― Maya Angelou
― Maya Angelou
“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”
― John Lennon
Thank you for drizzling by,
“When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know”
-From the song, “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel
“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
“The old ones called it ‘the hour of the wolf’. It is the hour when the most people die, and the most are born. At this time, nightmares come to us. And when we awake, we are afraid.”
-Ingmar Bergman, film “The Hour of the Wolf” (“Vargtimmen”)
To roam the silken sky
With the sound of Death
Shadow of your splayed soul
Spilled and spread like blood
In the bleached, rippled sands
And so in a splash of Amber Glow
Your Twilight arrived too soon-
The last Flare of afternoon
The sweeping of Wings
Into candent Dawn
Welkin of turbid yellow
Punched with feathered fists of cloud-
Morn’s Pale Apparition lifts
Sorbile gems gleam in garland light
Kicked by creaking shoes-
Black starlings scatter
Beyond- a school bell’s keening
Slathered in mid-morning sun
Donning the Dew- slumping, careworn
Drenched in its memory
Eyes red with exhaust
Concrete dust and sun-baked blooms
Barbed thoughts pulsating-
December. The Sea has cooled, a bit. The sand feels like chilled velvet ‘neath my stumbling toes. Rubigenous seawrack trickles in. The seethe crackles and I suddenly catch a wee glisk of my delitescent Self abiding there in the reflection on the glass sand. It is the meek, quiet one within, the one that harbours all the pain and grief I have ever known.
An intangible being created long ago, and like a gentle chum, has ever-remained. It is there when I go sprawling, overturned, writhing in the spitting sand, rabid wind flinging shards of broken sea glass and shattered scallop shells into my eyes. It flits in and swallows every splinter of chaos, calmly, silently, so I may clamber back to my feet and stagger on. And then, I am reminded, Chaos is a Choice.
This service performed without complaint, little shamrock-infused Soul. Nothing spoken, lurking reticent and Daphnean- alone, without yearning. But I can feel it, ever-present, and am zapped with its vital energy- how can something dormant feel so ardently alive? Is this where Passion is derived? Attitude and Perception? Is this what converts Grief into Peace? Agony into Understanding? Despair into Art?
I amble on, in Memory, gazing through the Abstract: the hum of the fluorescent lights hovering over an infinite hallway; the sharp light polished on the gossamer surface of a muddy puddle; the buzz of a drill in the background, staring up at the pocks in the grey ceiling, tracing constellations of galloping stallions and peculiar faces; and the keening sound of the groaning flowers as they die on the frozen prairie, brushed by the aching wind-
Abstract memory has a way about it, washing things in a thrilling,
pensive kind of melancholy. Even the hideous and the terrifying can become
beautiful. The fracid and sulfuric scent of Death, black-red, sticky on the
sheets, is an oil-painting-flashback, a sad observation. Her vitative laugh, unique and impossible to replicate, is no cultellated recollection, but evokes joy recalling having known such a gorgeous Soul.
There is damage, but no distortion, feeling pain, but no torment; stumbling crippled, but not suffering. The wounded and mangled inner being that smiles coyly through the detritus of childhood abuse, of loss, and pain- I see it in the flicker of a blue shadow, the crunch of a dead leaf, and I know, I can feel it all, euphorically.
It provides Peace. It reveals fragile humanity, even in those others have named Monsters. Understanding comes, fear being vanquished. Is it the breath of Forgiveness? How could it be, if I first do not feel wronged? Compassion and Love, the Beast with Gentle Eyes?
I wander on into the now dark, December night, Sea a distant hum behind me. Christmas lights and stars illuminate the way. I think about my brother, his addiction, our differences. I wonder if he has a hidden Self within to absorb the blows. I have seen him staggering in obscurity- searching for Beauty and relief in drugs, self-esteem in crime, atonement in masochism. I see him for what he is- a beautiful human being, worthy of forgiving himself. Aye, I think of him, as I ooze along, deeper and deeper into the lovely December night.
These moments eternal, abiding with you, to Memory now transformed; but never I, to mourn, knowing, onward shall they thrive, a part of this emerald sea that is the life in me.