The Side Door…

Time for another short fable, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

It’s been a while since i’ve done one of these. (See previous ones under Allegory.) I find that the brevity and symbolism have a unique way of getting at something i’m feeling or experiencing.

Most times when i write these, i have an interpretation in mind, although some meanings come about in the process that i didn’t consider at the outset. (This one began with the first few lines given as a writing exercise, but soon took on a life of its own. Alternate title: Beyond Doubt.)

Please do let me know ideas or meanings that come to you from this story. I also invite you to write your own continuations of the story in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading.

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The Side Door

Out for her daily walk, lovely Dubia blinked twice and looked again. Could it be?… Yes, definitely, it was Paul — walking toward her. It had been several years since their last contact. Her hands trembled as she drew her jacket tighter against the cold wind. What was he doing here?

Here on the boardwalk along the river, where she had long ago tried in vain to connect with Paul, the odorless cold now hinted at the coming snow storm.

The present light dusting had not yet made her steps uncertain, but would soon.

Away from the elements and close to her body, she carried a shivering kitten. Pausing momentarily to unbutton her jacket, she reached in and reassured the tiny creature, then bundled up tightly again to protect them both from the bluster as she strolled.   

Fishing shanties dotted one side of the wood-plank walkway. On the other was the river, lined with idle fishing boats waiting for their owners to take them to their winter storage places.

Most of the diminutive old buildings had been restored, now housing cafes and other shops. Just past midday, the clinking of cafe dishes paired pleasantly with the muffled clanking of chains that moored the few remaining vessels.

Just one shanty was shabby and still, apparently abandoned. The door facing the walkway was padlocked, but there was a side door someone had left ajar.    Continue reading

Morning dark

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Hello readers!  I’m back from a brief absence, and with this post i’m returning to an early passion for poetry. I hope something in the following piece speaks to you.

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Morning Dark

 

In the still of earliest morning

Dark still rules yet pledges light

I’m thinking of how things fall apart.

 

And how mirth collides with mourning

With dawn afar, dark heralds night

Color in shadows requires art

 

And rarely, with less forewarning,

Things come together, they turn upright

This i stumbled on by heart

 

The art we make at night must be with inner light composed

So with a heart that’s scarred and yet more open than supposed

I find most often now I write with both of my eyes closed

A musical fable…

Sometimes allegory can express what prose cannot. Here is a new piece, a very short one. I hope it touches you.

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The day having strewn her winding path with varied turns and twists, Poetta found herself near sunset out on a lush, happy, grassy field — at peace yet not in stillness.

Her deep contentment was born not of quietness, but of melodies and motion and voices.

Among a throng of musicians and revelers, her thoughts were lively as well. Hearing someone speak of happiness, she cried out, “That voice! I recognize that voice…”

And she realized it was her own.

Poetta had lived many, many years, yet she was still a girl. A girl with a voice. A girl who thought often about sunsets.

Upon arriving at this grassy field she met a dear friend who thrilled to see that in spite of the stumbles on the shadowy road just behind her, she was still able to dance.

She told him, “There are many ways our stories get told. I dance with a limp – that is one of mine.”

Seeing his concern over the streaming tears accompanying her joyous smile, she addressed the question he had not verbally posed.

To his quizzical countenance she replied, “When music makes me this happy, it hurts.”

And though she knew this made perfect sense to him, she continued:

“That’s what music does. It shows me my most all-encompassing joy and my profoundest sorrow at the same time. It puts them right there in front of my face — at the front of my heart! — where i cannot *not* feel them, and i cannot be still. And it makes them indistuinguishable from each other.”

Her friend replied wordlessly with a strong, warm embrace, while the music carried on around them.

***

 

Two ways of seeing…

Some time ago,  while i was forming a friendship with someone who had a very different belief system from mine, i tried to think of a way to describe an impasse we seemed to be reaching. The result is the following allegorical story. The story isn’t meant to suggest there are *only* two ways, but these two seem to be common.

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BOOKLETTE AND IMPRESSA

Two cloud-gazers lie on their backs in a meadow, enjoying the puffy, delightful formations above.

One has a small book with her. It contains writings suggesting how cloud formations are to be interpreted, a record that informs her gazing and inspires her complete confidence. Let’s call her Booklette.

The other relies on no such book, but rather on her own impressions of the ethereal shapes. Only her present encounter with the billowy masses enlivens her thoughts. Let’s call her Impressa.

Lovely wisps of temporary forms suggestive of animals, trees and myriad other things float by.

The two pass the time calling out the forms they see, and they find delight on the rare occasions when they see and name the same form.

Their friendship is tested by what happens when they perceive differing shapes. Wishing for more of the enjoyment of agreeing, each tries to induce the other to see in the clouds what she sees.

Continue reading

The Boy on the Beach…

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A young boy strolled along the beach early on a sunny day.

His eyes and his spirit drank in the ocean waves, the warm sun, the blond sand, and the nearby plants and trees further from shore. The unseen creatures in the distant sky above and beneath the earth and water were his friends.

As he walked, he carried in one hand a small book, from which he occasionally paused to read. The book was another of his friends. It told a beautiful story. Both the story and the life around him helped him to understand who he was.

While it was still morning, as he paused to read a page from the story, he happened to gaze into the blue sky and saw a single cloud drift above him. He pondered it a moment, and just as he was about to resume reading, a large bird swooped down toward him from the cloud.    Continue reading

Tunnel

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This is what she dreamed…

In the middle of a bright day, she found herself walking along a pleasant path with lovely flowers and sturdy trees on either side. The day and the path seemed wide open, like they could go on forever. She had a wide berth within the path to stroll and sometimes skip happily in the sunshine, and to wander from one side of the path to the other to bend down and enjoy the flowers. It was a rather straight path, and she thought it interesting how when she focused on the far distance, the two sides of the wide path looked as though they would eventually converge.

Along the way, she would kneel to smell a particular flower along one edge of the path, and then glancing across, another would catch her eye on the opposite side, and she would skip over to look at it more closely and take in its fragrance. With many happy and leisurely steps she passed the time, continuing down the path, while occasionally traversing its width to enjoy the flowers.

During one such pause, it seemed to her that it took fewer steps to get to the other edge, but she thought little of it and continued her stroll, interrupted by brief investigations of the flowers.    Continue reading