What’s up, everyone? Welcome back. 😀 How’s your September been so far?
I’ll be sharing something today that I haven’t shared in quite some time – my writing! I write something almost every day, but I never finish anything that seems quite complete/coherent enough to be worth sharing on here. I finally decided to put together a post with all my random small writing snippets, poetry, and a few things from the book I’m writing. 🙂
The photos coordinating with these words are all from Unsplash – I rarely use photos that aren’t my own, but I’m kind of in a hurry today, so… *sigh* unoriginal content it is. XD
Without further ado, I hope you shall enjoy this small peek into what’s happening in my head on a daily basis. 😀
road to home
Something moves between the stars, blinking in and out of view with a soft red glow – an airplane. Can the people inside see the dying colors, or is their view shrouded by the dusk-colored clouds? I imagine a woman leaning against the airplane window, listening to the soft sounds of flight attendants moving about, the low hum of conversations behind her, the engine thrumming deeply in open air. She watches the sunset-stained sky, and she thinks about the people she is coming home to, and the people she has left behind. Her heart aches, the kind of ache that comes from loving a little too much, from leaving broken pieces of your soul scattered across the universe, tucked into the corners of warm kitchens and starlit windows and roads that lead to home.
graphite lines on paper
thoughts begin to bleed
emotions trapped between the words
begging to be freed
pencil in a shaking hand
searching for release
trying to untangle
fading truths and false beliefs
flashlight pierces shadows
the only thing that’s bright
between shattered cries and sentences
searching for some light
over the edge
How long have we been falling?
I would ask you, but the whistling wind would tug the words from my lips and spin them into nothingness before they ever had a chance to reach your ears.
It’s not like you would have an answer. Time is incomprehensible when you’re tumbling through open space, a colorless world blurring around you as you brace for an impact that never comes, the world endlessly twisting, sinking, threatening to suck the air from your lungs –
I lock eyes with you for a split second as your face catches the light. Your expression is strangely peaceful, your mouth hinting at a smile. You reach for me, and I almost grasp your fingertips, but then the wind tosses me away from you like something weightless. The moment of light passes, and we plunge in a thicker darkness.
I let my eyes fall closed, fighting to hold on to what little breath I have left. I dive into my mind, searching for something warm, something safe –
an image floods into my consciousness and I’m surprised to see your face. You’re smaller, your expression fearful, and the sunshine on my skin feels as real as if I’m living the day all over again.
I sink into the memory, clinging to the vivid details. My own voice rings through my mind – younger, hesitant. “Are you okay?”
You nod from where you cower on the ground, then shake your head, then nod again, your wild hair falling into your eyes. I step closer, trying not to startle you, and hold out a hand. I keep my voice gentle. “Did he hurt you?”
You hesitate for a moment. Then you nod and reach out, surprising me by resting your small hand in my open palm. Your slender wrist is bruised and twisted at an odd angle. I turn your arm gently in my hand, inspecting it, and you wince. “Sorry,” I say quickly, pulling away. “I’ll get that fixed up, okay?”
“Okay.” Your voice is edged with something painful and empty, a sound far too hollow for someone so young.
I wonder how long you’ve been alone.
Henry lifted the fiddle to his shoulder and closed his eyes, drawing the bow gently across the strings. The notes that flowed out were warm and full, vibrating with raw emotion. I sat unmoving, captured by the music, as he leaned into the instrument and coaxed out something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. The song was trembling with pain and sorrow, each note rising and falling like an aching breath.
He let the ending lines fade into silence, leaving me hardly breathing, still hanging on the final note, wishing it wouldn’t end.
Henry lifted his gaze and met mine. “Now you try,” he said, holding the fiddle out to me with an encouraging smile. My eyes widened. “Me?”
“You.” He pushed it into my hands. The body of the instrument was worn smooth from many years of use, the weathered wood somehow making it even more beautiful. I lifted it uncertainly to my shoulder and glanced over to see Henry’s smile twitching as he tried to contain his laughter. “Other side, darling.”
