Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tear in your hand (complete)

(Sorry for the delay gentle readers - I wanted the story to go "right" and it wanted to go "left". I had to give in and follow it left. I have little control over that part of the writing process. Some stories simply write themselves, I just type them in.  Part one included since its been a while.)


Gather around little ones...

It's story time.

Wiggly-one jumps up and claps her hands "Oh! oh! oh! tell us a forest story!"

"No tell us a story with drums and wild Indians!" Giggly-one interjects.

Quiet-one slowly lifts her heavy eyes, "please retell us the story of the purple wings."

"YES!!!" everyone cries in unison.

I settle down  in my chair. "alright."

I open the book in my mind and draw back the worn pages carefully until I find the one marked by a single feather.

A lone glittery purple one.

I twirl it slowly as the story calls to me with each twinkle of the glitter.

Of a girl,


...lost in a dark forest.

I lived in this dark place for many years, an angry hurt girl, full off rage and mistrust, my fists always tightly clenched. Lost until I stumbled across a man named Richard who sat with me on the damp ground. We talked, and talked and talked for years. He eventually got me to get up and walk.

I stumbled blindly, my eyes still couldn't see in the darkness.

In the cool, dew slicked bark was my braille tablet. The towering trees my protectors....and my prison guards blocking out the sun light.

Richard took my hand and led me to two ladies, who let me curl up like a cat on there couch as they talk and talked with me.

All this talking wore a chink in my armor.

There syrupy voices undulated in the silence of the forest and I felt safe enough to one day unclench my hand.

With a searing pain a small hole tore in my palm, and as I held it up to look at it....

....light shown through it into the darkness of my lostness.

The love and care of three people.

Changed me. redirected me to find my footing on the healing journey.

They put the lantern into my hand.

...I, in turn, put in her hand.

She refused to take it.

It dropped with a clunk to the forest floor.

She didn't want to have hope. She didn't want to join the others. She wore the ancient pain like a damp cloak of moss heavy with dew.

It gnawed an ate at my soul. This little girl who was both lost and right where she needed to be.

"This way." I pointed.

"why?" she asked.

"The way through the forest is this way."

"No, I am fine here." she said snuggling into the dirt.

I reluctantly head down the path and leave her behind.  Off on my own journey. Running over the well worn trails that used to make me stubble and get lost.

Others come and go. We share words. We hold hands. We go forward. We go back. Always heading to the edge of the dark forest. some place most have never seen.

I know she is still there. Skirting the edges of my peripheral view. Periodically I stop and stare back into the darkness. I hold up my lantern.

...can you still see my light Little Tear? I ask with my heart. I know you are out there dear one.

This way.

This way little one.

Sometimes I trek back and find her. Calling her out of her cocoon.  Gently prying her fingers open and placing the lantern in her hand.

It always tarnishes and rusts in her hand.

Sometimes she will hold it, sometimes she will blow out the light, and more then once she has sent it whizzing past my head to land in a crumpled up heap.

I patiently smooth out the dents, and relight it.

With a powerful will she blows it out.

determined to journey in the dark.

One day the forest gives way to a massive river.

I stare at the swift current and crashing rapids.

Across the water, something new.

a long meadow of rich green grass, that lead to a lighter forest.

There are many travelers sitting on the bank starring lost at the river.

"How do we cross?" someone whimpered.

A slow murmur echoed amongst those gathered at the bank.

A familiar echo that reverberated in my heart.

"I have stood on these banks before." I said, walking out to the edge.  "I have sat sobbing on these very shores." I knelt down and pressed my hands in to the indents in the bank. "I have clawed rocks up here and flung them into the river until I was exhausted."

"Did you get across?" one asks.

Standing, my eyes travel to the distant shore. "yes."

"does everyone get across?" two asks.

The sadness frowns my face. "no."  I kneel down and again and touch the ground. Not everyone to travels here makes it across. "Some turn back defeated. Some linger here so long they turn to rocks on the shore, some...some drown trying to cross."

"How did you cross?" three asks.

