"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Sunday, December 30, 2012

All this weird beauty

photo by Lukasz Wierzbowski

It stood out to her, a lonely red impulse in a sea of green hedge. She stopped and tiptoed off the sidewalk, dropping her work bag next to the bush. She knelt down and reached out. The rose was trapped, having somehow found it's way into the shrubbery's dense inner lattice. She gently cupped her hands around it and extracted it. 

She cradled the flower in her hand like it was an infant, like if she juggled it only a little, shifted just a bit too far in any direction, it would crumble. It would collapse into dust - she just knew it - and blow away with the next odd gust that tumbled past her. She put her other hand over it as a safeguard and studied it.

"It's been quite a day, hasn't it?" she asked.

The flower did not respond.

"I know I'm pretty much done at this point," she continued. "Can't wait for tomorrow. Never thought I could use a new day as much as I do right now."

Several petals rippled as a soft breeze picked up, tossing a few stray hairs into her face. She picked them aside, rearranging them as neatly as she could before rushing her hand back to the flower's protection.

"I can't believe some of the things they've been saying, can you?" She struggled for words, her mouth opening and closing in wordless gasps. "I guess our first instinct has always been to look for the reason things happen. They always want to know why - they always want to deliver an explanation. I'm not sure there always is one, though."

A bird warbled unsteadily in the distance. The flower stayed silent. She scrunched up her nose as a familiar tickle of emotion built up int the corners of her eyes.

"But something like this..." She adjusted her posture, settling into a cross-legged position but slumping forward, defeated as tears began to flow. "If there isn't a reason for this, where do we put it? Where does it fit into the world?"

The rose, as precious as it was to her, still offered no support. It gave just a slight quiver, a motion carried through her splayed fingers by the wind. She began to laugh, even as saltwater gathered and dripped from her jawline.

"I guess there really isn't anything to say, is there?" She raised a hand and ran it through her hair. "Nothing more than sympathies and well-wishing, anyway."

Her hand came to rest on the back of her neck, her fingertips brushing an imaginary itch as her brain ran through one possibility after another - none of them making complete sense. She came out of her trance just long enough to notice that the tears had stopped. Then, in one inexplicable burst of instinctive energy, her hand was in the air and momentum was carrying it right down into her steadily outstretched palm.

She felt something soft and broken, something tragically at rest between her hands. She opened them, knowing that she wasn't going to like what she saw. The rose was a scattered mess, dented petals trickling between her fingers onto the grass. She dropped it, horrified, and knelt beside it like it was a dying relative.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

As the words drew slowly out of her mouth, she wondered why she was saying them. She didn't feel sorry. Whatever the feeling was, it seemed closer to disappointment. Or perhaps it was longing, like she was watching an old friend board a plane to another continent, never to return home.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Dawes, Take Me Out Of The City

Friday, December 28, 2012

The simplicity of human hearing

There is a sound that love makes.
It is the sound of a tidal wave
as it sucks up the last bit of ocean
before crashing down upon the sand.
It is the sound of the beast,
its stomach empty before a meal.
It is the sound of emptiness being filled
and in times of loneliness and loss
it is the deep sound of longing.
In fact, there is hardly a sound
that love does not make once or more.
And while this may paint it as cheap,
perhaps a song too commonly sung,
I'm sure it would simply argue
that it must be heard on every register.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Vocal Chords