I close my eyes and the first thing I recall is the smell. Warm and savoury. Then the sounds emerge: popping and hissing as the oil and white wine work their magic. I can see the steam now, rising like majestic cumulus clouds to disappear into the smoke extractor. Finally, I can see you. In the midst of it all, you matter the most and unaware, we lived our lives reliant on you. You put the lid on the pan and let it cook while you start chopping the spring onion into cute little rings. I wonder if it was easy becoming a mother, that you could care for us in so many ways. Now that we’re apart, do you still let one thing simmer and move on smoothly to the next? I get worried that you don’t.
The beauty of promises is long-forgotten like a dropped ring underneath the closet. The agonising joy in anticipation…does it exist anymore? Yesterday, I found that ring under the closet. The dull silver beckoned to me, inviting me to don its patience and faith. The old thing would never make it in today’s fashion, but at the same time, it establishes a standard of its own. Have you dropped a ring under your closet, too? I hope that you’ll find it if you did.
Carefully, a vertical stroke of ink lifts from the page. Thin lines branch out and up from the trunk, black against a gradient wash of pale rose to soft blue-grey. Another tree arises, and another.
When the sounds of brush on paper ends, all of them stand quietly. This is the forest in winter.
Because you give me hope –
Past all the broken signs,
All the cracks in the road.
Colour has no meaning:
Why dare to dream
When it is just a dream?
Everything to me.
Breath, water, heartbeat –
You are what it means to live.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
– Philippians 1:21
Beside the baby Sofia was a doe-eyed little doll called Miss Suffering. On the other side was Mr Hope, a perfectly huggable teddy bear. According to Sofia’s immaculate timing, the pair eventually became married and had a child, a little amorable blanket. He was called Endurance, or Ennie, for short. Ennie didn’t know this, but before he came around, Mother and Father used to fight a lot. But, as Sofia liked to tell him, the older Ennie grew, the more amazingly his parents got along. In time, Ennie and his parents met their end. Or as Sofia would say, in God’s good time, since just before they left, Endurance’s adopted son, quiet Strength, had found himself a home in Sofia’s heart. They lived happily ever after. The End.
The walls reverberate with the roars of my heart, and though there’s few there to hear me, the voices of the abandoned, the ignored, and the lost still pour unnoticed from the vents. On the other side which I have not seen, there is an dam of sorrow on the verge of overflow.
“Is anyone doing anything?” I cry out. Your hands hold mine in answer. My hands are tiny compared to Yours, let alone my mind and my heart.
Yes, You are always near, wherever we walk. Even the bad can be for good because the impossible doesn’t exist with You. The sky stretches over my head and of those stranded on their islands.
Yes, though my hands are small, You can do great things through them. If I can use them according to Your will, that is an honour. I am reaching out to You, who will one day dry these tears once and for all.
My hair sweeps across my cheek as the cherry blossom petals shiver. The impression you left has remained in my hand since the night you took me to the festival. Far away, in my imagination, the chatter of the crowd warms the air, but here, it is cold. It is pointless, to think of you, yet again. But in a way, loneliness is no longer my companion. These memories in my heart warms the tips of my fingers as a sliver of my emotions slips out into a smile. For you, is it the same? Will you remember me?