The contents of a goodbye

It was the type of goodbye
Where we made love on your suitcase
everything closed and zipped
except me, undone
Even with you pressed against me
I was overflowing
trying to pack my words
with essentials of meaning
and intention
so they were like satin,
like my hair,
like my mind
like the nuances of the flesh
of my collarbones
or velvet
and soft furnishings
and open doors –
I covered each and every word
in tiny cursive,
packed it as densely as possible
I condensed the expanse of me,
and called your name
I said everything and nothing
Nothing and everything
Not enough and too much

I was saying goodbye
and I was saying I love you
I did not pack lightly

Artwork: Marcela Bolivar – Dissolution

111 thoughts on “The contents of a goodbye

  1. Rachel, this will resonate so deeply with everyone who reads it. At one time or another, we have all experienced the pain of a final goodbye. Even years later, these thoughts often run through our minds:

    I said everything and nothing
    Nothing and everything
    Not enough and too much

    Reminiscent of a trip to loneliness, you wonder if you packed enough or too much.
    Love the metaphor.
    Beautifully written.
    xo

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, a trip to loneliness… and too caught up in the emotion of the moment to think clearly and say exactly what you want to say. Or how you wish you could have said it. Classic case of amygdala wins over frontal lobes 😂.

      Thank you so much Drew. I appreciate your support.
      xo

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Rachel,

      I would like to concur with Drew (thelonelyauthorblog). Your poem captures the moment of parting very well with vivid metaphors, ambivalent contrasts and dramatic juxtapositions. It is the month of April, when springtime is all around us. And so, in the name of love and the spirit of your poem, I shall reciprocate with my post at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/soundeagle-in-april-love-and-dove-art-and-heart-game-and-puzzle-music-and-video/

      Happy April to you and Drew!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you SoundEagle for your beautiful comment and for sharing your post – a multimedia delight of springtime and love. Such a perfect antidote to the current global situation. Wishing you all the best, and a happy April to you, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Rachel,

        You are very welcome! Thank you for your reply here and for visiting and liking my said post. I would really appreciate it if you could kindly leave your lovely comment at my post too. You can simply copy and paste your previous comment and perhaps add more if you have something extra to say. Thank you.

        “April Love” is one of my late mother’s favourite songs, and is also mentioned in the multimedia eulogy/memoir/biography that you previously visited last year at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

        This post has been further improved and significantly extended. It is now several times longer, containing more stories and various documents, photos and videos pertaining to diverse matters and events, even including my mother’s wedding video dubbed with my musical compositions. Amateur videos in those days were very rare, even in developed countries.

        You are welcome to take a good look of the eulogy/memoir/biography and make any further comment. I shall be uploading about eight more photos and images to the post and write more in the next few days.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So much said here that revolves around the themes of one final act of passion and parting. You’ve used the suitcase as a symbol masterfully. I felt it all – the ardor, the grief, the impending loneliness, the need to hold on and most importantly, the love. In some ways it echoes the proverb, Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment. Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree completely about the proverb – I didn’t know it but I looked it up
      “Pleasure of love lasts only a moment
      Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment

      Heartache lasts a lifetime
      Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie”

      It’s so painful and so true. There are some things our hearts never truly recover from.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe that you can recover from even the worst trauma. I’m not only talking about heartbreak – but other wounds too. If I were to look at my life, I’ve known pain that kills off a man’s soul. It made me nihilistic, and for a long time, I simply wondered why, but ultimately, I had to move on. I use writing as a way to express this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Writing is such a good outlet, and sometimes allows for a self-realisation we may not have otherwise had.

        Can we recover….? That is such a good question, and I think it depends on how you define ‘recovering.’ Some wounds I believe truly change us irrevocably. Not necessarily for the worse, but in a way that imprints in our souls and psyche. Sometimes it’s true that it makes us better or stronger.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Drew explained your poem beautifully Rachel….. of course I’m quite teary(that’s me) and your finale touched me deeply…..
    “I was saying goodbye
    and I was saying I love you
    I did not pack lightly”

    Liked by 4 people

      1. ((Hugs)) Rachel… the sun was shining this morning…. and reading your beautiful words, and Robert Okaji’s inspiring poem ‘A Step Closer’, I came up with this little poem ….

