The Irreparable Space Between

2005-03-07 Avalanche Crk Glacier NP 1200px for Marian Green

Did the cleaving hurt? It’s still obvious how the pieces fit, how it was meant to be. But something came between. Was it a gentle eroding, done over so much time that you weren’t aware it was happening until it was too late? Or was it sudden and more violent… a splitting with an ear-shattering crack that could be heard for miles and miles?

And now, with the irreparable space between, do you look across the chasm in longing? Do you strain toward each other, trying to bridge the gap? Is there a calm acceptance that the split came, and now is a part of the landscape? Or is there quiet resentment, a stony silence louder than any shout, sadder than any cry?

No matter, the connection will forever exist, living in the very membrane of the memories that flow between, whispering and gurgling, singing of the happy times, the soaring highs, the unspeakable joy. And here, in the dancing fluid of remembrance, we find that it feeds the one element that springs eternal… hope.


 

A Words and Pictures Project

This is the icon for the upcoming new thing on Creative Noodling! The beautiful image that inspired the prose in this post was captured in Avalanche Creek Glacier National Park, Montana by Bruce “Chippy” Chipman of Concept Exposure. You can see more of his fabulous work on his website or follow him on Instagram (@conceptexposure). He and I connected on Twitter, so if you enjoyed this collaboration and have a moment, please give him a shout out there. His Twitter handle is @conceptexposure.

Tangled in the Bramble

Inspiration photograph by Karen at Draw and Shoot.

Inspiration photograph by Karen at Draw and Shoot. Click the photo to see her original post.

What becomes of the busy ones? The ones who rush through life filling every moment? In the end are they happier than the ones who didn’t say yes to every invitation, who refused to go out when they were tired?

There is, within me, a longing for simpleness, a desire for the uncomplicated. But it seems like everything I touch gets tangled. And I’m the constant factor.

So simplify, I tell myself. But it’s not that straightforward. Don’t you see… it’s complicated. Irony, no? Simplifying is complicated. And scary. What happens if I’m still? Will the world blow by in a hazy blur and leave me behind? Surely somewhere in the bramble there is a middle ground. I just have to find it.

—part of The Words and Pictures Project collection—
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Inspired by the photograph above, taken by the uber talented Karen over at Draw and Shoot. If you want to see some amazingly beautiful ethereal images, her blog is the place to go!!

He Brings Her Leaves

He brings her leaves. Look at the lace on them, he says. Grubby little fingers point to frosty patterns on the crimson and amber treasures. I picked them off the ground for you, he says. I got the very best ones! These—he says, waving them high above his head—these were the prettiest of all of them. Thank you, she says, kissing the top of his brown, closely cropped curls, breathing in the dirty little dog smell that is hard playing boy. I’ve never seen prettier leaves, she says. His chest puffs with pride. And he leaves.

Gnarled fingers covered in translucent skin trace the veins. They follow the lines, remembering. The lace is gone as is the richness of that autumn’s jewel tones. But safely preserved between pages of Longfellow’s prose, the pressed leaves carry a memory. It was just yesterday, wasn’t it? I remember giving you those, he says. She looks at the man. No, my stinky little angel gave me these, she says. He swallows the catch in his throat before kissing the top of her silvery white curls. And he leaves.

Without fail he visits the morning of the first frost of every year. Arthritic fingers clutch the bouquet of oak branches he carefully trimmed himself. Only the prettiest ones make the journey. It’s a long walk to her place at the top of the hill. But he has time. Nothing but time. And memories. He slowly stoops and places the token covered with nature’s lace at the base of the white granite pillar that has marked her grave for almost two decades.
And he leaves.

You Know That Moment?

You know that moment? That instant when the light turns brown to gold and bronze, green to jade and peridot, shadow to whispers and dreams? That millisecond when time pauses and it is just you and a greatness beyond anything the tiny muscle between your two ears could have ever fathomed? That ephemeral stop between breath and exhale when the future explodes with colors yet unseen but transpires so swiftly that it’s a memory before it began? 

That’s what it was like when I met you.
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8350914875_c557a2b273_cThis little musing was inspired by the photograph above which was taken by the talented Ray Chong. He doesn’t post often, but when he does his pictures speak to me. I thank him for granting me carte blanche to borrow his talent whenever the mood strikes. 

