Hello my friend!
You must be thinking that you have just found a message addressed to someone else. But if this lovely piece of paper ended up on your way, I guess right now this letter is supposed to be nowhere but in your hands. However, before I start I want to ask you a favour; read me closely, and any questions will be answered later on, I promise. Imagine that as your eyes are passing through my words I am right by your side reading them out loud to you. Listen to me carefully, so they can slip out of my tongue following the rhythm of my heartbeat.
Now let me ask you something. How many times were your eyes screaming for help but everyone failed to hear? Quite a lot, right? But do you remember when it was the last time you looked around and tried to see in someone’s eyes more than the reflex of your own? Can you imagine how many times the person by your side was falling apart while you were blind to every broken piece but the ones inside your chest?
It may sound strange, but I love crowded places. They inspire me in an intense and yet suffocating way. I like seeing people passing by. Some of them take the time to walk slowly, others are always in a hurry as if time is desperately slipping through their fingers. Still, they have something that unify them; they live. Every heartbeat, every breath, every scar, every collapsing star that lays inside their chests has its own story. They carry a past on their backs, and an unbuilt future on their shoulders. Nonetheless, the sad part of it is that most of the time they do not see each other, and when they do is under the perspective of a heart that plays a different melody. More often than we think we let only our own eyes be the windows through which we see the world. Do you think it is fair the fact that all that uniqueness is labelled as a nameless mass?
Can I ask you one last favour, please? I want you to write down on the other side of this page what this place where you found my letter looks like through your eyes, and how it makes you feel. After that describe the feeling of breathing this air through your lungs, and all the things you can smell. Then, write something you just heard, and how it echoed inside your head. Next, tell me the last thing you cried for. And last but not least, share your battle with me, and put the letter back in the same place you found it, so I can read it and pass it on.
I love the drops of sunshine on the river and how the wind makes them dance. This place makes me feel that there is no better roof than the sky above my head. The air here is dense and smooth, the deeper I breath the more alive I feel. It smells like roses and earth after it rains. A guy just told me I was beautiful, I realised then that he could not see a thing of the poetry I have covered by skin. I cried yesterday because I miss pieces of myself I will never get back. My battle is waking up every morning and putting on a smile that does not always belong to my face, as I have stuck on my throat all the feelings my heart is so tired of screaming, and my lips deny telling anyone.
I want to tell you that I care about you. So take one of my shoes, and I will take one of yours. Hold my hand and let’s walk through this. Together.
Lots of love,
A face among the crowd
[Luísa Tibana, Ville de Québec, Winter 2018]