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Archive for July, 2013

Revealed

It wasn’t until the overheard phone call that he realized how broken his marriage was. The Wife quipping bitterly to one friend or another how awful her life was. He stood back in the shadow of a tall house plant, peaking through the leaves as if he were an explorer catching an animal in its natural habitat.

“Oh, look at that! The Wife reveals her true colors when she is alone!” He could almost hear the excited whisper of the khaki clad nature host.

A sudden movement brought him out of the jungle and back to his much less exciting and yet still incredibly dangerous life. The Wife swung her arm as though she would slam the phone down and then let it rest gently in the cradle. It was then that he witnessed the most amazing thing in his life. The Wife began to tuck herself in and apply the only face he’d ever seen, now revealed to him as only a mask.  She put herself together piece by piece like one of those ten thousand piece jigsaw puzzles so carefully assembled that from a distance the tiny cracks couldn’t be seen.

“Ah…” he sighed in realization, almost loud enough to blow his cover, “so that’s what she really is. All these years and I never got close enough to see.”

This last thought pulled the plug that unleashed a flood of questions, the last one swirling the drain refusing to be dismissed. Who’s fault is it that I never saw, mine for staying too far back or hers for not letting me in?

 

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Sunset

The sky is eating away at the horizon bit by bit, quickly and greedily; almost hoping no one will notice. First the trees, tasty little snacks filled with birds and whispers. Next the mountains topped with cold snow and smothered in dreams. Then the last bit of sun spooned out, refreshing and bright as a sorbet. A perfect dessert at the end of a perfect meal. The darkness fills the void after the sky is finally satisfied for the day and all is quiet.  Just as fear begins to creep in the stars crawl out of hiding. Sneaky stars, so full of delicious wonder they knew they’d be gobbled up first so they hid behind the sun like children clutching at their mother’s skirt. Only after the sky is sated do the come out to play. Some standing proud and bright, others bashfully dim and still more leaping across the expanse in streaks of sheer pleasure. They are free to play until the sun creeps up and calls them home. The horizon returns to taunt the sky, spilling forth its bounty for all to behold until once more the sky devours it bit by bit. 

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Writing on the Wall

One day it became clear to her that no one was going to build the nest for her so she’d better get on with it. Her structure came in the form of words–sentences gathered one at a time and threaded in with others. Sometimes just a single word woven in and other times entire paragraphs plucked from the world around her. Words were the one thing that constantly surrounded her.  Food, clothes, friends; all these things were sparse but words! Words encircled her and built her up. So why not pluck a few here and there to make her own space? Soon the weaving became less delicate and more structural. She had to be safe inside this nest of hers. The sides became tall walls and seldom would one word at a time do. Paragraphs, essays, and whole novels stacked up to reinforce the edges of her center. Sometimes she stayed curled up inside for days reading and rereading her purloined words. Or she’d loose a week or more adding new words, gathering from every source available; until one day she looked around and realized she’s sealed the nest in and forgotten to leave a door. Her walls were steep and too tall to climb, the pinnacle only allowing enough light by which to read. She looked around her creation and bent to pick up the one word she’d had no use for before. It was dusty and faded from lack of use but as she read it the word began to brighten a little. Finally she spoke it aloud for the first time “home”. The sound of it filled her with warmth and she curled up with it, a tiny smile playing on her lips. This was her home and these were her words.

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