Turning the Page
I had a dream I was alone in a crowded room. Every eye meets mine in time but not a one will linger. I remember it as this:
Set before the sign of times, a wounded dog sat silently with anguish in his eyes. An ID tag shone brightly, a talisman which bends the light but only slightly, though none but me would notice his decay.
Kneeling down as if my soft approach and kindly hands could render any healing aid to any man or beast; he said, "Don't bother, friend, for their windows hold obsidian deceased." His hind quarters sticking tight to cold and heartless tiles, his upper half would separate and simply walk away.
'Pure obsidian?' I considered, turning back upon this crowded room. All their eyes had turned to black--cold as death, dark as night--but fear had not become me, for their eyes avoided mine at every sight. Pure obsidian, indeed, but might as well be clay.
At my shoulder, then, a tapping. "Excuse me, my good man." I turned to see a grey-haired humble man with stubbled beard and hat in hand. "Are you alive?" he questioned coolly, just as casually as asking for a light or time of day.
'Are you alive?' I now considered, turning back upon this crowded room. Seeing now I knew them all, each and every soul, wandering and mingling with eyes as black as coal. "That's a funny question, friend--or curious, that is to say."
"'Curious' I understand--it's not as if this were a tomb--but if you'll listen to their words you'll come to know, as surely as they wander here and there and to and fro, such repetition stirs the flesh. At least... the living tend to feel this way."
At once I felt the warning as was accurate and true. My thoughts indeed recoiled as chills crawled ceaselessly across my skin. I heard their words in numbing repetition from within. They'd turn to one another, blindly speaking: "I'm sorry, Miss LeCrae."
"Who are these solemn wanderers? Why do they speak that name? I know them all--I feel somehow, though I don't seem to know their faces. And each of them would beg forgiveness but I wonder, on what basis; and why do all their tongues beseech the name of Miss LeCrae?"
Then the walls would stretch apart revealing forests in the night, ceilings would disintegrate, melted by the moon--something truly terrible I felt was coming soon. Turning to the bearded man, his eyes fell black and skin turned pale, "I'm sorry, Miss LeCrae."
He sank into the others, lost into the crowd and din. "What is this place?!" I shouted. "Who are you people?!" I'd demand. Then at my shoulder another tapping--softer, gentler, kinder hand. Frozen in an instant--she used to tap my shoulder that same way.
Falling to my knees, I shudder. How I've prayed to see her face, to hold her hand, to smell her scent once more--what powers brought her voice to fill my ears, I thank them cruelly from my core. With all my heart and mind and soul--I should have been with her that day.
The word drew tears, her voice stole my breath. My heart nearly burst from my chest in elation--feeding in me something lost to starvation--and I held her so tightly not even death could steal her away.
"I think about you every day..." I begin to say. "Don't," she interrupts me then. "Don't let it take your life away. Find new passions, make new friends. Worse would be to say that heartache never ends. Journey on and live life come what may."
"I want to share so much with you..." "And still you will someday. Do great things and share adventures, no one lives forever. And when we meet again we'll read the pages of your life together--not just the past, but future days."
The walls enclose us once again, half a dog's obsidian, the wanderers refill the din, meandering and mingling. I feel my skin start tingling; the eyes as dark as coal. Every one a fervent plea--"I'm sorry, Miss LeCrae."
"Live your life and give your love; write your story everyday. Keep your chapters strictly non-fiction; say everything you need to say, do everything wholehearted. But you'll never share your story if you never start it, and the first step is letting go.
"Please, you have to let go."
And should I have this dream again, and if it was a dream I ponder, though they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, who is that someone, what place that somewhere, what is that something I should say? But I still think of her along the way.
And I think of what she said to me, "Say everything you need to say; and in your time of dying, when your life is flashed before your eyes--those memories you've memorized--you'll know the only thing to say is..."
then she fades away
Changing of the Guard
Willing and strong
Staring into the unknown
Yearning for the Templars' horns
To set his anxious feet in motion
As courage, honor, strength, and wisdom
Beat like pennants
And leaving nothing behind
As silence came to pass
Exhausted and drained
Trembling on the banks of the unknown
Yearning for the Templars' horns
To call his withered shoulders home
As heartache, faith, and resignation
Tore like shrapnel
Through her chest
Leaned over him
And issued love's last kiss
As silence came to pass
Inspiration 5 Winners
It was a pretty decent run this time, thanks to the many genius writers who took part in it. I had a lot of trouble deciding on a clear winner for the origination entries, but the responses were so few this time around, I created one myself.
I had been looking forward to seeing how people would finish "forever in a..." and it was cool seeing where it went from there. Likewise, "I think of scales" could be interpreted in many ways, and we saw scales for measuring weights and souls and personal worth; animals' scales; and musical scales. Thank you all for the diversity of thought! It was a real honor to read from this batch of raw talent.
