#DailyPicspiration – Week 132 : I Watched The Candles Burn

It took all day to draw the sketch and I still wasn’t happy with it. It left so much out. So many feelings, so many details. The color of her eyes, the texture of her hair. It left out all my feelings, my emotions. The excitement I felt, the way her eyes drew me in, I wanted to get lost in them. Lost, and never find my way back.

That first kiss. That day we stood beside her car, amid the morning rush of people getting breakfast on their way to work. That day I looked at her, into her eyes, oceans of hazel, and couldn’t look away. That day her fingers touched my cheek, and the world was gone. That day she leaned forward and her lips touched mine for the first time.

I’d tried for weeks to capture that moment, that breath, that heartbeat of my life. Sketch after sketch, day after day, failure after failure. I’d lost count of the hours of sleep I lost trying to capture that moment on a sheet of paper. The days I’d gone to work at night, wondering how I’d drive home the next day without falling asleep as I drove.

Still I tried. Another day of lost sleep. Another failure.

I closed my eyes, tried to imagine what I’d missed on the paper. What I’d failed to capture with my pencils. If I’d missed any details. Any moment. Anything at all.

I worked in the dark, the curtains closed, the lights off, my music playing. The only light came from the candles I’d set on the table. Candles nearly burned away, all that remained were small fragments of wax with wick. I watched them burn, the tiny flames flicker, the light they cast shift as the flames moved.

What had I missed? What had I done wrong?

How do you capture a feeling? How do you draw it? Bring it to life? Put it on paper?

I’d tried everything I knew. Every technique. Every skill I’d grown over the years. None of them worked, none of them did what I wanted, none of them showed that moment. That first kiss, burned into my memory forever.

As the candles burned, I pulled out another sheet of paper and once more drew my pencils. If I couldn’t capture that moment, perhaps I could do something simple. A simple sketch of the candles, before they burned away.

Lines appeared on the paper, shadows, reflections. How do you capture a full color, burning candle in shades of gray? How do you capture its color when you have no color? How do you capture the flickering flame in a static image?

One hour, then two. I stared at the sketch I’d made. Three candles, burning away to nothing. Flames clinging to wicks, light reflecting off glass. It was all there. Every detail. The way the candles made me feel was on that paper.

In only two hours, I’d done it.

In a simple sketch, in shades of gray. I looked at the sketch, then at the candles. They looked so different, though they were the same. I shook my head, I’d left so much detail out of the sketch. Missing shadows, missing wisps of smoke. It wasn’t a photograph. It was a sketch. A drawing.

And I knew, in that heartbeat, I knew how to bring the sketch of that first kiss to life.

I erased details here and there, removed background images, highlighted key details, her eyes, her lips. Nothing but the her, and the kiss mattered. The rest was secondary. The rest was detail, distraction, useless.

I looked at the finished sketch and knew I’d done it. I’d found the way. I’d captured that moment.

I watched the candles burn away, and waited for the door to open, and her to come home. So I could give her what I’d created. Share with her what I’d felt.

The moment she first kissed me.

The moment my heart sang.


This story created itself for my last Daily Picspiration story. Every two weeks, I write another story for Daily Picspiration. You can find these stories, and many other, created by many talented souls, at:

Daily Picspiration

Go. Read. Enjoy. And don’t be afraid to tell everyone there how you feel about the stories they’ve created.

Mark.

#ThursThreads Week 111 : You Sure This Is The One?

Cynthia moved like a layer of dust along the ceiling, observing the scene below her. Observing the pictures spread on the table. The male at the head of the table patiently ask, “Which one?”

The man seated at the table studied the pictures. Two nasty looking men stood beside him. They tried to look relaxed, but Cynthia knew from their heart and respiration rates, they were anything but.

She ordered a stream of herself to jam shut the door behind the patient man, then sent separate streams down the wall behind the nasty men where they silently climbed up their clothing, and slipped into their lungs through their noses.

The seated man picked up a picture of her.

The patient man asked, “You sure this is the one?”

“Yes.”

The patient man nodded, and the nasty men drew guns from beneath their jackets, and pointed them at the seated man.

“What?” The seated man’s started sweating profusely, his pulse rate exploded, and Cynthia noticed he’d wet himself.

The nasty men fell over, unable to breathe. They twitched in agony before losing consciousness. The patient man leaped to his feet. “It’s here!” He yanked on the door behind himself but it wouldn’t open. He clutched his chest, “Arr!” He fell to the ground. Cynthia let his heart resume beating. She called all parts of herself back.

All that was left to do was figure out what to do about her male friend, Jerry, now that he’d figured out she wasn’t human.

250 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 111. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

There Are Days I Forget

There are days I forget.
Days I get lost.
Days like today.
When I feel empty.
When I feel wounded.
When I feel drained.
When I feel all wrong.

There are days I forget
Now.
Here.
This moment in time.
This place.
When I remember everything.
When I can’t find my way
Out of my past.
Out of what’s already done.

Other times
I get lost other ways.
Worrying about too many things
That haven’t happened.
That are not happening.
That may never be.
Lost in wondering about a future
That I can’t possibly know.
That I can’t possibly see.

And I can feel my jaw clinch.
And my pulse begin to race.
I can feel my anger build.
Fueled by all my fears.
And all the experiences
Of my life.

The seeds of self-doubt
Sewn so many years ago.
When everyone I knew
Told me I couldn’t be
Me.
Told me I had to be
Them.

