They're always so far away, the castles. I can never get to them. It's always night, and I can only just see their spires outlined against the stars. Or it's day, but there's fog all around me and when the wind picks up I catch a glimpse of towers silhouetted against the whiteness, far away. Or maybe I simply can't see that far; it's like a video game, when mountains in the distance seem to be a solid purple-grey, just shapes against the sky. Just purple-grey towers, so far away that I can barely make them out. That's how they appear to me in my dreams.
As soon as I see it, so far away I can never reach it but just close enough that I need to try, I'm filled with this inexplicable longing. It tugs at my heart and I can hardly breathe, because I need to go there. I need to be where the spires are, far away, where it's beautiful -- I know it's beautiful. I need to go there but it's so far away, and there are forests and valleys and mountains in between. It's such a long way to go.
When I wake up I feel cheated, I feel loss. I never find them, and I try, I try so hard. I remember standing on the shore of a still dark lake, fireflies dancing above me, and I saw the city rising on the other side of the water, a black bristling creature. And right at the top of it, tall and buttressed, waiting for me, was the castle. Lights were on inside. Tiny golden pin-pricks in the night, the castle and its city, so far across that lake. How could I ever make it there? I wanted so badly to go inside, to gaze up at the tall stained glass windows, to hear my voice echo in its grand halls.
But I never will. I never do. I see them so often, the faraway castles, but I never find my way to them. They're never within reach. And every time it hurts just as much as the first.
(image sources: 1, 2)