A picture I found on Tumblr….and it made me think…
An old poem I found that I enjoyed.
Outside and alone at 2am.
It was then I felt like a shade.
At that moment there was only me.
I had no friends then.
Just me and a sea of street lights and empty roads.
Darkened windows as the city slept.
Slept like I couldn’t.
Slept like I wouldn’t.
I could dance in the orange glow.
I could bask in the ever shifting green-yellow-red as the cars never came.
But I was just a phantom.
The kiss of drizzle was cool against my skin.
Yet I’d never felt more transient.
Ageless yet instantaneous.
Wandering. Watching. Waiting.
But for what?
At 3am the streets wouldn’t tell me.
The wind only whispered empty promises.
The trees rustled autumn longings
echoing across the empty yards.
And I echoed, too.
Empty just the same?
Yet I was full of the night. Full of its magic.
Its pregnant promises calling.
Full of whimsy and curiosity.
How could I be so empty and full together?
At 4am, the sky gave up.
The rain tried to wash everything away,
but it couldn’t wipe me clean.
Did it think me a stain?
A blot on its beautiful brilliant canvas below?
I didn’t ask.
It didn’t tell.
We just watched one another.
At 5am, I broke.
My own rain couldn’t do any better.
Still empty. Still so full.
I found that place.
Doors and windows dark and closed.
I could peer at the lives inside.
I could wonder which I belonged to.
I could wait.
But it’s 6am.
I’m sick of waiting.
I don’t want to watch anymore.
I’m tired of this sickening feeling of being empty-full.
So I’ll light up those windows.
I’ll stir the lives inside.
I’ll find which ones are mine.
Sometimes I wonder if writers ever get taken by the madness. The magic that they find, all trapped up within the world. In people, places, and things. In scents, smiles, and sin. In ideas, hope, fear, love, and anger. In the magic. Because that’s what it is. People laugh and say there’s no such thing. But I see it every day. I feel it. Sometimes, I can taste it and hear its whispers. Begging to be bled onto the page.
Then again, maybe I’m just taken by the madness.
Words. Funny little things when you stop and think about them. So small, but so powerful. Nothing or everything. Momentous or inconsequential. The beauty of words I believe is their power. What power they have – if you consider it, words are the vessel that moves our very society. They can uplift a hurting soul. They can cut down scores of people and fill them with dread and despair. Or resuscitate them with a breath of hope. Words are how we communicate. And with that – they are one of our greatest tools. Greatest weapons, or greatest hopes. For good or ill, words hold vast power. My perspective anyway.
If you watch and listen, carefully, you can experience so many moments of wonder. Wonder that can be so very easy to overlook.
Today I experienced a beautiful moment. I was off to myself, sitting in my little office at the school. My mind was absorbed in the nuances of paperwork – scheduling my day, all the busy thoughts one might think an adult thinks. The drone of the ventilation was a monotonous accompaniment to the tap of the pen.
A high pitched beep signaled an announcement. The woman in the office up front announced that finally, after a cold winter full of rain, snow and mud, recess would finally be held outside again. On the playground.
The school went wild for just an instant. Shouts of joy permeated every hall as the children in every room spouted their excitement. The energy was almost palpable.
I caught myself smiling. A genuine, hearty, childlike smile. I was in a room, by myself, where nobody else could see. But I heard that moment. I felt it, like a wave of delight rolled through the entire school in that instant. That moment was beautiful. I don’t want to let it go. I wonder – how many moments do we miss? How many instants of pure, unadulterated joy, or introspection, or love, or hilarity we just pass on by as we live our lives, often oblivious to the little wonders of every single day.
What is it about autumn? The brisk chill as the world cools over. The vibrant colors as the trees lose their plumage. The crisp crunch of leaves underfoot. But there’s more to it. A feeling that creeps into you. No. It was always there, dormant, waiting to be called out. That part that revels in shadows and twilight. Dark, almost sinister, but with the mirth and tricks of a child. It’s difficult to explain, and the words never seem to match that feeling growing, surging, welling up, and peaking at Halloween. Maybe it’s the child in me, crying out for release to revel in the joy of autumn…
Everybody has a story.
That story is beautiful.
I want to read it.
I want to write it.