I flushed red and shifted it to my other shoulder. “Oh.” He reached out and showed me how to wrap my fingers lightly around the bow and how to grip the end of the fiddle to keep it from falling. “Now,” he said, leaning back in the rocking chair and crossing his arms, “Make it sing.”
try as she might to escape it,
no matter how much she longed to drown it out,
she couldn’t satisfy the hunger for words
that burned behind her heart.
the soft ache never faded,
sometimes nothing more than quiet embers
glowing unnoticed in the corners of her mind,
waiting for a whisper of wind to bring them to life.
then the sight of a half-moon in faded twilight
or the sound of a stranger’s laugh
would light a raging wildfire
that threatened to destroy her from the inside out.
when the heat was nearing something dangerous,
she would settle cross-legged on her dark bedroom floor
sparks flying faster than her fingers on the keyboard
and flames dancing behind her eyes.
when sparks faded to smoke, her hands would slow,
as tired eyes fell closed,
and the fire,
for a quiet moment –
even as she slept,
the embers glowed softly in the darkness,
their gentle warmth almost imperceptible
as they waited for some bright moment of wide-eyed wonder
to light them ablaze once more.
I pushed against the floor with my bare toes and the rocking chair creaked gently. Father leaned against the porch railing, gazing silently at the darkening sky as tendrils of smoke drifted around his silhouette, making him look mysterious and unfamiliar. From where I sat, the glowing end of the cigarette between his lips seemed to align perfectly with a star that hung just above the horizon. In that moment, he seemed like an ancient god, an immortal man who had been walking the earth since the stars were breathed to life. I could almost imagine his wise, weathered face frowning at the sky as he stretched out an arm and held the end of his cigarette to each dark star, blowing softly to bring it life in a flash of flames and golden light.
“Father.” I spoke quietly, afraid to break the spell. “Can stars lose their light?”
He didn’t answer for a long time. I was beginning to think he hadn’t heard my question when his low voice startled me. “I imagine they do,” he said slowly. “I imagine they would eventually be all burned out, like a bonfire. They can’t stay burning forever.”
“Oh.” I curled up in the rocking chair and watched the night sky, imagining how a star would go out. Would it go suddenly dark, like the flame on a candle, or would it fade slowly? When it was gone, did a new star take its place? I imagined every star slowly burning out, one by one, until only the moon was left, shining alone in an empty sky.
I watch the world blurring outside the window, and the so-incredibly-large-yet-wonderfully-small-ness of the universe hits me all at once. There are so. many. people. They’re moving and working and sleeping and living and waiting. How many am I aware of? I run family and friends through my mind, and the list quickly grows hard to follow. Then I consider strangers, and the edges of my memory begin to stretch. Faded, hardly-familiar faces flood my consciousness. The shouting woman who pushed past me in the crowded airport, stringy hair falling into her panicked eyes. The man sitting defeated on a park bench, head in his hands, his shoulders shaking as a soft rain began to fall, soaking his motionless figure. The leaning boy with a torn t-shirt and angry eyes, ignoring the friend who tried to make him laugh. Grinning children swinging on the arms of their parents, the adults’ faces twisting into pained, exhausted smiles when I glanced their way. Quiet girls in corners that I could never make myself talk to, because I was in a corner too. People who were nothing but silhouettes in the distance, their sunset-traced figures captured forever in my mind’s eye. Cashiers and servers who took the time to smile back. A bus driver waiting in the gray hours of early morning, soft steam filling the cold air, painting his crooked figure in otherworldly tones.
this isn’t goodbye
He turned away, his face tilted confidently towards the stars as he strode into the night. The sound of his soft footsteps felt like the bitter ending of a story that was painfully, painfully wrong. I watched him go until I was staring into nothing but empty darkness, feeling a thousand times emptier inside. “Stay safe,” I whispered into the silence, wishing I had found the words before he was gone. Too late, the shadows murmured, the rhythmic humming of cicadas sounding suddenly like gleeful laughter. Too late, too late, too late.
WHEW. That was a lot of words – much applause and thanks to you if you made it until the end! Sharing writing is rather terrifying for me, but hopefully you enjoyed that. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 🙂
Until next time! ❤
What’s your favorite story?