From Dawn to Lightning

THE WARM DAWN stumbles over the sky. Fading rose petals melt at the touch of clear light; a soft, almost icy blue sends gentle shafts through the heavens. Like thawing icicles, the blue washes away the remnants of golden lotuses and red hibiscuses.

The sight, she would imagine, would wash away her feelings. They coalesce inside her, tiny, fluttering things like gusts of wind that suddenly condense and fall like a thousand heavy stones.

Destiny once mattered to her, but what purpose does it serve anymore?

She wishes to press her forehead to the windowpane, or better yet, unlatch the glass and taste the morning sunshine on her face. But she sits instead, musing. There are little scurrying sensations inside her mind, scampering stars that have lost their direction. They sparkle momentarily and then her thoughts seem to wander down a new road; she is a wandering star.

She believed once that she knew what she was called for, but now…

There are new babies to worry for, a husband to support, as weakly as she does, an academic career to ensure, a reputation to uphold, but all she can think of is: I am tired. Tired and longing.

A deep sensation sleeps inside her and when her thoughts stir it, it lifts its head, grey sour eyes like a rotten moon. Moisture tickles her eyes, and the rising sensation crawls up for a swift second to lay stone eggs in her throat.

Her husband claims she is free…

She still remembers the story she read two years ago, the glowing certainty it gave her that her entire goal was to weave stories, was to love her husband, and that these two were somehow set together like the soil and roots of a tree. They met somewhere deep, in a dark rich world she could only dream of from which a kind of life bloomed.

Underneath it there grew the scent of stories, not just as a means of being clever or being creative, but truestories, the memories of the past, whether they were real or mythic. A history unknown rolled before her, a new beginning of being. But it had all been lost, as swiftly as a scythe cutting wheat. It was over before she had had a chance to look.

It was to her brother-in-law that she thought the memories of the stories would pass, but her husband had announced, with the babies born, he had no desire to give the stories up. Their sons would renounce him for it, and besides, they – her and her husband – were freer now, more than they had been before back when both their souls had seemed fretful. Like frightened fireflies, they had both seemed panicked, as if the life they had been living was somehow all wrong.

His life had suddenly appeared to come together, or come together a little more, when their babies had been born. And she…was her life any better for them being born? Oh, it was not worse; they had given her a new way of seeing, a new worry, a new concern, a new trio of love, so it was not bad, but…

But, she said stoutly to herself, if all she had felt from the story of the golden sands had any validity, than it was that by being dedicated and loving toward her husband she would built the center of her life. By loving him, it forced her to live in her full authority and potential, to be completely self-acclaimed in her will, as much as she could.

But now…now those flashes of will, those bright arrows of lightening, felt as though they had wilted. Where did she belong? Where was she to go? If her husband was no longer entwined with her writing then what?

Who was she to be if everything that mattered – her writing, her husband, her family, her will, her destiny, her studies – unwound before her, a dirty display of tangled and torn shreds of storm clouds? What else was she to be?

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Written: 14 September 2011

Word Count: 674

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