        Good Morning Sunshine

        After two days of wind and rain
        Here is morning sunshine again
        Blueness dances across the sky
        Flowers sip on light, through moist eyes
        Nature blazes into my ambient day
        And dazzles my souls’ causeway

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The “Flowers sip on light” piece I borrowed from ‘Robert’s’ poem, such a gorgeous few words, and then I added “through moist eyes”…… 💙🌏

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Rachel, this poem somehow feels so you, through and through… which I love, and besides the opening lines, the favourite ones for me were the same as for Ivor, above… “I was saying goodbye / and I was saying I love you / I did not pack lightly”
    Such a perfectly packed metaphor, and it made me ponder that this happens so often, doesn’t it… it’s so hard to say goodbye, part of us wants to keep the bridge, part for ourselves, part for the other… and sometimes the other is more closed and zipped, and all of our openness can’t really unzip the closed baggage…
    Happy to read you again, my friend. ❤︎ 🙏📖

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Honestly, I can barely handle goodbyes, I am a wreck. If there is any way to keep a bridge, I’ll keep it, often to my own detriment. The concept of emotional baggage, the concept of openness vs closeness, the differences in dealing with emotions between two people and the effect of that… I am not surprised you see all these layers. I’m so thankful for that. Sending hugs and gratitude xoxox

      Liked by 3 people

  5. “And once the kaleidoscopic whirr of the universe folded and felded and melted into the next song we gently opened our eyes and with a gentle gust we parted like parting lips like parting water drops like parting whispers in the wind’s icy drift and her sweet dark hair and crisp white blouse and taut blue jeans floated away and drafted daintily down the stairs and I never saw her again.” –
    Yousef Alqamoussi, Chapter One: Costa Rica

    Rachel… This is so sensual and so melancholic. Passionate and pained. There is such an intensity to the nothing and the everything. The goodbye and the please don’t leave. The paradox…. the beautiful, brutal paradox. Xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. April, honestly, you read me like a book. Actually, better than that because you see far beyond the lines, between them, inside and out. You make me think in the crevices I might not have even seen myself. I fell in love with that quote you cited. A soft yet passionate departure, the bittersweet, and the brutal paradox. Goodbye but please don’t leave. I’ll say goodbye but I don’t mean it…

      Love ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  6. sometimes words accumulate and crwal under our skin and want to burst forth, yet we can’t find the right ones, especially in goodbyes. such a delicately written poem Rachel, the gossamer wings of your soul flutter over every line, dusting something so spiritual and holy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, yes and yes. And how beautiful are your words “gossamer wings of your soul flutter over every line, dusting something so spiritual and holy…”. This is what I always say about you dear friend, you make ordinary, magical 💜.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This line resonated:

    everything closed and zipped
except me, undone

    Like banging frantically at a door even though you know there is no one on the other side to open it. Your passionate imagery and apt metaphors have been packed in the suitcase of my heart.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really love what you says about those lines “Like banging frantically at a door even though you know there is no one on the other side.” That’s exactly what it’s like. Thank you, for such kind words and such a lovely interpretation.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Can I experience all the painful parts of my life only through the lens of your poetry, please? Because what a relief it is to be able to relive the jagged edges of final partings when they are delivered on the gossamer wings of your delicate and nuanced verse.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Larisa, do you realise how much what you’ve said means to me? I hope so… If words and poetry can have that power, to be a lens that makes something painful more beautiful or bearable… then I’m pleased I write. Thank you, sweet friend, and I hope so much that you are well. Xoxoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  9. “everything closed and zipped
    except me, undone”…I feel like this every time he leaves.
    “I condensed the expanse of me,
    and called your name”…ooh, this is so real that it seems surreal!
    The metaphor of suitcase, the symbolism, the feeling of helplessness and loneliness…too familiar and expressed in your words, it is just too beautiful. The intensity of parting can be killing.
    Passionately written, Rachel. I so love this. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Punam, I am so honoured to write something that resonates with you like this: “I feel like this every time he leaves.” Goodbyes really can undo us… leave us with that loneliness and helplessness. An empty space where someone should be. I am so so glad you liked this, thank you thank you! ❤️❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mine is more of a meet and part scenario because of his job but it is as painful every time! You painted that melancholic feeling too well. So blessed to read your words, dear Rachel. ❤️❤️

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh Wow!! So masterfully penned, My Dear!! I so loved the topic and the way it all played out. Especially, loved the images and feelings of The Last Time – and trying to make sure everything is said – like packing. Sometimes the things left unsaid end up haunting us the most!!! Bellissimo, My Dear Bellissiimo!! 😘🌹💖

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I so agree with the comment below about Picasso! Your words are really exquisite, elegant and overflowing with feelings and emotions, Rachel!! You so perfectly captured the thoughts of that “Last Good-Bye” when one has so many things racing through their head – from the first kiss, the first time, being In Love and yet coming to this moment of ending and separation and letting go!