In the end, I opted to split the origination and response winners--four almost complete pizzas heading out. The winners were @ChrisSadhill (again), with Bushwhacked, and @thePearl with The Scale on the origination side. The response side winners are @Mavia (again), with The Alternate Truth (Part 2)-- on the flip side of @DanPhantom123 's The Alternate Truth, which was a formidable late entry; and @REIlyn with Scale this...
I would be remiss if I did not give mention to @Beccawaits and @Poetia_nocta, whose entries I found exquisite as well. If you haven't already, please spend some time perusing these writers' profiles. You will not be disappointed.
Thanks again for participating!
Did someone say, Death?
200 posts ago... https://www.theprose.com/post/762528 - the inspiration
Don't be afraid--I have not come for you. Everyone recoils at first, but you are not nearing the End of Days. You called me by name and I heard. A backward curiosity indeed. Your tepid father walks away while you spit at him with with all the vitriol your mangled heart can fathom, and call to God when deep within, that heart still beats with love for him. I recall a fleshling's clever words: we only hurt the ones we love; but better to have said: they--the one's who love us most--are the ones we hurt, instead.
And so he walked away with little empathy for your pain. You called to me with all your hate and love and loss and rage. Now, walk with me, and for a time, if you leave your bitter heart behind, I promise you that if you look, you'll have a chance to see forever through my eyes. Come... if you dare.
You mortals lack a simple understanding of the gift which we call life. For even your Heavenly Father, my and your Creator, cannot truly comprehend it. He knows life and He knows love, for He is both of these, and through Him, you knew them too; but the one thing He gave you, which He cannot know, is the one thing you despise more than anything--He gave you Death. He gave you... me.
Did you know that there are more humans alive now, at this very moment, befouling the Earth, than the total of all those who have come before? It is no small feat--to be the courier of souls. Most do not go quietly--not anymore. They live loud. They die loud. Foolishly, they seek each other's wishes only to behold the Undertaker's dream. Those who do not live loud--they are the ones who transition well--not for their blind obedience, but for their understanding of their mortality. Fati amor, young one--love your fate. Know that I will one day come for you as I have come for billions before, and live life well.
If you can comprehend and accept this thing--this understanding of one's own demise, then surely you will come to accept and appreciate the things less stern than my arrival at your doorstep, and see them as life's bittersweet and necessary truths... and then you'll carry on.
What is freedom without captivity? What is health without sickness? Indeed, what is life without death? Even your youthful mind knows, you need not test the weights to know why I think of scales when I see joy and pain. And trust me, my young caller, you do not know true anguish, for I have seen and heard far more pain than your soul can comprehend. Why fill your soul with spite when you know the nature of untethered men? You mean to scream with Hate's last breath to set the realm of souls afire, but you consider not the precious balances of un-reciprocated love. Pity those who do not know the crushing weight of love withheld. For they will not appreciate, as you, the majesty of God's love unrestrained.
Quiet yourself now. Cease your inner cries for death's release. Will unnatural motives beget natural changes? You know they will not. Your pleas hold little weight, in truth, among the dead and those who do not die. You would be wise to keep your shoulders set in realms unknown to supernatural souls--those who sought God's lies, an alternate truth, or to see forever in the blink of an overzealous eye. No, here is where you belong--where you are loved.
So you must walk alone for now, but not for long. This gift of yours--it is a gift--because of my promise, but with this time you have, you must hold love's flame and I assure you, it will burn. Embrace it, but know its limits. You have held your share of burning embers. Do not waste another moment clinging to the ashes... and let him walk away. Do you remember--the times you said, as other fleshlings say, "You only live once"? You were wrong, you know? You only die once--you must live every single day.
Behind the scenes
There are countless pieces of art gracing the museum's many rooms. There are brilliant sculptures, beautiful paintings, and let's not forget about the calming background music--there is, unquestionably, artistic talent in it as well. So many artists, so many pieces of art, so much life, talent, and inspiration into each one. Machinery, music, glasswork, relief sculpture, watercolor, batique, bronze, water features, laser light, furniture, and film, neo- contemporary art, bold expressions, timeless classics, revivals, raw talent, and that which is perfected through decades of training--all of it is beautiful in its own ways and for reasons far beyond that which is experienced merely through one's primary senses.
There is education and history represented within each. Each artist grew up and had dreams, goals, aspirations--some achieved, some dashed on life's unforgiving rocks in stormy seas. They have a history--not just the art, but the artists--which should not be overlooked, or under-considered. There's a heartache which helped shaped that curve. There's a joy which helped carry that brush stroke. There's a pivotal moment which inspired that song.