It’s on days like this,
When I’m so lost.
So confused.
Remembering my past.
And worrying about things
That haven’t happened,
And may never be.

It’s on days like this
I have to sit down.
And stop.
And breath.
And close my eyes.
And remember.

Now.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

They taught me long ago
The air is invisible.
You can’t feel it.
You can’t see it.
How can you know it’s there?

Like so many things
I was taught
In the life that was,
What I learned
Was all a lie.

For I know
As I sit here on my own.
And I close my eyes.
And simply breathe.

I know.

I can feel the very air
All around me.

I can hold out my hands.
Spread my fingers out.
And I can feel the air
As it flows across my palms.
And between the fingers
Of my hands.

How can anyone believe
The air isn’t really there?
When you can touch it.
When you can feel it.
Everywhere.

So I sit,
Silent and alone.
On the sofa
In my home.
And I close my eyes.
And breathe.
Just breathe.
And feel.
Everything my body feels.

And it only takes a few heartbeats
For my body to remind me
Of the truth.

All I have,
And all I am.
I now.

In this breath.
In this heartbeat.

And there is nothing else.

There is no past.
It’s gone.
It’s done.
No one anywhere
Can go back and fix
Anything that’s happened
Already.

No one anywhere
Can even fix what happened
In the last heartbeat.
In the last breath.

There is no future.
Because it hasn’t happened yet.
And while it’s possible
To extrapolate,
And project,
The events that might happen,
Based on what’s happened
In the past.

But there’s no way
To guarantee
What will happen
In your next heartbeat.

So I sit here.
And I breathe.
And I remember.
Now.
This breath.
This heartbeat.

I sit here
And remember
Me.

Have You Forgotten?

Why do you say
There is no hope?
Why do you act
So doomed?
As if the world had ended.
Or will end soon.

Don’t you understand?
Don’t you see the truth?

Each day of life we get
Is a gift.
Each heartbeat.
Each breath.

Why do you give up
On the future?
On the unknown?
On what hasn’t happened yet?
Do you really know
What is to come?
Do you know
What each day will bring?
Can you see
Ahead in time?

How do you know
The Earth will not quake today?
A gigantic wave
Won’t wash the oceanfront away?
Someone else
Won’t plow their car
Into the side of yours today.

How do you know
This won’t be
Your last day?

Yet you sit there.
Doing nothing.
Not living at all.
Not smiling.
Not laughing.
Not feeling the breeze
Flow past the fingers
Of your hands.
Not feeling the warmth
Of the heat
Within your house.

Not thanking God above
That your heat beats.
That you aren’t
Hooked to a machine
Just to stay alive.

You don’t see the flowers.
You don’t see the clouds
Floating in the sky.
You don’t see the trees
Along the ground.

It’s as if your blind
To everything around.
Everything life gives to you.
Each day.

Even when you know
It doesn’t have to give you
Another day at all.

Why do you stay inside.
Wishing.
Dreaming.
For the days of glory
Long past now?
When you were happy.
When you didn’t have a worry
In the world.

Why do you sit there
And wish
Those days would return?
When you know they can’t.
You know there’s no way
To turn back the clock.
And yet you wish
Things could just be the same
As they were in the days
When you were happy.
When you smiled.
When you laughed.

When the world was a place
You wanted to live in?

Why don’t you want
To be alive right now?

Have you forgotten
The simple joy
Of each breath you take?
Have you forgotten
That you have food to eat
Every day?
More than you need.
More even than you want.
So that you throw food away?

When you know
You could be that person
You saw just yesterday.
The one on the corner.
Dressed in rags.
Outside in the cold.
Without a coat.
Holding up that cardboard sign.
“Will work for food.”

And you sit there
And complain
About your horrible life?
You call that person
With that sign
A failure.
“His kind are what’s wrong
With the world today!”

And your Jesus said,
“The poor will always be here.”

And yet you say,
“Hide them from me!
I don’t want to know
Such people exist!
It spoils my view
Of the world that I live in!”

And you hear the words
Of that song you heard
On the radio
From years ago,
“Get a job,
You fucking slob.”

And you drive away.

Have you really forgotten
The gift you have been given
By life
Every day?

Feel. Now.

I’ve learned so much
In the past two years.
About the life
I’ve been blessed with.

I’ve learned that sometimes
I just get wrapped up
Remembering my past.
The things that went wrong.
The things that caused me pain.
The things that made my heart
Ache so very much.
And cause my soul
To shed so many
Tears of pain.

Other times
I get wrapped up
In the schedule for my life.
The things on the to do list
For today,
This week,
This month,
My life.
And I feel so frustrated.
As if there’s no me left.
Like everything is planned,
And the plan is who I am.

But I’ve learned
In these past two years,
On this journey I’ve been on,
That when I get wrapped up
In my memories,
Or plans.

It’s time to stop.
To take a moment.
And remember
The gift this life
Has given me.

It’s time to close my eyes.
And simply breathe.
And remind myself
Of now.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

It’s time for me to stop.
And feel.
Feel the air
Caress my skin.
Feel the heat or cold.
Feel the wind.
Smell the smells
Of this world
That we all live in.
Hear the words
Of those around me.
Laughter,
Tears,
Frustration,
Sorrow,
Joy.

Feel my own body’s pulse.
My own heart’s beat.

And just remember
The priceless gift
Of life
That I’ve been given.

I’ve learned
Every time I do.
Every time I stop.
And feel.
And return to now.
This moment of time.
This heartbeat.
This breath.

That all the things
That stress me out.
Simply
Fall
Away.