"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Friday, February 13, 2004

hope chest

A cottage garden full in sunlight, full of pinks and reds and yellows and a thousand different greens; painted with birdsong in orchestral complexity and delicacy; everywhere a bouquet of sweetness and pungencies.

She is here amidst it all, in a white and cornflower blue dress that reaches almost to the grass and flagstones. She is smiling, surrounded by the garden and myriad reasons in it to smile. She appreciates every gift here, she sees, smells, tastes, and she knows there are more at every step.

She holds a ball.

Sometimes the ball is glass, mirror in silver or blue or green. Sometimes it is porcelain. Sometimes it is wood, inlaid or plain, mahogany, walnut, pine, oak. When she was younger it was often rubber or plastic, with yellow and blue stripes. Sometimes it is the size of an orange, sometimes a plum, sometimes - again, especially when she was younger - it is the size of a child's toy.

Today it is crystal, the size of her fist. It reflects rainbows in its facets, and the brilliance of the ball rivals the wildflowers cascading down the terraced slope before her.

Still smiling, she holds up the ball at arm's length in front of her face. Slowly, she looks around at the wondrous beauty, the calming, flowing richness of the scene. The ball rests in her palm.

There is a pinprick hole in the sphere, barely perceptible. And into this hole the garden is quickly and thoroughly taken. Absorbed.

It takes only a moment.

The garden remains. The flowers, plants, trees, statues, fountains, birds, squirrels, the sun, are still there. But something of them is gone now, stolen into the orb in her hand. The birdsong is somehow less exuberant; the sunlight somehow greyer; the arrangement of flowers and pathways and fountains somehow no longer quite fitting as seamlessly and aesthetically as they had a moment ago.

She turns and leaves the garden, carrying the ball, and in it everything of the garden that was idyllic.

She has done this many times. The ball holds within itself great masterpieces of art, the curves and angles of incredible sculptures, the brilliant lines and colors of countless galleries, the heart-breaking sounds of centuries of song; behind her trail dusty contraptions of mineral and mud, framed pictures that leave no lasting impressions, noises that fail to stir emotions.

And keeping company there in the sphere, ideas and philosophies, stories and convictions, once held by persons now forgotten or considered - even by themselves - to be dullards at heart.

She cannot say what the ball takes. She does not think wrong of her doings. She is collecting these qualities, these characteristics. She will have a home one day, somewhere that will be at the end of these many years of travel. When she arrives, she will place the ball at the center of her world, and let it release its contents. She will thus furnish her days with endless moments and spaces of beauty, charm, of all she has ever desired or found pleasurable.

In the meantime, the sun sets into a sapphire ocean, turning the sky fiery crimson, gold, orange, and, higher, a velvet amethyst. The rays reach from the horizon across the waters, riding the waves heaving themselves exhausted onto the shore, and reflect off the smooth marble sphere in her lap.
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i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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