Lark of the Nightingale

You came to me in darkness. A little of yours, a lot of mine. We commiserated in the shadows, finding solace in the knowing, affirming company. I was grateful for the benevolence. Your cordiality created a soft place for my burdens to rest. So much so that I began to peel away the masks of my darkness. I revealed the pain that stole my sleep. I confessed the fear that restricted my spirit. My soul whispered: “I wish….”   “I’ve never…..”   “Why can’t I….”   “I want….” It was all laid bare. Every flaw. Every misstep. Every doubt. Every anguish. Every dream. You looked into my abyss and called me beautiful. You called me beautiful like it was my name. A word which was never mine to hold.

Like a nightingale, your song healed me. Night after night you sang to me in soothing tones. Never judging. Comforting. Understanding. Leading. Prodding. Your song was mesmerizing. I ached to hear it. I followed it, yearning. You sang sweetness to me and lulled me. Under your wing my pain rested, my spirit soared, my soul was at peace. As if my life had suddenly been regifted to me – packaged in a shiny, new container and presented with limitless opportunities. I gladly accepted that gift and opened it with hope and fervor. And with your help.

But morning had to come. Morning always comes. When the light finally dawned, my nightingale no longer sang to me. After months of serenade by the beautiful music, suddenly there was silence. Deafening silence. The music I craved was ripped from my heart. The masks began to find their rightful positions again. Sleep eluded me. My spirit was caged once again. Without the music, how was I to dance? For a while I heard my nightingale in the distance. I strained to find the song that once soothed me. I tried to follow the far off sounds, never getting closer. Only walking through more silence in the dark. Leading nowhere.

As morning light grew brighter, my view changed. In time, even in the night I could see more than before. Then came the night when I heard your song again. My nightingale was singing again and I wanted to consume every note as nourishment of my very scarcity. That’s when I learned you sang for others when you sang for me. The songs I heard weren’t meant for me, but rather for whoever had ears to listen. You were never my nightingale. I was never your beautiful. I was nothing more than an open window on your passing flight. There were too many open windows.

I don’t hear the night songs the same way anymore. I don’t remove the masks. My spirit fills with fear, my soul lies muffled. The nightingale sings lovely notes, but they are only to shield the lies shrouded beneath. There is no other bird that sings so deeply, so full of ecstasy. We may go to bed with the nightingale but when we wake, when we rise……it is with the lark.

Deceitful little bird.

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