When I see a beautiful and efficient home or commercial building, I have an appreciation, not only for the dynamics of how the structure works for its purpose, but also for the construction of it, the genius behind its inception, and the congruence of its systems--the framing, electric, plumbing, lighting, foundation, roofing, and flooring; along with the intangibles, like view, flow, and "feel." I don't pay too much attention to decor. That's subjective, and I believe: to each his own. It's all art even though each respective ingredient is predominantly science.
For my life, I have been a better coach than player, a better teacher than student, a better choreographer than dancer. If I (and we) were all works of art in a museum, I believe, if I am most honest, I would be the walls. I would be the marble floors, the overhead lighting--I would hold up the other works of art and shine a light on them for people to view for their best representation of the efforts and sacrifices endured which made each piece what it is today. I would tell each piece of art, "Don't be afraid to put your artist on display--I believe, wholeheartedly, each piece is invaluable in its own ways; somebody is going to love you." I wouldn't submit to my own taste. I am the neutral background color to be purposefully unseen. I only hope to help present the others in a way which helps them be best truly seen. The rest is subjective.
Well, it’s happening
A few months ago, I wrote something (not here) regarding the rise in use of the word, narcissism. I'd seen it in memes/posts online, and its use was rarely accurate. I wrote that this was yet another "extremist" indentifier which would soon be attributed to anyone who disagreed with progressivism. We saw it happen with homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, fascist, racist, and zealot. "Mark my words," I said, "it's only a matter of time before this word will be front and center in the political realm."
Today, I saw an ad depicting a white male (a trait combination rapidly in decline in advertising) towering over a guarded female; and another man looking in a mirror, picturing himself as wearing a crown (also a white male). Since sexism and racism (and all other facets of societal segregation) are essential to the survival of progressivism, any word with a negative connotation will be attributed to whiteness, masculinity, sexuality, religion (Christianity particularly), then nationality, age, and eventually, familial status.
What was the ad for? An anti-narcissism drug.
I kid you not.
Shades of Grey-- Two Strangers and a Friar
And though the voice of hardened time
Like echoes fill forgetful hearts in shades of grey
Still our hearts beguile our listless minds
Coming for us, all of us, who dare to break the silence
The dead of night envies us, you see
What is this place among the shadows scratching at our calves like dogs of war
We must flee from here at once! Can't you hear them?
Beckoning our shoulders trodden, beaten the core
Waiting for first light to shred our flesh with every horrid machine employed
Moonlit paths reveal what once beheld a gauntlet's pride
Ride north for now--force the stones to carry forth
And stain my master's eyes at hollow halls and empty sinking shades of grey
These are not mere dogs of war, old man
But more the Hounds of Hell
Wheresoever greed and lust and hatred go, they will, in great haste, follow me
Leave then your sins and take this staff
Let not your heart be troubled, Sir
Forget the past and hide your ears from piercing echoes' endless haunting
Walk as men of fortress do, as sons of lords
And daughters of Elysium in their gowns of flowing white
Let your burdens be absolved and crush the Hounds beneath your heel, my youthful friend
Foolish friend, these words you speak are merely feathers on the wind
What benefit's bestowed upon your head
By heaping troves of pungent shite into this endless heart of cold and heartless Sage?
Mock the toils of wisdom come to seek
The dusk of myths and truths and what's to come
A darker path is known by these untethered shades of grey, for they have seen pure hate
The shades of reckoning, foolish one,
Which dot the maps of life's worst-chosen roads
Left splintered, every fingernail which claws at life's unguarded throat to no avail
When in such youth already life and love and sorrow
Plagued a tempered heart and tore its chest apart
like tapestries of tonic, milk, and mysteries; torture, broken glass, and shattered dreams
Who calls within the depths of solemn shadows
Ever creeping in the grey?
There beneath the sylvan scripts, with hands swift pressed to ears, offended he's
Are you both as deaf as all these sylvan seats among the pews
Where even dust mites bend their many knees
In fervent reverence to the Lord of all beneath us and above? I said Silence!
I do not cover up my ears, but verify their continuance
For fear they may have packed their things, detached, and run away
Per stead to hear another syllable-- embittered, trite, inconsequential words as these
Two fools I see before me spitting nonsense in the night
One who runs escaping death, another running to it
And what a blessing my reward to witness such as this within these hallowed holy walls
If the breath of each dispels
At any length the substance of such words I hear
Then I have won a true reward that at this distance we remain
Wasted weeks and years of men
Who plan in spite of God's intent to fill his numbered days
Ill regard and shattered dreams of poets lacking strength to test their nerves
More to seek the breath of God
But stand against His will in times of need
And seek to earn by lurk and lore the senseless tolls, these deepest shades of grey
True love's conception
Perfection, by God's own hands
When two became one
She learned so quickly--
Absorbed with insatiable
She would come to find her stride
School, driving... the boy
I thought him lacking
But she saw something in him
Eros and Ludus
I'm glad she found love
She lived life passionately
I miss her so much