Thursday, July 5, 2018

455 ~ do guardian angels exist?

* I haven't really tried writing short stories before. I had a dream last night and thought I would try to write it out as a story. It took a few turns as I let it flow out. You never know unless you try something new.*



Something happened that morning, something in the soft quiet, of which we were unaware.













The river flowed roughly that night, it had been raining all day, it wasn’t safe to cross. Adrian, the young boy with bright blond hair, was out too late and trying to get home. No one knows what happened once he stepped onto the bridge, but he was never seen again, not really. 





In the following days, everyone became frantic, searching for him night and day. He was a boy that everyone knew, and everyone loved. His Mother was inconsolable, his Father, predictably, acted out his fear and worry through anger and acting a fool all over town.

When I heard the news, my heart broke, Adrian and I had a special bond. He would always come to my shop and help with anything I needed. He would deliver flowers and take orders and listen to the stories of the grieving customers. They seemed to want to tell him their stories, the loss of their loved ones overwhelming them. He was just a boy of 16, but you could see in him something that transcended his age, he had a very old soul.

On that fated day, he had stayed late in the store with me, we had been very busy and were cleaning up. There were cut flower stems all over the floor and supplies everywhere. It was quite late when we finally swept up the last bits of the days efforts and turned off the lights. I told Adrian I would drive him home and in his usual way, he said, “No Auntie, I will just skip across the bridge and be home, it’s not far, you know.” That boy loved to be out in nature, running through the trees, jumping over streams and chasing birds.

I kissed his forehead and thanked him for his help and off he went. I got in my car and drove the few blocks to my own home. My dreams that night were filled with images of angels flying by the river, there were hundreds of them, circling overhead. I couldn’t see what they were gathering for, but the sight was beautiful.

In the morning, I was woken up by the ringing of the phone. I was so deep in sleep that it took me a few minutes to understand what the sound was. When I answered I heard a voice choking over tears and trying to scream. I finally realized it was my sister but all I could understand in what she was saying was ‘Adrian’ and my heart stopped. I dropped the phone, quickly dressed and ran out to my car. When I got in the car, I saw a large white bird sitting on my fence, as I screeched the tires and sped away, he never moved.  

It only took minutes to get to my sister’s house, but it seemed like an eternity. When I arrived, I ran up the front steps and stopped suddenly at the top. On the corner of the fence post was a giant white bird. I shook my head thinking it couldn’t possibly be the same bird and it just sat there, not moving, watching me. I noticed it had one very green eye and the other was coal black. I shook my head again and ran into the house.

It was chaos in the house, my sister flailing around the room, people everywhere. I kept trying to grab her wrists to quiet her down, so I could figure out what had happened. She was staring at me mumbling things I couldn’t understand, and Adrian’s father finally said, “he didn’t come home last night.” They had been divorced for a few years, but he lived close by and had come to pick him up to spend the day with him.   

Immediately I felt a surge pass through my chest, ‘I should have driven him home!’ I couldn’t breathe for a moment and then exhaled hard and just hugged my sister.  In the following hours, everything is a blur. Things were moving so fast, people coming and going, everyone trying to find Adrian. They focused their search on the river, the last place the boy had been seen.

I drove over to my shop, knowing I had a last-minute order to be delivered to a funeral that was happening that day. I knew after that, I could close up and help in the search for Adrian. I gathered the flowers and vases into the van and just as I shut the back door, something caught my eye. On the back fence, behind the shop was a large white bird. This time it wasn’t staring at me, it was looking off in the direction of the river. I started to walk toward it and it opened its wings and flew to a tree at the beginning of the river trail. I wanted to follow it, but I had to get these flowers to the cemetery. I shook my head to focus and got in the van.

I drove across town and pulled up to the cemetery entrance. The guard at the front saw me and pushed the button to open the gates. As I waited for the gate to open, something moved in the corner of my eye. I turned and saw that bird, it had to be the same one, as it landed on a headstone at the edge of the cemetery grounds. I heard the words, ‘what the….!’ come out of my mouth. The gates were now open, and the guard was waving me in.

I stepped on the gas and the van started moving. I hurriedly made my delivery. Trying not to rush as this poor man was laying his wife to rest but I wanted to see if I could find that bird. I finished up the delivery, gave my condolences and rushed back to the front of the cemetery. Dammit it all if he wasn’t still there. Sitting stock still, staring off in the direction of the river.