Reaching for the Words

Through the fog they come drifting in and out. I strain, stretching my fingertips towards them, aching to capture the will-o’-the-wisps before they slip into the night. But they dance just out of reach, leading me over the tangled roots and mossy undergrowth of my mind. I follow, brushing away the branches of distraction, determined to capture them. I’m so close. They pause in a misty clearing, as if waiting for me, finally ready to accept my claim upon them. At last! The words flow and sentences form. I push up my sleeves and rest my fingertips on the old metal keys, preparing to type the words I’ve struggled to find. But alas. There is no paper.

The idea for this started flowing when I saw this picture Kyzmit (I like to call her Kyzzie) posted yesterday. Anyone who enjoys getting ideas from good photography should pop by her blog often. 

Separation and Distance

Separation and distance are opposite sides of the same cruel coin that often undermines relationships. They claw away at the foundation, leaving matchsticks where pillars once stood. The one left behind sometimes invents ways to love the one who is gone less… just so it doesn’t hurt so bad. Because if you can numb the ache. Dull the pain. Simply not feel… you don’t feel so worthless, so unwanted, so second-place.

Copyright Photo G Jenn

This photo, shot and originally posted here by the talented Photo G Jenn, inspired the mood for this little post. Thank you Jenn for allowing me to share it! 

Go West – Part One

Jim drove past the timeworn gas station every morning on his way to the Cafe on the Square. It had been six decades since he’d talked the owner, old McGrady, into giving him a summer job there. Most days he didn’t give the run down place a second thought, but on steamy summer mornings like this one, when yesterday’s heat still hung in the air, he let himself go back.

Copyright Mike Fiveson

Copyright Mike Fiveson

In the summer of 1952 he’d been seventeen, long on adventure and short on sense. Close-cropped white blonde hair made for a startling contrast against his smooth, dark brown skin that covered tight muscles, firm from years of helping on his uncle’s farm. But he didn’t want to grow corn and wheat like every other Kansas boy he knew. Some how, some way, that job at the filling station would be his ticket out. Continue reading

The Top

This bit of thought was inspired by this image by Kyzmit at My Life On Olympus. Thanks so much to Kyzmit for letting me include it. 

Aim for the top, they said. You want above the fray. You want to look down on those less than you. You want to be the boss. You want to be there. They point to the uppermost glass corner in unison. Get there and you’ll be a success.

I consider the glass prison of which they are so fond. I shuffle my feet in their battered Converse sneakers, fiddling with a tiny hole in my well-worn jeans. I watch the steady line of clones drift in and out of the revolving doors.

No thanks. I’d rather live.

I stick my hands in my pockets, turn on my heel and walk away whistling
Folsom Prison Blues
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Confession… I wrote this while a tad looped out on Benadryl, so… well… I just thought you should know. 

The Edge of Goodbye

This image by Ray Chong at The Way I See It has been haunting me for weeks and he was kind enough to let me include it in this post so you can see my inspiration for this story.

He promised to meet her at the water’s edge at twilight, but neglected to say what day. So she returned every evening to wait for him, watching as the sun painted brilliant colors across the sky while the water reflected the calm, quiet ache she felt inside. Night after night, week after week, month after month nature’s show would end and she would walk back home, empty of everything but longing. But she couldn’t miss a night. What if he returned and she wasn’t there?

She stood, leaning against a strong trunk, numb to the beauty of the yellow and orange sky paired with the lavender hills and cerulean waves. The snap of a twig and crunch of leaves warned of approaching company. Her heart, used to disappointment, no longer tried to jolt out of her chest with the rush of hope.

“It’s more spectacular than usual tonight.”

She turned her head to see whose deep, gentle voice had broken the silence. Eyes the same blue as the water met her own and, for a moment, her mind didn’t flood with thoughts of the rich brown eyes she missed so much.

“Yes,” she said with a small smile, “Thank you for helping me notice.”

Time passed in that unstoppable way it has. Looking back now, she’s not sure when the shift happened, when the trips to the water’s edge were no longer about the brown eyes she remembered but the blue eyes she loved.

She bent and picked up a flat smooth rock and sent it skipping across the water. The child beside her laughed and clapped his small chubby hands. His eyes, the same blue as water, danced with delight while lonely brown ones watched from a distance.