A Portrait of her mind

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
a vignette of a young woman on the cusp of an epiphany

Submitted: August 04, 2016

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Submitted: August 04, 2016



The quiet crash of tidal waves was the only sign that alluded to the existence of water, and Rene, standing motionless upon a cliff that overlooked vast expanses of darkness below, knew this allusion to be true, for she was the one who had chosen this spot to begin with. The ink-colored spread began at the foot of the bluff, where the waves licked away gently at the rocks, creating thus a white foamy semi-circle that marked the boundary between the shore and the sea. From time to time little pinpricks of light emerged faraway, closer perhaps to where the sky met the sea, some flickering, others floating away toward the horizon's mouth. The fleeting ones, Rene guessed, belonged to either a ship or a boat, and they each told silent tales of people she could neither reach nor speak to. 

It might have been the gentle breeze that stirred her thoughts this way and that, bending thus the flowers that grew in the garden of her mind, or perhaps it was the surreal nature of her surroundings that caused Rene to think of a memory that guaranteed the reality of her existence. Either way, as she relinquished some control and allowed her gaze to rest upon the waves, an old memory suddenly awoke from its stupor. The exact shape of this memory, however, remained hidden behind the dust that rose in the wake of melancholy's footsteps; only the jagged edges peeked their heads from behind this cloud, stabbing her thoughts with ruthless determination. The usurper of Rene's mind then preceded to step on the same flowers that only moments ago had been bent by the wind, so that in less than a few minuets, one began to see a sharp contrast between her tumultuous soul and the calm nature of her external reality. 

So there she stood, dumbfounded, wondering if this was a natural state for her to linger in at the age of twenty-five. After all, isn't this the age where one is supposed to go out there and experience the world? Yet, despite the fact that she had been on many a voyage in the last three or so years, she felt as if she had missed out on what life truly had to offer. Perhaps if she, too, was a passenger on the same ships that entered and left her visual field, her thirst for wanting to be everyone and see everything would quench, but in the chasms of her subconscious she knew this to be untrue - nothing she experienced would be able to quench her thirst. 

When she saw another fleeting red light in the distance, she was reminded of how the present could be so kind and cruel at the same time; kind for it enabled one to turn any experience they wished into a memory, cruel for it always failed to teach one about the intense beauty that memories would later possess, and the inability of the present moment to ever reach the same lofty planes memories seemed to traverse with little to no effort. Now more than ever she felt the sting of this betrayal. The moment was to her neither kind nor cruel. Rather, it had yanked her soul out of its woeful bliss and thrown it into the leviathan's den. In the pit clarity became synonymous with a sort of perpetual chaos, and it seemed that not a single soul who traveled down its precipice, be it on purpose or by some freak accident, ever found a way out. Thus these souls were carried hither and tither on the wave of their whims, seldom able to figure out where to rest. Here the dust settled, and Rene was confronted with the projection of a lover of long ago upon the den's walls. His shadow played a pantomime on the rocky surface, and in her mind's eye she witnessed this with great sadness. Rene longed to hear his words, but from where she stood, she was able to make out the movements of his limbs, each containing no meanings that she could decipher. Yet these seemingly meaningless gesticulations were sufficient to remind Rene of the days she had spent with him, where they had walked down the desolate streets of their neighborhood, wrapped in the type of silence that often ensues between two lovers who are aware of a much deeper connection between their minds. The pantomime then moved along to its second stage. Another shadow, perhaps of Rene herself, joined the silent act, which then caused the movements to take on clearer meanings, speaking of times of doubtless love and endless physical intimacy, wherein both lovers felt more at ease with each other when naked rather than clothed. It was only now, however, where she truly longed that nakedness. Another lesson never taught by life was this, that memories, if one dared to look upon them with a critical eye, often scolded the individual, reminding them of how all things that seemed, at the time of their existence, a constant in life's ever-changing formula could be erased in the blink of an eye. The shadows then disappeared, and Rene found her soul once again lost, more tortured than before, but she at least had escaped the den and was back upon the same cliff, overlooking the same body of water, alone and afraid to be naked.

Melancholy had vanished from her mind, leaving behind a thin layer of dust that hovered just above the trampled flowers. It was now her turn to rip out those flowers and plant seeds anew. But how, Rene thought, she could undertake such a task alone, without the presence of her lover? Tears blurred her vision of the sea and the steamboats. Moon hung above the tranquil sea, a big watchful eye that seemed to say he would always be there for Rene, despite its eventual demise in the wake of dawn. Isn't that, then, what she had been searching for all along, to be loved and cared for by someone who would, instead of possessing her soul, allow it freedom, building thus a platform from which she could launch her soul into uncharted lands that awaited her with open arms? Had her lover of long ago been able to fulfill the moon's role, or was it his incessant need to know all the time where she was or what she did that caused their eventual drift? Rene knew the answer to neither of these questions. She averted her gaze from the sea lest another fleeting light appeared. With her now downcast gaze she saw that she was naked, her skin exposed to the moon and the sea. This caused her to panic. In a moment of desperation she started to call out his name, her lover of long ago, and she sought his hand and his touch, but she knew herself to be alone, ready to be embraced only by the waves below. She looked up again as if to ask the moon for some late-night providence, yet no matter how much time Rene spent looking intently into the face of the moon, she still felt the same panic. Then it happened, as moments such as this often do, a flash of guidance, an inkling of clarity in a sea of confusion, when clouds drifted carelessly into her field of vision, bringing with them the beginning of another dark age where Rene's body was covered in a black veil from head to toe. Deprived of moonlight, Rene's panic gave way to a feeling of emptiness. She longed neither a lover's touch nor his words. Fear had subsided, but she knew naught what to feel instead. Soon as Rene was about to take a step toward the edge of the cliff, the clouds left the portrait before her, and once again she was exposed to the moon, this time closer to the horizon than before, indicating the arrival of dawn drawing near. Rene ceased her steps, stood rigid and erect, assuming the role of a knife that left a vertical gash in the naked night. 

The moon would leave and return, yet Rene was still here. 
The steamboats disappeared, replaced by new ones whose sole objective was to also disappear, yet Rene stayed where she was. 
Now aware that the moon would return tomorrow, she smiled tentatively, still missing the same lover, but this time a feeling of comfort overwhelmed her, for she knew that it was her own will that caused her to feel the pain of lost love, her own will that caused her to take a step forward or backward, her own will that dictated whether to stay or disappear. 

Alas, she herself was the only constant in her life's formula. 

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