umbra

um·bra
/ˈəmbrə/
noun
   — the name given to the shadow cast by a celestial object that entirely blocks out illumination
       (when my anger gets the best of me)

○ ☾ ○

My love for you began the moment I realized I could love. I was (am) small compared to you, in size and in beauty and in value.

There is not a time in my existence that I did not revolve around you. You, full of life and love and imbued with warmth, were incapable of knowing just how much you meant to me. Me, dull and cracked and full of imperfections, who knew nothing but you. I wish I could be angry at you, hate you for being the only thing I can turn to, but it is you that gives me purpose. It is you that moves me and draws me in and keeps me from drifting into unknown, empty, horrible uselessness.

You were (are) my world, pulling me in with the pureness of your being and the rawness of your power, and I did not stand a chance against something as magnificent as you. I only, eternally revolve around you.

But you, you revolve around another.

Another that is brighter and warmer and greater than I, another that encompasses everything that is life. I pale in comparison and in colour, to this great being that is everything that you need and everything that I am not. I wish I could tear this great beauty apart, smother its flame that attracts you so, make it so that I was the only possible answer for any questions you held.

I can not ever do that, however.

The other one gives life to you, to your spirit and to your being, and you repay that with devotion. I should understand — relying so heavily on another that it is only them, them, them that you think about — but it is hard to accept such harsh and heavy a truth.

At times, when my anger gets the best of me, I will block the other one out. I am all you see, for that brief moment, and I like to think that this change (sudden and dark and me) will cause you to stop and look at the lesser one for once.

And you do. I know you do, I feel it within all of my cracks and flaws, that there are moments in which it is I you see and I only. The weight of your stare is upon me, the pressure of your expectations and awe, and if I were stronger I would stay in that spot for the rest of my existence.

But I, I am weak around you.

Your stare becomes painful, your expectations suffocating, your awe misplaced. And so I move, forward and forward and on the same path that I travel every single day. I am lost in the bright light of another, and you continue with your loud devotion, while my quiet adoration stays unnoticed.

Half of me wishes that you were as ugly and unloved as I. The other half laments this thought, for who else would I revolve around but the beautiful and lovely you? Who would provide such purpose and resolve for existing were it not you? I am thankful and spiteful and in love with you all at once.

I existed (exist) for you and all that you are. You lived (live) to bring love and purpose to this dark and empty space.

You are all that I revolve around, and I am a mere dull presence in your glowing existence.

I would (could) not change a thing.

○ ☾ ○

(from the moon to the earth (and the sun))

claire b.

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5 thoughts on “umbra

  1. Wow! This was absolutely fascinating, you encompassed the feelings of love, hate, and self-loathing to a T. You’re writing was just so gratifying to read and, in a sense, relate to. Thank you for writing this.

    1. Ibukun,

      Thank you for this wonderful comment!

      I am honoured that my piece has provided something for you to relate to, even in the smallest of ways. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece, and taking even more time to leave a comment such as this.

      With love,
      Claire

  2. Dear Claire,

    As you already know, I have fallen in love with this piece. I enjoyed the correlations you made between the idea of love and celestial bodies. As a writer, I have too written about love and the wonders of outer space. This is part of why I appreciate this piece so much.

    Everything about this post is captivating; your words are beautifully written. Even the visuals you chose engaged me–especially the moon icon.

    Like Ibukun said, this piece is relatable–incredibly relatable, especially when it comes to the idea of how we revolve around the people we love, and they, in turn, revolve around somebody else.

    Thank you for sharing this! It is a stunning piece.

    Never stop writing,
    Jade

    1. Jade,

      Thank you so much for this comment and for supporting my piece! I’m so happy to hear of your love for celestial bodies and incorporating them into your writing – they’re a personal favourite writing inspiration of mine and it’s so wonderful to hear of someone else who appreciates such beautiful subjects.

      I’m so honoured my piece was able to engage you and relate to you in any way, and thank you for such kind words.

      With love,
      Claire

  3. Dear Claire,

    You write about celestial bodies and yet this piece makes you a star yourself! I enjoy how you are able to connect love and the stars, especially since we’re focusing on romance in LA, and having this piece be so relatable. I enjoy your changing from normal text, to italics, to underlines, as to bring emphasis to certain words. I also liked how how you would put the present participle of the word into brackets to show how something has remained unchanged, such as the presence of love.

    I’m having trouble a bit of trouble finding things to improve on…maybe more visuals? I’m not sure, because this piece is pretty much perfect.

    Keep up the great work!
    -Lucas

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