The world has settled around me, slowly but firmly, the glove finally fitting after weeks of adjusting and fine-tuning. Never one for sewing, the stitches were haphazard but determined, inching along the seams, until the glove grew to fit the hand, snug and warm in the growing darkness of the yesteryear. The onset of fall looms on the horizon and washes away the dredges of summer, and still bugs burrow and fly, swoop and buzz through the day, not yet willing to release their tyrannous hold on the world. A deep breath ensnares the nectar of life, its musky scent, wood flavored and grass dripping and fervent sour of the dead fermenting into the ground to enrich the world yet again in the spring, after the frozen months of winter. It’s a precarious time, one of lost hopes and misplaced dreams, the walks longer and longer as the sun sets earlier and earlier. The stars appear sooner, slurping up the sky and sweeping out the last vestiges of daytime. It’s the twilight of the year, and a passage from one moment to the next and the next, until time sweeps us out into the ocean, whipping us up into the hurricane of the years that pass by too swiftly.
We never know exactly where we will end up in the future, but fury of the universe has settled into a heartbeat, throbbing through our veins. Entangled as we are, we see and feel and thirst and soar up into the heavens, the clouds billowing out like a cape. It is the stars that guide us through the dark as the curtains drop and the stage empties. Even in darkness, we are not yet alone, for the soft bubbling of life simmers still, even under the layers of snow and frost.
It is a wonder that we walk through this life and fail to see this. We buzz from place to place, our feet scurrying and our hearts molten, and our brains locked on the prize we can never reach. It dangles above us, always zipping out of sight like the snitch that never was. We think we can soar like the birds if we but buy it, but no money in the world is enough to light the fires of our souls again. We don’t know where we are walking, and we cannot see the road, except for those yellow lines down the center, our guideposts unwavering in their solidity. We think it will take us there, to the realm for which we yearn, but the road just moves us further into darkness away from the light and the fires and the warmth of our dreams. The world is cold and our hearts empty, and our minds nothing but those yellow lines. We are the lines. Flat, unyielding, unwilling to deviate from the set reality we have constructed. Nothing will deviate us; nothing will stop us. We will be the lines and that is reality.
The earth heaves in a shuddered breath and the winds simper and whine. All around us, hidden in the particles themselves, is the whispers of millions, begging us to turn away. To cease our path, to let the lines go. To become malleable and open, to unleash the torrent of our hearts and minds, the flames of our souls that burn with a delirious hope that one day it will sweep us off our feet. We won’t see it coming. And yet, and yet, we might miss it. The moment passed and the lines once more unyielding, unwavering, set in its path. Breathe and open the eyes, smell the nectar of dreams, and touch the cool fabric of time as it curls around our wrists, tugging us to the left or the right, away from the lines. Away from what is familiar and comfortable. A challenge has issued from the stars above and the earth below.
Will we answer it?