Listening to a song

photo of an Ohio barn by Sylvia

I listened to the same song on repeat for hours today. Wandering through the lines, the verses, the melody. A parallel universe where i am eternally 15. A slim body, a full heart, life stretching out before all of us, long and lush and infinite. The opposite of this reality where age has been unkind and the only lines i see are under downcast eyes and my aching and tired heart beats irregularly—stands before me in stark contrast. All the people i loved that went away, went away forever walking into death head-on, like deer in front of trucks on the turnpike. There they are alive and laughing, in this parallel world, telling jokes, being young. I smoke another cigarette and watch the sun set on a cold November evening, the trees in black silhouette against a grey sky, blurred through my quiet tears, my chasm of pain and loneliness. I want to reach through time, yank them away, shout and scream and plant my feet on solid ground, love again and want again and breathe again. There we all are, frozen between the notes, the saxophone solo, the lines we all sang together in unison. We were invincible in our youth and ignorance. And yes, i want to climb into the velvet voice, that voice that is also gone forever, and use it like a blanket—a soft everlasting, warm blanket of hopefulness and love that is not only missed, but misplaced. 

A Grey September Day

photo by Sylvia

On a mid-September morning, we took a walk along the river. It was a southwestern Pennsylvania grey day, a black and white morning, a monochromatic mind set. My worries tread on the hamster wheel of thoughts inside of my head, churning, stumbling, exhaustingly futile. In the distance, a great blue heron stands regally, barely recognizable, probably scouting his breakfast. The pup and I watch the water flow towards the city, and experience a strange vertigo for an instant, a letting go, a weightless sensation that passes quickly and momentarily knocks the worries from my mental track giving me enough time to hold onto other thoughts—the soft clouds, the bridge in the distance, the lushness of the trees, the temporary silence. I slow my breathing and pet the pup, “let’s go girl”, I say and walk gently forward.

thoughts from the forest

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