Monday, July 31, 2006

The end is still darkness

Thunk.

Whirrrrrr .....

Buzz ...

The switch is flicked and I blink into the blinding light.

I cannot see a thing, but the weight is heavy in my hands. It rolls gently over my palms and I notice I am sweating.

It's slippery, a voice whispers in my ear. Don't drop it.

I glance around but all is darkness or blinding light.
I am alone.

The rope stretches out ahead of me. A single line lit up through the darkness. Stretched taught, disappearing into the black. The end is unknown, but I know I have to step out anyway. I close my eyes. Maybe it will be easier this way.

I can't.
A deep breath. I open them again and reach my foot out into space. The crowd gasps below me, but I can't see any of them. Their hushed whispers unnerve me, and I am not sure if I can do it anymore.

Another whisper, it's the only way. I sigh. I know the truth.

I slide my foot along the rope. It feels familiar under my sole. My balance is steady and I step my other foot from the safety of the platform. I know the net exists below me, but I can't see it, I don't want it. I have fallen into it gratefully before. It has saved my life. This time, I want to make it all the way.

I am confident now. My movements are slow and sure. The light still blinds but I think I know the way. Before I realise it, I am close to half way. I think I can perceive the other platform in the darkness, but I really can't be sure. I have been fooled by my illusions before.

But there's only 6! - the others are too small, a voice calls from the crowd. Last time there were more.

I waver, unsteady, unsettled by the call. I know there were more last time. I know. Will 6 be enough? I churn inside and my feet start to shake the tension of the rope. Another gasp from the crowd. I could fall at any moment.

But I don't. Droplets of sweat bead my forehead. Droplets of blood bead my arms.

A small voice drifts thinly from the other, still invisible platform.
I'm here, it calls. I'll always be here. I can't walk this for you, but I'll wait.

And now tears cloud my vision. The lights dissolve into glistening stars.
I have to keep going - I don't know how to go back.
I inch forward again. Alone, not alone. Hope in one ear, Tomorrow in the other. Arms and nets waiting below and a quiet voice waiting in the darkness.

Forward is the only way.

13 Comments:

At 11:38 pm, Blogger Courtney said...

Wow, that is powerful. It made me tear up. I guess we are always trying to get across to the little one who is waiting.

 
At 11:44 pm, Blogger Kris said...

What an apt description. I hope you have continued sure footing.

 
At 11:51 pm, Blogger serenity said...

Beautiful.

 
At 9:27 am, Blogger Vee said...

Stunning !

Quality is better than quantity.
All the best.

 
At 9:34 am, Blogger Bea said...

Ah, Stella. I love how these little fantasies and metaphors can sometimes get at the reality better than anything else.

Tears from me, too.

Don't look down!

Bea

 
At 12:15 pm, Anonymous Paige said...

That was beautiful. You are a talented writer. I think we should collect these stories and poems that are being written and make it into a "Chicken Soup for the Infertile Soul." I would buy it.

I hope you reach that other platform soon.

 
At 5:26 pm, Blogger Meg said...

(Paige has a good idea there...)

Stell - Yes, forward is the only way. Sometimes it feels strange though, doesn't it, like you could just jump off and it would all be gone.

I'm sure pick-up will yeild more pleasing results. From what I gather, that's usually what happens, isn't it?

My love to you.

 
At 1:55 am, Anonymous Watson said...

That was beautiful.

Since the voice is saying it will wait for you, you know you're on the right track. Just keep going forward, one step at a time, and you will get there.

 
At 10:55 am, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Absolutely beautiful Stella.

 
At 5:28 pm, Blogger VanillaDreams said...

That was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing that with us.

There are days when I wish someone else could walk this path for me, just for a while....

All the best,
Nilla

 
At 12:26 am, Blogger Heather said...

I'm crying too.
Beautiful.

-Paige -
I was just thinking that the other day. There are 4 different versions of Chicken soup for Mother's Soul - not to mention grandmothers. There are ones for golfers and graduates but none for us with empty arms. hmm

 
At 12:28 am, Blogger Heather said...

I meant 4 versions at my local bookstore - there are actually many, many more versions available though.

 
At 4:39 am, Anonymous flygirl said...

That just made me well up. Beautifully written.

 

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