I turned the van toward the river and sped back across town. When I got there, the search party had just formed a straight line and had begun to walk up the river bank. They were all looking down and moving slowly, some had flashlights, some in bright orange vests. The rain had stopped hours ago and the water in the river had receded a bit and was flowing at its normal, gentle pace.

Adrian loved walking by the river. He loved the quiet and loved to walk alone singing songs he made up in his head. He also loved coming to help me at the shop, even though he was only 16, he seemed to understand how to console grieving souls. He would touch their hands softly and look into their eyes. He had beautiful green eyes and somehow seemed to almost hypnotize people as they looked back at him. He would hum some little tune he had made up and the person would smile. It was always a brief exchange and seldom even recognized but I watched him with so many of our customers that I saw it as a sort of ritual he performed at every funeral we attended. Something about him, though outwardly a happy young boy, was deeply sad. I always noticed it when he would begin his walk down the river trail, heading home, and he would start to sing.

Our town was small but there was a huge historical cemetery that people from all over would come to lay their loved ones to rest in. My shop was originally just a small flower shop in town but began to work solely for the cemetery many years ago. I loved helping people and being able to assist them with the details of the flowers and keeping their resting places beautiful was something I felt called to do. Being kind to someone who is grieving can change a person’s life.

When Adrian was very young, he would always come with me to the shop. He loved the flowers and knew all their names and could tell me everything about them by the time he was 5 or 6. His favorites were Daisies and Daffodils, representing innocence, purity and rebirth respectively. He told me the Daisy, also known as Bellis, according to Celtic mythology was used to cheer parents who were grieving the loss of a child. He told me that Daisies are made up of two flowers, the inner section called a disc floret and the outer petals, a ray floret and that they often are used to symbolize true love. They close their petals at night covering the inner sections and reopen each morning to begin a new day.

The Daffodil, he told me, symbolizes rebirth and is the first bloom to show itself after a long winter. The Latin name for Daffodil is, Narcissus, after the Greek God who was celebrated for his beauty but was also very arrogant. Some sources say while he was staring at his reflection nymphs transformed him into a narcissus flower to get revenge for how he treated them. Others think he drowned trying to capture his reflection, and the flowers growing along the riverbed were named after him. Some even liken the nodding heads of daffodil flowers to Narcissus bending down and gazing at his reflection. It is said if the flower blooms on New Year’s Day, you will have good luck for the whole year.

Adrian was a boy that lived in his head, a dreamer and I always thought of him more like an Aster. The Aster is a unique daisy-like wildflower that’s known for its star-shaped flower head. Aster meanings include love and wisdom. With a rich history in Greek mythology, it’s said that the aster was created by the tears of the Greek goddess, Astraea. One day, she was so upset by how few stars there were in the dark sky, that she began to cry. As she wept, her tears fell to the ground and turned into star-shaped aster flowers. Thus, the flower was named after her, with Aster meaning star. He always seemed like he knew something the rest of us didn’t.

I looked up suddenly and realized I had been walking along the river path for nearly an hour thinking about Adrian and the flowers. I had gone a long way down the trail and had lost sight of the search party. It was still early afternoon, so I just kept walking, looking up and down the riverbank for any clues, any traces of Adrian.

I kept walking and aside from branches and rocks and the occasional flower, there was nothing, no evidence of the missing boy. Those words…no evidence…why did they stand out in my mind?

 Oh yes, I remember it now, there was a little girl that went missing here, down this same path years ago. As I recalled the story, I remembered that Adrian and the girl, what was her name…? Bella…no…Bellis, yes that’s it, had been friends. They were both about 7 at the time and had been inseparable. Her family lived next door to my sister and those two children spent every minute together since they were born, oddly enough on the same day.

I stopped suddenly shaken by the memory. The little girl, Bellis, had gone missing one evening and after an exhaustive search that went on for months, was never found. The family presumed her dead and a funeral was held. It suddenly flashed in my mind that her headstone was the one that damn bird was sitting on in the cemetery today. Although her body was never found, the family had a headstone placed at the edge of the cemetery facing the river. On the headstone was the inscription Bellis, April 1955 and below that etched in the stone, a set of wings.

After the funeral, Adrian grew quiet. He and Bellis had always been at the center of everything as they grew up, laughing and then running off together to play their secret games. I wondered for a moment about his love for Daisies and remembered what he had told me. Bellis…he never forgot her. I realized at that moment why he spent so much time down at the river. I don’t think he ever stopped looking for her.