"A gift." I say. Leaning back my head and letting the memory swirl up and pull me into the past.

...When I first came to the river, it was icy pain.
To continue on my healing journey I was told I must get across and keep traveling.
There was no boats, no bridge, no way to swim the churning currents.
I turned angrily to my guides. "How the hell am I to cross that! Haven't I had to struggle and claw and fight enough? when does the journey become easy? why is it, it always seems we are traveling up hill even when we are on flat land?"
They don't answer, they wait while I face the monster of fear and self doubt in my own heart.
The anger flairs and claw up rocks and toss them into the water. One after another until my hands are bloody and my back is aching. My breaths quick and guttural. I fall to my knees at the edge of the water.
At last, a long silent voice speaks. "Healing is hard."
Are you my protector?...the part of my psyche that has always refused to let go of the rope? I sit down on the bank and listen...

The voice isn't from within, its the river talking to me. It slows down and laps gently at my knees in a s soothing undulating rhythm.

"Healing is hard." It repeats again.

"I can't swim this river..." I say tears welling up again.

"Take the bridge." It says.

"I don't see a bridge!" I wail.

"Its not time to cross the river then. You have to have faith that as you step out the bridge will be there. It is there."


"It is right in front of you." The river says. "cross it."

"I'm afraid." I say at last, the heavy weight of it being said aloud pushes my shoulders down. "Afraid that if I have confidence in myself that I will get torn down and hurt again."

The water recedes and whispers "you don't know the secret? do you?"

What secret? I say leaning over to get closer to the water so I can hear.

"All children are born with wings."

It returns to my knees and stills, creating a rich blue mirror, in which my reflection appears. I see them behind me. That pressure on my shoulders, not a weight, but ....wings. glittering purple wings.

"When the pain in your soul and heart is great, you focus on that and don't notice other things. Your wings have been heavy shadows you have dragged with you. Others stand on them and drag you down. Your healing now. No one is standing on them."

I take in a deep breath and the wings stir, strong and ready. I stand up and they stretch out and glisten in the sun.

"Most all children choose to give you their wings as they grown up, They choose to take them off and become walkers, its a natural part of growing up. You never had that choice so they are still yours to use."

I glance out across the water. "I see the bridge now." I say. My wings tense and I take  only a couple of steps on it before I am aloft. Free of the chains that held me fast.

"Such a gift." I say. Leaning my head forward, returning from the memory.
Everyone looks at me, then slowly turns and looks over their shoulders.

In seconds the air is filled with a rainbow of glittering wings. The daunting river, now a creek as we fly over it.

We land on the grassy shore and hug tightly. I pull away and lift my lantern as I peer back over the water. Little Tear? are you still there?

"Yes." she sobs.

I lift my lantern higher...I see her sitting on the banks in a crumpled up heap. Her wings broken and damaged crushed and tangled around her.

Picking up a rock I scratch my name on the bottom of my lantern. I lash it to the bridge post. I turn it up so the light is strong.

You will get across.

bring me my lantern when you do.

I turn and join the others already making their way though the grass, admiring the flowers.

When we reach the edge of the lighter forest I again turn back. Nothing behind me but an endless sea of grass. I can see my lantern light. Its steadiness tells me its still undisturbed. You will get across! I holler back.

The journey is long...and tiring. Some slow down and make their houses in the lighter forest. Others, change paths and go a different direction. New faces find us and join our group. We keep moving forward. Only I look back, longing to see the bobbing light of her bringing my lantern back.

I stumble and fall in a deep hole....oh, I am too tired to keep walking. Just kick the dirt in and bury me.

The party reaches for me and their many arms form a chain and pull me out. Gently they dust me off.

"let me sit for a minute and catch my breath, you all keep going, I will catch up." I lie, having no plans to do anything but slither back into the hole and hide.

They walk on leaving me sitting on the forest floor. I feel my body de-materialize and sink into the rich soil. Yes, I think. I will just stay here and become a tree. I stretch out my arms and uncurl my hands and prepare to bark over and become part of the forest.

