the sun is sinking behind the mountain, shadows chasing each other across the rocks and grasses and hills across the valley as the warmth recedes, curling back into oblivion for another day like peeling paint. even the winds settle as the sun dies. for a few, breathless moments -- here; now -- the tranquility is unperturbed by all but the softest sounds -- birds singing lullabies, the whispers of gentle breathing (inhale, exhale), the slow, steady "drip, drip" from the kitchen (iron stains around the nozzle, condensation on the faucet), tentative fingers on piano keys. melodic chaos, remembrance and wonder and serenity in embracing familiarity; in loving the things that never change.
it is March. ice still lingers in the space between sunset and sunrise and there is a fire burning in the wood stove, flames licking at the wood, sparks spitting light into the chimney, smoke exhaled into the air. i taste woodsmoke on my tongue. it reminds me of summer. of heavy days and grass stains on the palms of our hands and dirt between the calloused furrows on our knees and hot dogs dripping grease into the fire and slapping mosquitos by the lake and watermelon juice dripping off our chins and innocent, careless joy flowering across our lips and sparking in our eyes. summer will be here soon. we realize this, even as the wind stretches our quaking souls thin, shoulders hunched against an entity of nature - beautiful and terrifying and awe inspiring, all, in its ferocity. summer is coming. we know this. even as the sun slips behind the mountain, plucking us out of warmth and hollowing our bones with the coming of another night, we remember what summer feels like; long lazy days and amber skies and freckles spread across our skin like the memories we hold in fragile hands, treasured like the first wildflowers that bloom in the lungs of spring.
i can see lights in the town from our living room. the house creaks, old bones complaining as the air cools, as water films over with ice, as benumbed hands seek for and find each other -- for warmth, for companionship, for the reassurance we all need that tells us we are not alone. my eyes are heavy, weighted, pulled down by the beautiful burden of living and loving and dreaming and being and trying, trying, trying. we once thought this was a deadly disease that plagued all of humanity, you know; a disease found amidst the efforts that go unrewarded, the struggles that go unnoticed, the aching that goes unalleviated. but no. this is simply life -- in some form or another, this aching, struggling, fragmented reality we find ourselves a part of is all that there ever was on earth -- and ever will be. the real disease is not the forced endurance of the struggle, or the struggle itself, but the end of it. we strive endlessly, but not without purpose. we weep in solitude, but we are not alone. this ache between our ribs -- this burden on our chests, this beauty our pain creates -- tells us that we're alive, that we have something yet to fight for, that there is hope for the remainder of our wandering. we search for splendor our entire lives, but maybe -- just maybe -- the true beauty is found in the knowledge we gain through pain, in the peace we find through our search, in the entirety of the journey itself, rather than the destination.
you hold so much beauty between your hands, my dear. there is still gentleness in the depths of your burdened soul. don't give up. don't give up. don't give up. you will get there. you will climb out of this valley, you will see the sun again, you will find the answers you are searching for -- but don't ignore the aching splendor of the sunset as you wait for the warmth of the sunrise.
fiction / non-fiction / thoughts and distracted memories over 6 hours // march 24th, 2016