        Your last three lines brought me to tears, having been there and done that. Those lines are Brilliant, Deeply emotional and Haunting with the potential for distant regrets!! Stunningly Awesome!!!
        Just thought you should know!!!! This was a Romantic Movie with Your words!!!!
        Chuck
        xoxo 🌹🌹😘💖

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I read this when I woke up early this morning, I needed to read it again but waited until tonight. I thought about it when I was in the garden today, it is so exquisite Rachel. Every word is perfect and precise and soft and hard and that image of making love on the zipped suitcase…..oh my, this is what poetry is meant to be.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Oh that last line…the baggage…the metaphors, the images, the rhythm of that piece… Enchanting and emotional through and through. Wow.
    I write in broken sentences for sometimes it’s difficult to process in words what one only can experience in heart!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You truly deserve an eternal audience, Rachel, and I’m sure you will have one. I just know it. Not everyone can write that way. I agree with the “Human Anvil” – your phrases are like the master brush strokes of a wildly beautiful, genius artist!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. “everything closed and zipped
except me, undone”
    Raw and real. The romance of the ‘push pull’. I love you goodbye. Beautiful dear, Rachel. Always a treat to read your thoughts!🤗💜🤗💜 🤗💜 sending you love and hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My dear Nina, I’m so sorry I missed this… I don’t even know how. I have been all over the place lately, and not literally in terms of physical space. “The romance of the ‘push pull’. I love you goodbye. “ Yes, painful and beautiful at the same time. Thank you. How are you my friend?? Xoxoxo

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aw no worries, Rachel. 🥰 I hope you are settling down now? How are you? I am well…enjoying the wisteria blooms again—thinking of you. Long distant hugs to you sweet friend.🤗💓🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Rachel, this whole entire poem packed a punch.

    The symbolism of the suitcase and the feeling of loneliness and saying goodbye is difficult for anyone to experience in an emotional aspect.

    Brilliant and heartfelt and moving poetic write my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Charlie, I don’t know how I missed this comment, I’m so sorry, I’ve been so patchy on WordPress lately, I don’t have a systematic way of making sure I don’t miss things at the moment. Thank you so much for your lovely words about this. I hope you are well.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. My brilliant Rachel,
    This poem is superb. I can feel every word. And every word is pain wrapped in pieces of your magnificent soul.
    “Where we made love on your suitcase
    everything closed and zipped
    except me, undone”
    How can anyone better express a painful good-bye? Tell me. I am listening.

    “trying to pack my words
    with essentials of meaning
    and intention
    so they were like satin,”
    And the satin was like tears, and tears were your words. Wow!

    “I said everything and nothing
    Nothing and everything

    I was saying I love you”
    This is epic. This is beyond epic. I have no words to tell you what a magnificent piece you wrote. One day you will have to understand that you are beyond talented. You are a magnificent poet. I wish that day will come sooner rather than later.
    You are the morning star Rachel. I love the morning star.
    Thank you for shining. Thank you for being bright!
    Yours
    G.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear G. Again you have filled me with tears. “And the satin was like tears, and tears were your words.” Let me ask you a question. Is there anything more beautiful than the words you so effortlessly write? Another question. How can I deserve your friendship and your lavish praise? I am so lucky. You give me such confidence in my writing.. You are my evening star 🌟.

      I hope you are doing ok. Still busy? Feeling ok?

      Love and hugs, boat loads of them xoxox

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rachel, you deserve much more than my friendship and my praise.
        You deserve to be happy and loved. You deserve the sun and the moon.

        I’ve never asked you what perfume do you like? Will you tell me sweetheart?
        I am busy indeed. It’s 2:40 am here and I am still working, but I feel ok. Are you ok my fabulous Rachel?
        xoxoxo

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Excellent poem, Rachel. Raw imagery with vibrant feelings. Always a pleasure to come back to your blog. The image with the suitcase and the first person narrator wanting to expand when everything is closing is original, beautiful and well-found.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Gorgeous.what a unique poem” I said everything and nothing,nothing and everything,not enough and too much….”thought provoking with using wonderful metaphor,dear Resana!! Really i like your this poem by it’s own style.image are most wonderful.sigh…”it was type of good bye,where we made love in your suitcase……like many pins are poking the heart💙

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi. I’m so sorry I missed this, I seemed to go through a patch of it and it’s not something I like to do. Your thoughts are important to me! Thank you for your kind words, so much. I hope you are well 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is my pleasure. I found you when Gabriela had featured you and another writer on her blog. I am glad she did. Your poetry is beautifully expressive. I ended up reading several pieces and I have a lot more reading to do. I look forward to reading a lot more of your work. Hope you have a blessed and safe day. Hugs and love 💕 Joni

        Liked by 2 people

  18. I found the comparison of a goodbye to a suitcase quite clever and I like that you repeated that metaphor throughout. I especially love the last three lines. They are so simply written, but pack a punch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey dear friend. I have been extremely haphazard on here these last couple of weeks. This message is precious to me and I can’t believe I missed it. I really need this encouragement, thank you so much, and I hope you are well. You’ve brightened my day.
      💜♥️❤️🧡🖤 xoxox

      Liked by 2 people

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