Or, The Forgotten Year

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Day’s Verse:

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Cor. 3:17 – 18

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The time has arrived during which students of all levels reflect on the past academic year, generally commenting, “Man, it went by so fast!” or “Where did the time go?” Perhaps some few college students far from home may even wish that the year could extend itself, to spend time with friends long departing. All reminisce on the past year’s joys and pains; but mostly joys.

When I look back on the time to realize that each day of the week I will never experience in this particular arrangement again I feel only ambivalence. A year of sorrows for me, of slow releasing of hopes and expectations strongly-held as each one crumbled to dust in my clutching hands. A year of loneliness as I accepted my new separate situation, for despite all protestations I can only think that my marriage has sabotaged my other friendships. A meaninglessly academic year in which I worked for grades that mean nothing more than A as in (over)Achiever or B as in do Better; science classes that contributed nothing to a biology major and English classes that contributed nothing to a Technical Communications major. A year of high money outpouring, buying furniture and plane tickets and British food, with only furious eyes at the suggestion of earning money. What have we earned? A year of growth in which I found that the God I sang to every Sunday actually sings a love song-lullaby to me daily. A year of loss, of giving myself to others only to find emptiness in return, of long nights alone seeking sustenance from a silent God and stuffed whale. A year of learning what in-laws are, contrary to popular opinion, really a wonderful blessing of gaining a family who hasn’t lived for the past 19 years with my foibles. What can I say of the past school year? Long-short, each day stretched interminably and told me that friendless commuter scratch a miserable existence out of the nutrientless Clark soil. I pray to God that I have learned the right choice between “Don’t just stand there – do something!” and “Don’t just do something – stand there!” There is a time for both.

Story

There it sat, frumpy, a lump of water and wool reflected in the floor polished by a thousand devoted feet. Its owner unselfconsciously strutted, white T-shirt clinging, gawking at the temple’s quiet Eastern calm. Never had the golden Buddha statue seen such long, shapely, pale legs bared by khaki mini-shorts in his presence before. Incense floated melodiously, swirling at her swift passage to wrap about her slim waist, at which hung an incongruously workmanlike pistol. Her pianist fingers nervously played across its holstered shape in anticipation of desecrating the echoing monks’ prayers with sharp reports when—if—her followers discovered this hideaway.

Dim light sought through the driving rain outside to illuminate the dim columned shadows of the sweater’s escape. The puddle, faintly bluish from ink running, spread wider as the mountaintop of the sweater slowly dried. Many ducked heads hurried by, bouncing drops off their sleek blackness, but from within the brightly round blue eyes spied no cowboy hats, no brown hair, and no malicious eyes. Red tongue traversed redder lips as practical-sneakered feet paced anxiously across the sweater’s slowly soaking domain, the polished wooden floor. No monks in sight, just sound; sounds of life crawled through the building, imbuing it with comfort. Living but not malevolent, and that slowed the furiously beating heart residing beneath the round, full breasts. The chest rose and fell less rapidly as all the senses—unnaturally acute in anticipation of a fight-or-flight situation—accepted the apparent serenity of this wood-darkened, faintly gold-glittering environment.

The sweater’s topmost crest had dried fully and its middle had begun the airing process as its small lake began evaporating. Hot air, though moist, in this environment; even pounding rain outside did little to lessen the heat. Now the long legs crossed themselves Indian-style as the straight back reclined against a tree-sized pole. The Buddha statue saw relaxed slim arms resting easily on knees, the chest rising and falling steadily in belief of danger eased. Long hair, glittering in the uneven lighting like the guilt statues housed in the temple, flowed along the arms. No longer did a crease slash between the bright eyes, which had ceased darting fearfully.

It only takes time and energy. Dried, it looked like a rag tossed from a mechanic’s thoughtless hand; but the sweater had saved a life on more than one occasion. Blue knit, heavy, incongruent, it concealed the shiny pistol and its owner’s own shape. The owner, arms dropped to sides, hair sweeping down and back from a head bobbling from a relaxed swan’s-neck, slept. The golden Buddha looked down at her, appearing to know that his temple offered the only refuge in months of desperate flight. His heavy incense, warmly polished floor and beams, were to her the sweetest air and softest bed to be anticipated in the future. And so she slept as the foppish sweater sat lumpishly dry beside her.

/Story

A random poetry line generator was found.

Here, I mock it.


In the tundra of clarity the zealots sweep,

In the tundra of heresy the hermits crest,

In the sanctum of corruption the weeds binge,

In the nursery of harmony the heralds knead,

In the crevice of gibberish the birches blast,

In the kettle of redemption the athletes think,

In the stable of silence the needles brood,

In the ocean of misery the tempers blink,

In the womb of paradox the people ride,

In the waters of providence the scarabs ache,

In the cellar of enmity the zealots drive,

In the barracks of ecstasy the ribs gamble,

In the garret of scrutiny the rains bond,

In the ice storm of oppression the Pharaohs fawn,

And in the web of the world wide the Instant Muse Poetry Generator miraculously survives.

– KF –

One thought on “The Year I Didn’t Live

  1. You had a difficult school year this year but you learned a lot, grew a lot and got one year closer to your degree. Those are all good things. (And thanks for the compliment. 🙂

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