A tiny porcelain dish

blue bowl 1a
photo by Sylvia

i am a tiny porcelain dish
painted over a hundred years,
i’ve overheard passionate whispers,
witnessed happiness and tears,
held silver rings and sparkling things
that were ever loved and dear–
now i have landed here,
cradling an old quartz crystal,
in the quiet morning light–
a midnight perch awaiting
the flight of night-time sprites

To the Man in the Mental Institution

roses in mauve
photo by Sylvia

I thanked you when you paid me a compliment, but I’m not sure that I fully understood what that compliment would do to me until many days, if not weeks later.

It was a statement, made without explanation, without judgment or pity. It was just plainly, a nice thing to say. And you said it to me, a visiting stranger who was secretly a little afraid of you.

The peculiar and beautiful irony isn’t lost on me: a simple compliment from an unknown man (who happens to be a mental patient) came my way. It was so very basic and yet so very complicated.

I could tell this story in a humorous and self-deprecating context the next time I have dinner with friends, and they would all laugh and shake their heads at me. But I won’t, because I’m taking this experience to another place entirely. Just a small place of gratitude.

When I see you again, I will gladly talk to you, because you were kind and made me smile and you taught me a humble lesson that I will keep close to my tender heart forever.

thoughts from the forest


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