 With tears in my eyes, I continued searching. He must have fallen somewhere along the path. Maybe he had been hurt and couldn’t get himself home, surely, he had to be here somewhere, he had to be. I started to run, stumbling over the rocks and slipping through the mud. Faster and faster, breath coming hard, sweat starting to cover my face. “Adrian!” I called out, panic setting in and still running faster. I rounded a slight curve in the path and lost my footing, slipping down the embankment. I fell forward and landed in the mud, knocking the wind out of my chest. I noticed my watch as I looked up over my arms, 4:55, and then I saw at the edge of the river, a single daffodil, bent low over the water.

I couldn’t breathe for a moment, and just stared. There was nothing else around, no evidence, those words rang in my ears again. I don’t know why or how but, in some way, I just knew. We were never going to see Adrian again. 



I began to yell for help, calling the search party to where I was and they all came running. They gathered around and helped me to my feet. They were all asking me questions but all I could do was point to the flower on the ground. No one understood what I was saying, and they eventually continued with the search thinking that I was simply distraught.

The search went on for days, weeks and months. With less and less to go on and no clues surfacing, my sister began to give up hope. She and her husband were together again as the grief had brought them close and she was pregnant. Time passed and there was a funeral for Adrian just as there had been for Bellis and I convinced my sister to place a headstone for him next to hers in the cemetery. The inscription read simply, Adrian, April 1971 and below that etched in stone a set of wings.

Time was passing and life moving on and on New Year’s Day, my sister gave birth to a son called Patrick. Everyone was coming back to life and I went for a walk down by the river. I missed Adrian so much, trying to continue my work at the shop and help the grieving souls but nothing could console my own grief. I walked that old familiar path and felt like I was not alone on that day. I talked out loud as if he was there, telling him of his new baby brother, telling him of the souls that had passed. Somehow, I knew that he knew them all by name. I began to feel a bit anxious as I came upon the spot on the path where I had fallen in the mud that day. I held my breath and as I turned the corner there it was. Leaning low over the melting ice of the river was a single daffodil watching its reflection in the water. Tears fell from eyes just as they had done that day.


Many years passed, and I began to grow weary of the flowers and the grief and the constancy of loss. I was working in the shop one day and heard the bell ring as the front door opened. Much to my great joy it was my nephew Patrick. He was grown now and had just graduated college with a degree in Botany and had been helping me at the shop for years. It was a late afternoon in April and he had brought me a bouquet of Asters. The very first time he came into the shop when he was about 6, he told me this was his favorite flower. He asked if we could go for a walk, he had some news to tell me.

We set off down the river trail. As a boy, he walked this path many times, he told me. No one ever found Adrian and he always wondered about his brother. He had grown up to be so much like Adrian, the same kind heart, same care for others. He said that he somehow had always just felt like part of him was missing. I looked at him, his bright green eyes sparkling in the afternoon sun.

We rounded the bend and were just about to come upon the corner and as we turned he said, “Auntie, I’ve fallen in love.” I hugged him and as I looked over his shoulder I saw that daffodil only this time it was leaning towards me as if looking back. As I let go of Patrick, I asked him the name of his love. His eyes sparkled again, and he said, “Daisy.” 



I looked again and the daffodil that had been at the river’s edge for the last 20 years was gone. As I turned back to Patrick, I saw behind him sitting on the lowest branch of a tree, a large white bird with one green eye. It looked at me then spread its wings and flew off. As it passed a white feather fell at my feet. I picked it up, put it in my pocket and Patrick and I walked back to my shop.  






Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Create


lost in moving pictures

images on a screen

lost in the turning of pages

words turned into dreams

lost in the sound of a melody

in a power chord strum

lost in the open throated wail

that sings of joy and pain

there is a parallel world

that runs right beside this one

where make believe and magic

never stop their shenanigans

this the place where dreamers live

when they cannot make sense of this world

where they can become superheroes

with the strength of a thousand men

this is the place where love lives on

when life in this place has to end

this is the place where we write our own tales

no longer victims of life

there is something about dreamers and artists

something in the way that they move

something in the very depth of their bones

that pushes them beyond themselves 

*inspired by @mundxanth*

Monday, June 25, 2018

stories of the story


With her strange little sing song way

of wrapping her voice around words

She told me that I should have hope

and I tried to push her away

She found this somehow endearing

some sort of challenge for her to take on

And for four years and some odd few months

she never left me alone

She said she always knew

that she was fated to come to me

I only knew that I loved her

with a force I had never known

It was such an adventure, our time

limitations forcing us to dig

To reach into ourselves, our thoughts, our minds

to create a world where we could live

We set stages and painted backdrops

we wrote soundtracks and themes

I sang to her and she played for me

and the words flowed in reams

The poetry that she pulled from me

measures only the depth of the soul

That together we came to trust

and fearlessly learned to grow

~

She is gone now

and I feel the death that took her

It watches me from the shadows

from the dark corners of the room

I hear its laughter late into the night

the time, when she would come to me

I hear its snicker, its giggle of delight

because now it has her

It tempts and taunts me to join them

to creep into those corners

It leaves me crumbs of memories

and the echo of the sound of her voice

In the beginning, she fought

fiercely, she clung to life

She created in both our minds

a world where she wanted to live

But with the ticking hands of time

the Amazon grew weary

Her stamina and steam

becoming a slow, and gentle burn

She came to me less often

in the wee small hours of night

Where she once upon a time

kept me sleepless for days on end

She was quieter then

as the dusk settled in

No longer demanding

that her hunger be fed

That sing song voice once so musical

lost its lilt in the effort for breath

She became fragile and weary yet still

she comforted me until the end

She left me in quiet silence

I don’t know the exact day or time

The last words she wrote to me

still sick, getting better, trying…

for my muse

Saturday, June 9, 2018

days like today


it is on days like today that I remember

and the memories become as real as the moments in time

I remember the first time I dragged a blade

across the white of my skin

there was feeling of release

from the absolute need

to burst free

of the skin that held me tight

there was an exhale

of a breath that had been held

for longer

than I can remember

today brings back

the first time

I tossed back my head

and poured liquor into the depth of me

the warm release

as it poured through my veins

making something in me burn

allowing me to feel

it takes me back

to the first line I inhaled

and how I believed

that I would never hurt again

it’s days like today

where tears fall

on a schedule all their own

and I cannot contain them

it’s days like today

where my heart pounds

my ears ring

and breaths come short and fast

it’s days like today

where I want to run

as fast and as far

as my body will allow me to go

it’s days like today

where I don’t want to be anywhere

where I cannot sit still

and where I cannot move

it’s days like today

when I need a sunrise

and when I wish

to float away

Thursday, June 7, 2018

break


so many things

bring me to tears

I begin to become

unhinged

the edges are jagged

the seams come undone

what holds me together

anymore?

there is so much unsettled

so much unsure

so much of me

has fallen deep within

pieces are broken

cracked and torn away

I am tying up the pieces

with string

I don’t know how to hold it

how to keep my grip tight

when the muscles

have forgotten how to move

I am breaking again

I have splintered within

the shell no longer

keeping me alive


Saturday, June 2, 2018

100 Days...


it seems there are strings of moments

tied together by breaths

breaths short and fast

as if gasping to stay alive

I find myself in this place

one I have been before

for one reason or another

 connected by nothing but me

it’s been a hundred days or more

and I don’t know how to grieve

I only know how to drown myself

in this bottle turned upside down

you’d be disappointed I know

and I am starting to feel the same

why is this the only place

I know how to run to

how did I let myself become

so shutdown and alone

I dreamt and wished for so many years

about the life that we would live

and now that you are gone

I just want to follow you there

I know that I have to feel this

let this grief have a name

but it takes over every inch of me

and leaves me crippled and shaken

that’s why I hide in the numb

where I have hidden all my life

through liquids in clear glass bottles

or in lines sniffed up my nose

I had come so far from all of that

my strength had let me shine

now, once again, my shimmer has dulled

and I am wandering in the dark

I know that I am stronger than this

but I simply cannot find the ground

I am wavering on shaking legs

and the days just keep passing by

Friday, May 11, 2018

Words Seldom Used...............N

and this the letter N:


Natant:  swimming or floating. 
Nepenthe:  a drink having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble.  Anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness. 
Nival:  of, belonging to snow. 
Novia:  fiancĂ© or bride. 
Nuque:  the back of the neck. 
Nyx:  an ancient Greek goddess personifying night.

N
Lips drag slowly
tracing along the nuque
the taste of her
a nepenthe elixir.

Swallowing in deep breaths
inhaling her into me 
my mind reels
as a simple peace takes hold.

In natant wonder drifting 
mind in soft release
her power leaving
the rest of the world at bay.

She is mystery, my novia
nothing else compares
as original as a snowflake
in a nival breeze.

Upon me she falls
as night surrounds us both
the goddess Nyx
powerless next to her.

Elegant and wondrous
this creature, this woman, my dream
nyctalgia even fades
at the sound of her name. 

7.18.14

*this photo is not mine, no copyright infringement intended*