Folded. Yes, folded. They bend and score and twist and press, but I will not be made as they. Not for a day. No, not a day.
Opened. Yes, opened. All flowers must bloom, petals unfurling to take in the sun. The butterflies will come. Yes, they will come.
Beautiful. Yes, beautiful. This world of colour and texture and light and sound. It’s magical when you look. Folded? No, not I.
The world as seen from a dream, everything I’d run from summed up in the colours of that sky. It was a casual glance from the boat I rowed alone, one I should never have taken. But I did, to my eternal regret. Better to remember the distant past of green fields interspersed with galaxies of wildflower colours than sunburnt skies. A heaven tinged by tangerine seemed a strange passage to the afterlife but I feared it one millions would take.
They’d cast stones at my ragged boat, when I pulled out of the harbour, mocked and barracked their soothsayer. They should have heeded my warnings. Why did they not heed my warnings? Mankind’s lust for war could have had no other outcome; the Earth always rectifies wrongs.
When the plumes of smoke drifted high into the atmosphere, I knew it was only the beginning. The first of the volcanoes that the gods chose to punish them with roared as it spewed forth sulphuric venom. I did not have long.
I turned my back on the populace: on the crazed leaders, the foolish followers, and she who I’d vowed to spend eternity with. A braver man would have forced his companion to flee with him. I was not that man. Life was one of freedoms and choices in a civilised world. I could no more force her to leave than I could myself to stay. Like the rest, she made an incorrect assumption that man was greater than those who had made him. The wrath of the pantheon would be their punishment and a life of loneliness my own.
And so it was that I pushed oars deep into a sea already crusted with ash. Every stroke took me further from the screams, those never ending wailings. For the longest time, I thought I should never outrun them, and could never be quite sure I had. The oceans became my home for the land was not fit for even a single life. My boat, a floating home of wooden boundaries, housed my weak frame, as I waited for the gods indifference to wane. I wondered if theirs would outlast my own.
The dawn is alive with slick promises. Moisture hangs from every surface dripping with revitalisation seeking only to birth more and more. Even the air pools in intangible beads, I cannot see them but feel their kiss. This is the Spring that follows a hard Winter, a balm of lushest green. It is important to apply such Springs liberally, coat yourself in all that the bright months offer and know joy. There will be plenty of time for the contrasting monochromes of Winter days and nights later in the cycle. For now, just enjoy life’s rebirth and smile.
Unhappiness is a terrible thing. It does not just appear, it sneaks up on you like a stalking tiger. One minute you are fine and every, single minute thereafter is an inexorable downward slide. You think you are alone in it and despite what others say, you are.
Breaking the cycle of unhappiness can require life-changing decisions, almost always unpleasant, often difficult. But it can be done and the long term benefits are incalculable.
However, there are asides to the joy of release. You know in your own heart that the slightest thing can make you unhappy again; the tiger strikes. The facade slips and unhappiness is back. The veneer between joy and misery is a thin one.
I believe a lot of writers suffer with internal unhappiness. The heart is a heavy burden for a lot of wordsmiths. Without feeling it, you could never accurately portray it. To feel, to really feel, one must tap the well of the soul and not overflow with it. A heavy burden.
The reason for this post is not to try and make these people feel better just to let them/you know, you are not alone in feeling it.
I genuinely hope this post helps if you feel this way. I know it would have helped me all those years ago. And as I put pen to paper still.
My breath: caught.
My heart: paused.
My world: suspended.
Time loses all meaning, my blood all momentum, as you look to me and wave.
Your smile lights the distance between us with a radiance I have never felt. But it is your eyes, blue as the ocean, sparkling with an unblemished summer that capture me. The time between being seen and being detected is the hardest of my life. When you realise your mistake and that I am not who you thought, I feel the dagger turn. When your eyes, those sapphire jewels look away in shame it is I that feel the pain. It is an agony I shall forever feel.
Young girl does look up to sky her gaze unwavering, searching deep into heaven.
A smile of such grace does sweep across young face, chocolate eyes twinkling with joy.
’What is it, child?’ asks patient mother.
’What is it that you see?’ she says kneeling besides her blessed love.
’Bubblegum, mummy, I see bubblegum.’
Mother looks to clouds with remembered innocence thought long lost to a forgotten past.
’I think God’s blowing bubbles,’ says the little girl in wonder.
’Yes, my darling,’ mother replies, a teardrop kissing cheek.
’Yes, I think he is.’
(Beautiful image and inspiration from the wonderful Belinda.)