Mar 1, 2009

Orion's Belt

To be featured in Redeemer's creative writing magazine: (a story that I wrote)

Orion's Belt -

Small bits of everything that had accumulated over the past days sat in heaps and piles on the floor. Cleaning seemed to make the whole thing officially over. Dealing with it made the memories come back. Neither seemed to be the action of choice. For all that could have been done to prevent it, to tell if anything would have worked was ambiguous as the next. Ideas tossed around in a mind, in hope of some sense. Alas, nonsensical.
If anything was to really justify the truth, it would have been the stars. The joke was that the world revolved around Orion’s Belt. They couldn’t find the big dipper, but those three little stars in the middle of a giant sky twinkled. Muse towards the song. And then, as soon as it came, the melody was gone.

Perhaps then, laying there at the end of a week full of challenges inevitably leading to changes, a growing longing to stay under this sky forever crept up.

The sun that day was warm, and although it was the final day with nostalgia floating about the sweet Caribbean air, the rain stayed far away. It was for the better. Waves were splashing upon a soft beach. The sand, composed of bits of dried coral and eroded shells that had swept their way in from the ocean’s current. Their home belonged to the text of the salt lines upon the shore. Dried, rotting seaweed scented the air, and a crab scurried in and out of the tiny mountainous seeming sand dunes. Peaceful, serene, call it heaven.

As the hammock rocked back and forth, differing hues of blue poked their way through. The strings, woven precisely right, fed the blue of the sky, mirrored by the waters. A breeze, warm to the face, whispered its calming melody to the broken soul. Or the mended soul. A simple beauty rested there.

A voice bidding a lullaby, the waves wisped their way along the shoreline. They wrote the words they sang.

How great is our God
Babble, Babble, Babble

And then...

Swish, slop, sigh
How great is our God

Bright colours. Mingled with reds, blues, yellows and out came the culmination to equal tropic paradise. Favorites always to include the mango, strawberry and limed coconut. Human beings dressed with sheer brilliance, echoing a cultural obsession with vibrancy. Perhaps to be noticed. And all at once their voices shout, "FIESTA!"

Carried on into the night. Life. Dancing and smiling and laughing and the music. The loud beating of a bongo drum, decorated in little wooden beads on the string-ropes. Fast, higher pitched, carrying the melody on and on. Slow, deep, the bass holds the beat. Powerfully it voices its presence. The trumpets and guitars forced to obey. The Island, where all the gods and goddesses come out by night. They breathe life into the streets, the people. And they dance, they laugh, they smile. Somewhere in the midst, merchants holler. Tourists purchase trinkets. They dress for the beach and carry the colours. Above, the stars are twinkling. A pondering towards the song. But the melody is drowned out by the song of the Island.

Now I’ve had the time of my life
and I owe it all to you

And then... softly it starts...

...and grows louder

Tu eres Todo Poderoso
Eres grande y majestoso

On a wall. The warm sun has faded into the horizon. Eyes gaze towards a starry sky. Twinkling, twinkling. The top of the wall is tiled. The same blue as the hammock, though not visible in the night. Cold to the touch, the body sprawled out, comfort. The waves still lap. They still sing. Peaceful evenings and a starry sky. Could it be heaven?

The stars, all in their courses, flutter about the night sky. Tiny butterflies of the night. Not moths, not fireflies. For the colour in the stars reflects the colours of the Island. Reflects the ocean. Reflects the song. Whisked away into a world of twinkling, twinkling, twinkling. And slowly the song returns. So softly. Human voices at last, joining in the chorus of creation.
Laughs, smiles, dancing. The rocks, the docks, they all sing. Above, the stars twinkle. Vividness. Blue, yellow, red. Mango, strawberry, limed coconut. It is all there. Reflections and an after-thought. There are no "what if’s" here. Only backs on the body of a cold wall. Only the quick movements of the wind. Only the song of the sea. Babble, babble, babble. Swish, slop, sigh.

How great is our God
How great is our God...

The stars cry out.

Twinkle, twinkle little star
how I wonder what you are...

The seas cry out.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

And all of creation harmonizes. A song of praise. A song of thanksgiving. At last the voices grow. A heart wells up with praise, and a soft voice carries on the wind. The soft voice carries on the wind to the starry heavens. Stars shoot like fireworks. The culmination of all the sights and sounds headspring into this one moment and a fountain overflows. Texts, songs, colours- they all join in choir. And the soft voice carries on the wind...

Indescribable, uncontainable
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name...

At last a breath. A sigh. Tu eres todo poderoso. Hallelujah.

A breath on a cold window. Small bits of everything stay sprawled out on the floor. Accumulated, growing, like the song. As silent as the night and simple as the stars. Illuminating. Striking. Twinkling. The intricate edges of a snowflake appear against the window. Melt with the breath. And then another. And then another. They fall until a finger traces a heart on the fogged window, and then they float. They fly. Snowflakes in the Caribbean. Meet sand. Meet sea. Meet wind. Meet stars. Whatever challenges led to changes, whatever beauty led to praise. A growing longing to stay under the sky.

On a starry night, in a blue hammock, with a colorful party and a heart drawn on a foggy window. Alas, nonsensical.

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