Thursday, February 24, 2011


Darkness rolls in like thick, black smoke billowing from a fire. Jack Frost's wintery kiss caresses my cheek, and my eyes flutter open. I am standing outside, but my gaze is immediately drawn upward to the explosions of brilliant colors lighting the night sky. I stand watching in awe as the colors explode with a fury and then fade into the milky darkness. The sound of the thundering explosions is tempered quickly by shrieks and peals of laughter all around me.

My attention is quickly drawn away from the heavens and back to the earth. There is a figure looming ahead in the distance. It is a character like none other that I have ever seen. Its face is grotesquely over imagined like some caricature come to life. The children do not fear. They run past me with squeals of delight and surround the masked figure. His eyes seem to be fixed on me, so I turn trying to escape his gaze. The booming overhead continues… louder, ever so loud.

I am suddenly aware of the icy pavement under my bare feet. I seek refuge from its callous embrace. The lights in the sky above are reflected in the black water of the lagoon. Their colors are distorted with each ripple of the water as the cool wind ruffles the surface. The same wind sings through the trees and whips my gown around my legs. It is calling to me.

Through the booming of the explosions overhead, I hear the echo of men yelling for me to stop. They are rushing toward me. I test the water with one bare foot. It is frigid, numbing. As my pale flesh succumbs to the liquid blackness, the lights play along my skin drawing me forward. The water laps gently at my thighs as I wade in deeper. It is to my waist before the men reach the edge. They do not dare risk the icy blackness. I reach the center of the lagoon and turn to see in the distance a throng of people gathered to watch the explosions in the heavens. They laugh and shriek gaily.

At the edge of the water, the men turn to see the final display of lights. My gown drifts behind me. It billows up like a great soft pillow and I am tired -- so very tired. I lay back onto the pillow and I can feel the icy water flow over my shoulders as I close my eyes. I take a breath and succumb to the night.

I reach out with my fingertips and feel the cool damp blades of grass. I put my hand to my cheek. It is moist. The dew has fallen. The fireworks show has long since ended and all that remains is the smell of firing powder and a haze in the sky. I am alone in the night. I must have fallen asleep because I had a dream last night.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Light of Passion

I have always seen passion as a light that shined brightly on an object. Whatever people are passionate about, that is where their light shines. It is like a flashlight. The place where the beam of light is directed is the most illuminated although the areas nearby are also brightened a bit. The problem with me is that my passion does not seem to work that way. I shine my light on something that I think I am passionate about, but it's reflected. It's like shining a light on a prism. Fragments of the light shoot off into different directions illuminating things all around it. The light may not be as bright or as intense, but the light still shines.

My trouble, I think, comes from the fact that I cannot see the prism that the light is reflecting off of and so I try to focus on the many beams of light that are reflected from it, but I cannot see in that many different directions at once.

If I look into one fragment of light, I see wonderful books… endless books. Some of them are crisp and new with pages never turned. Others are older, tattered, with yellowing pages that seem to have a thin layer of air between each leaf that makes them almost just turn under their own power. I see leather bound classics and ancient letters between lovers. I see a roaring fire and hear its crackling as the wood turns to ash. There are rows and rows of glorious books with stories and characters and hopes and dreams and fears all waiting to be unlocked. But there's never time…. Never enough time to even try to read all of them, to try to experience the wonder and exhilaration that is bursting from the pages. They call to me softly, but I must turn away.

If I look into another fragment of light, I see bolts of cloth. There's every color and pattern and texture of cloth… cotton, muslin, linen, silk…. All waiting to become something from my fingertips. There are designs and patterns waiting to be created. But they are static, unmoving… because it is up to me to create them. But there is no time.

Another facet of light holds only an empty room with a single desk in the center. The room is quiet and brightly lit. I step toward the desk and my footsteps echo in the quiet room. There are several objects on the desk. As I look closer I see pens and paper. The paper is clean and white and beckons for words to transform it. I walk still closer to the lone desk and a pen moves nearer to the paper of its own accord. I hear scratching as the pen feverously carves black words into the white paper. Faster and faster the pen moves as I watch, spellbound. Before my eyes the page becomes darker and darker with the blackness of the pen's ink until the rich blackness spreads across the desk and drips down onto the gleaming floor pooling like blood. The rivers of ink creep toward my bare feet and I quickly step back in fear. But the ink stops and the pen drops to the ground. The room opens up before me and I am able to take in the whole picture. The rivers of ink spell out words…. "no time." And then they fade away… a story imagined yet not written… a story soon forgotten.

Yet another fragment yields a different passion. This passion is that of the skin, the flesh, the heart. I see bodies pressed together, fiery on cool white sheets. The rhythm of the dance is steady, that of a low drum…. Boom, boom, boom, boom…. The sound speeding and slowing as the bodies move in a harmony that they themselves create. One figure cries out and rises up over the other arching and panting until the screams of ecstasy are quieted. Soon the figures relax and the beating rhythm becomes only the pounding of their hearts thump, thump, thumping in unison. As a soft breeze cools their sweat dampened skin, they close their eyes. I think they may be sleeping until one figure rises from the sheets with wild eyes searching for me…. "There's never time for you" she whispers and my world fades away.

I am returned to the prism of light and I no longer wish to see what sadness the beams hold… what passions they extinguish in my heart. However, I cannot stop myself from peering into another shaft of light. In this light, there is a schoolroom. Clean chalk boards line the walls, erasers have been pounded free of chalky ghost of words long since swiped away, and there is quiet. There is no sound to be heard in the tiny school room. It is a time for reflection. It is a time to think of the lessons learned, no matter if the lessons were to be learned in arithmetic or history or life lessons learned the hard way. There is quiet, for now. But in the quiet I hear a clock ticking…. Counting the seconds, minutes, hours… counting the time I have left in this world. The school room itself is not the key to learning… Time spent in the school room is becoming scarce… the time is running out.

Another fragment of light comes to me and in it I see my closest friends. This fragment is the hardest to look into…. I see their smiling, happy faces illuminated and glowing under the reflected light. They're so happy and warm. They're drinking and eating and laughing together… but without me. I try to call out to them, but I have no voice. I am forgotten because there is no more time.

Without time, there is no passion. Perhaps that is why my passions are not illuminated by a single beam of light. Perhaps that is why I see a reflection of that light rather than the light itself. I cannot see my true passion because it is broken. I cannot see the prism itself because the light blinds my eyes. Maybe I am a ghost. I am an unseeing, unheard, unwanted... Ghost of myself..