built around visible and unnoticed structures of ideology. These structures are the crutch that the limping humanity is leaning on. They ought to be built for otherwise we would fall into chaos. Nonetheless they also ought to be questioned and deconstructed for they are only the crutch. No era has ever been able to construct an architecture so intact that it could bear the truth in its entirety which is that the humanity is not only lost but flawed and fallen.
And what is a city but a human construction? It is filled with buildings like it is filled with people and therefore despite its concrete grid it is human through and through. Without its inhabitants the city a ghost and with them it is an array of their façades. The city’s changing architecture is a kind of memorial of humanity’s endeavours and schemes for all buildings have been fashioned according to the ideologies of their days. Its skyline is the horizon where its inhabitants gaze although it is on its very streets where their lives are lived, lost and forgotten yet rarely found. Its buildings have been built to shelter and to show off, to contain and to represent, the same walls of buildings onto which the dreams of its men and women are projected. The bare core underneath the city’s scaffolding has already been exposed because despite its name the city is anonymous, its identity is nothing but a sum of its benefactors amplified words. Nevertheless its songs are being manufactured to lure in those who are still on its outskirts. And that is so because the daily carousel must be kept spinning for the sake of all empires, big and small, built on pretence and guarded by aphorisms.
This city is a myth. Its streets are lined with images. These are images of fantasies, fantasies made of even the most simple of dreams. Everyone has come here with a dream and I was not any different. But it was in this city where the world was stripped in front of my eyes. I saw my own desires imagined and on sale. When I finally understood what I saw, the facades, the fantasies and the weightless words, I became disillusioned with mine. I had been blindly moulded. The stories I had believed in had been fabricated rather than lived and so was I. Like the city’s windows I too reflected whatever surrounded me and alongside its walls, I had propped up my fables just to counter it. With its images I had chanted the parodies that my desires had become, like a living dead I had thrived for an experience of being alive.
For some days, some weeks I trembled on the verge of what I thought to be an unfulfillable void. How did emptiness howl within me, how did it dance beneath my skin with fits of madness. I breathed but did so in vain. I shivered from fear, I shivered from loneliness. I shivered at the sight of beauty that was as meaningless as my existence. Then I saw a red thread and I realised that I had seen it before.
It is the red thread that goes through all my life. It goes through all of me and it is in all what I have kept seeing and hearing. It was in the beauty that I stumbled upon like it is in the silent light I fell in love with, in the music that holds me on the edge, in the words that I fumble for as well as in those that cause me to gasp my breath. It is the red thread that I had been chasing until I was breathless for it is the sound of the Unknown whom I had loved since I first heard Him.
The slogans of this city were not the last word on humanity and its decayed empires were not its final state. However the end of its story was not mine to tell for only my own I could give an account for. In the end I was alone in the universe like I was alone in the midst of these structures and amongst other people. Yet I had not been thrown into nothingness but I lived in front of an audience of One, a stage where my fate mattered and so did my quiet, heartbroken songs.
There had been a night I had seen you and at once fallen in love with you. I was shattered with bewilderment, hope and fear. I wanted to love you, to have and to hold you but I feared that I could not because when I saw you I also saw myself. I was broken and afraid. In front of you I was reduced from my snobbism to the most naked of words; I could barely conceal my disfigured form underneath all the fashion. Still, I came out of my shell just to reach you. I could taste each word I stuttered, words that at last were mine because I spoke them to you. And you didn't know what you did.
Nevertheless it was love that had found me and was about to transform me. Until then love was but a weightless word, the very same that the babbling wreck of a humanity keeps muttering in its frenzy because is the word that haunts it. As a verb love is a beatitude too high to attain, as a noun it escapes its definitions and as an adjective it is absurd. Love is a hollow word on human lips because it is also the word that echoes as a question in each bottomless soul. And so it was for me. Love was a mystery that I had tried to solve like a puzzle until I saw you. Then I finally understood what in my fear I had been too proud to admit; that I indeed was no different. As a woman I desire to love a man. I had thought it to be a lie and discarded my desire as a weakness when that desire, to love and be loved, is the glory of being human.
I am no longer lost, I will never be because God has always had me and He always will. In front of Him I raise and I fall, all alone and happily so because I am known. But without you, I am lonely.
© Carita Silander