I feel something slip into my hand, its weight pulls my arm down.

It is an old burnt out lantern.

I stop my decent into the depression as I am reminded of the significance. I think of my own lantern way back on the bridge post. I think of Little Tear, and I wonder if she ever crossed the river. Or managed to heal her wings.

And I am renewed enough to stand up and shake the dirt from my legs. I retrieve a match from my pocket and turn the lantern over to strike the match on it.

There, across the rusty bottom, I see my name scratched.

I spin around looking for her. Where are you little one?

I am the tear in your hand ...she says quietly.

I look down at the small drop of liquid in my palm. My tired reflection bobbing on it. "Oh my friend, I am glad to see you. I haven't the strength today to help anyone, not even myself." I collapse down to my knees and sit down on the ground.

I am not asking you to help me. You just being you is all I need.  A friend to walk with, sometimes close, sometimes far away. That you fail means nothing to me, it draws me closer as I realize, we are not so different. Your journey makes mine not seem so lonely.

"I don't want to travel anymore. I want to stop. The forest stretches on forever. I am questioning if anyone of us will ever get out of it." I say slowly closing my hand shielding the tear, and placing her over my heart.

She drips between my fingers and rises to stands before me. Her wings still broken and bent in odd angles, stretching behind her.

She says nothing but her extended hand challenges me to grasp it.

Sighing deeply I look up to face her. The wind blows her long hair concealing her face. I reach up my hand and the rays of the sun streams around the darkness of the trees and reach back.

Photo used with permission of Mona Lucas photography (c) 2015

I catch my breath....

Why are your wings broken Little Tear? my aching heart asks.

The sun light flickers and surges concealing her in the shadows.

"Not all come to the forest as children." She says. "Some have already shed the wings of childhood. You can't get back what you have given up willingly."

So you can't ever fly again? I sob.

The sunlight bends past her and presses into my face cupping it and warming it. I close my eyes and lean into its embrace. When my mind has stilled, the sunlight whispers into my ear. She is already flying dear a lady bug, her real wings are folded up in there armored compartment safe....forgotten. The knots in her shoulders, that aching is her true wings waiting to be opened and used.

My eyes open. "Is that true?"

She draws her shawl of pain closer  around her, and picks up her tarnished lantern, its light barely glowing. She shrugs her shoulder. " can't walk the same path as you and the others. It doesn't seem right to walk on the path worn by everyone's footsteps."

"Your at home clawing your way through the dense under brush." I say touching her broken wings. I understand, the safety that it gives you."

Tears well up in her eyes. "Your light...your light reminds me to keep going, It reminds me I am not alone out here."

"It's not my light, I was given it long ago, I just carry it and share it."

A soft, barely audible, gentle chuckle draws our attention.

It came from the flickering light in the lantern.

this way, this way it whispers growing brighter.

Her strength to keep walking with us travelers infuses me with a calming aura. I grab her hand and she is gone. Only a lone tear in my hand remains.

I look down at the tiny tear in my hand. I see the swirling reflection of my glittery purple wing in it. A searing pain rips my hand and it tears and the light shines through.

I smile at the tear in my hand...all ready flying... I get up, light my lantern and return to the path. I run to catch up with the others.

This way, this way the lantern sings as it swings with the rhythm of my stride.

...our feet make little noise in the forest. No matter how many walk in our party. Time has no meaning here, and drifts lazily like dandelion seeds on the breeze.. We are young and old as easily as the wind changes direction. A spring rain shower send the party seeking refuge under an ancient grandmother tree. We sit quietly, resting.

"Tell us story." someone says finally breaking the song of the falling rain drops.

I look around at the beautiful faces around me waiting with bright eyes. I grab a single purple feathers and yank it out. I turn it so the light of my lantern makes it sparkle. This way....This way.....

...a story of a journey, flying, light, comfort and girls who  may not find the way out, but they find a greater treasure...each other.

The story of

us all...

brave girls who are not lost in a dark forest.

...... I stop twirling the feather and slowly return it to the book in my mind, tucking it gently between the pages.

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