the secret keepers

‘Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, for even the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.’

– Kahlil Gibran

There are those who whirl into my life and just as easily depart. Then there are those who sneak quietly along the peripherals, surprising me with their companionship when I least expect it, but they too just as quietly fade away.

My life has been made richer by every one of them, no matter how fleeting the encounter.

But when I do find one who doesn’t go away, who smiles at my ugliness and reminds me of beauty… I feel like I found the treasure at my rainbow’s end.

And treasure them, I do.

*

‘I thought you were such an overbearing person,’ the Queen once said to me, when I asked about her first impressions. ‘You were such a bossy bitch.’

I hit her hard. Then we broke out in laughter.

We first met in school and like all students, hung out between our study periods, sharing music. After some random chatter one day, we thought, hey! If we all like music, and can play music somewhat, why not form a band to join the competition that was being held on campus? I was the only one who didn’t know her instrument so I picked up the bass guitar and did vocals. They must have been desperate because damn, I was lousy. But each of us wanted to prove that we could do it. So we worked hard. For weeks after, we practiced in a tiny jam studio.

At the end of those months, we won second-place in a competition made up solely of guys (token chick award?) but walked away with a greater prize than the recognition. We walked away with firm friendships.

I saw the Queen through her first relationship and subsequent break-up. She was there when I faced a terrible choice I had to make. And we worked together on almost all our productions. Life just felt safer with her around.

When we graduated, it was painful to see her fly off to the other side of the world. I felt left behind and wondered… who would remain to challenge me? Who would be there to pick up the pieces when I broke down? Who would cheer me on when I needed a hug?

But with the distance, we found that what we’d built back then had became a home of sorts, one we returned to every time there was a crisis. Time had no bearing on our relationship’s evolution. We merely picked up where we left off.

I’d found a secret keeper. And it was the most beautiful thing in the world.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of finding more secret keepers and my life has been made real because of them.

Why are they different from my friends? For one, I am an open book to them. We don’t need to meet up regularly. We don’t even need to take long to catch up. We’re just walking stories, waiting to be read by each other. There are no walls to break down, no facades, no pretense. No roles to play and certainly, no responsibilities towards each other.

We’re just hearts that share.

Tonight, I wanted to say thank you to my secret keepers. You know who you all are because I end my sentences with, ‘Keep it to yourself ok?’

And each time, your reply is, ‘Yes, I know.’

Thanks for standing patiently by, while I break down my walls.

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2 thoughts on “the secret keepers

    1. Thanks Dennis! I popped by your blog and will definitely be returning often to check out more of your writing. Interesting stuff you’re doing with the old photos and stories. 🙂

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