Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bottle-caps & Butterfly Wings

And on the mornings after the blissful nights when you were actually able to fall asleep and were free of dreams or even dreamt of sweet, simple things. On those mornings you awaken and all seems right in the world until all too soon the memory of why you have those hollows where healthy flesh used to be comes rushing back like a sudden wind through your forest of trees. A chunk has been ripped out of your heart. And you ask yourself that surely losing a chunk so large would be enough to kill you. But it doesn’t—the human body is so resilient—and you keep on living. Some days you wake up and the hole doesn’t seem as huge as it once was. Occasionally you just continue naively on, not questioning the small blessings in life. But other times you are not so quick to allow yourself reprieve. These mornings you turn the microscope inward and force yourself to search your heart. Those days you find the hole stuffed with all sorts of things. Things that surely should not help compose your heart. Thoughtful words and parts of candy bar wrappers. Blades of freshly mown grass and pages out of dusty first editions. Exoskeletons of cicadas and barnacles off bleached and weatherworn dock buoys. All manner of materials that have been healing into hearts for generations. But they do not seem right or worthy of the memory of your loss so you pick them out one by one. The fresh bleeding that ensues seems cathartic and just to you in your righteous mind. And it is only when you stop staring into your heart that fresh grass blows in to staunch the painful flow. It joins the other blades that had already healed over by the time you first thought to look deep inside yourself. Bottle-caps and wings of butterflies help to fill the void, until they too are ripped free during one of your cleansings, or are eventually left alone as you find other things to occupy your days that are not so punishing. Obliviously you move on. You may wash back to your tide of loss because there are still some mornings when you turn over in your bed and you feel a pit inside. You may not even recall how it got there. Eventually when you look inside, you won’t be able to see anything but tissue the colour of garnet and the faint outline of a cicada.

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