Thursday, August 30, 2012

Window of Illumination

The sun is a curious thing. It, like change, has a way of illuminating the hidden aspects of a life. Today, it was mine that was illuminated.

It is a secret that only few have learned. Yet, it is one that I deem worthy enough to share with more than just the select. At a certain time of evening, the sun begins its decent into the horizon. There is a 15 minute window of enchantment. During this glorious window, shadows seem to dance across the landscape, beautifying everything within sight.

Trees suddenly become softer as the last rays of the day burst through their leaves. The soft wind rustles though the shaded blades of grass. Geometric shapes appear under the corners of sharply angled architecture, and the brass fixtures of old, worn down buildings begin to sparkle.

Suddenly, in that window, the world has reached its zen. All things have come into a blissful state of harmony, and for what seems to be the blink of an eye, there is an all-encompassing peace.

The calming effect of this window often leaves me pensively sedate. It is a moment that exists for me, and me alone.

A long time ago, I held a man's hand and confessed this secret to him. He smiled at me, and I knew he loved me. It was one of those rare moments of perfection our mind looks back on when the clouds stop the sun from enchanting the world around us.

I headed south as the world around me entered into this state of equilibrium. I cannot say what time it was. I was lost in the perfection of the moment. I looked out my window at the mountains. Marveling at the breathtaking shadows, I finally noticed something I had failed to for the past two hours. The signs of the lateness of the summer were becoming ever more apparent.

The green brush blanketing the base of the mountain looked even more brilliant and lush compared to the yellowness of the landscape around it. Thoughts of the nation-wide drought filled my mind, and I wondered how long it had been since the ground had felt rain.

But it was more than the dryness, the brittleness. It was change. Fall is quickly approaching. I took a deep breath. But from inside my air conditioned car, I could only detect the remnants of my great outdoors scented air freshener.

My heart suddenly swelled with an even deeper gratitude for the perfect shadows cast during my window of serenity. It was in the contrast of the light and dark that I could see a difference; notice a change.

I reflected on my life. The past year has seen both the light and the dark. But because of the contrast, I see a different woman. One who has loved. One who has lost. One who has left. One who has laughed. One who has learned.

The woman is living.

What a glorious thing, to live. Even more brilliant, though is to recognize the lessons taught from such an experience. But every now and again, one needs the simplistic and glorious gift of illumination.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Erratic Heart

The familiar sweat that settles in each evening as I lie quietly on my bed has once again retuned. It has been a hot summer. A long summer, one that surprisingly, I am ready to see the end of. It has been a summer of sighs. A summer of exasperation. A summer of trying to decide where my life is going to go, and despite my many options, still coming up short. It is the summer which end marks a beginning. The beginning of an almost new chapter.

Sure, I'm still the same fickle girl I've always been. That unsteady, erratic heart of mine will never change. But the passion carried inside of it seems to shift as quickly as the time I feel passing over me.

Today my mind has borne the burden of a thousand different thoughts coupled with a million different emotions. Mine are the days of questions, wondering, pondering, hoping, deliberating, analyzing, orchestrating and illustrating. The days that all seem to end with a familiar sadness that has no name.

My summer is ending. The color of mornings filled with sunshine, afternoons full of editing and late night drives with my best friend will soon fade. The moments of secrets shared with a trusted confidant, long talks with a man, a father figure, dearer than anything to me and solitary walks to a green park down the road swirl through the forefront of my mind. Life has happened again. It has left me thoughtful, puzzled at times, yet the edges of my fickle life seem slightly less defined.

Is it vulnerability? For the first time in my life am I setting plans aside to truly live? Perhaps I've lied to my soul for the past few years. The life I thought I was leading is really just a vague shell of what had been constructed in my mind.

Regardless, my heart, my soul, my thoughts are all painfully vulnerable. And I don't know why.

Anger could have something to do with it. Anger at something broken long ago that despite my feeble attempts, can never be fully restored. A broken mess of exasperation that deep down I wouldn't have any other way. But coming to terms with our greatest fears that splinter off into a hundred more worries leaves me feeling stripped bare.

Days ago, weeks ago, months ago, I could feel the vulnerability silently creeping up behind me, with a stealth like presence. It would grip my heart ever so slightly, but the strength deep within that calloused organ would shake off any fear of control. But now, with a grip like a vice, a fear of surrender has taken root in the confines of the soul. The part burried deepest within that we often times don't find until years later.

Have I surrendered to my worries, my fears, my inability to mend the broken pieces of my life?

A small flicker of light inside prompts my thoughts to say no. No to surrender. No to defeat. No to removing the stones set firmly in place in the walls around my calloused heart.