The onyx snake



As I walk back through the park in the twilight mist, I pass a young woman. She is familiar but strange, an image from a funhouse mirror, features etched in a lost language. Her hair falls in ebony cascades, and she wears the sea on her back and dancing fire around her legs. She glances at me and gives the faintest of smiles, but I continue on through the dimming haze, and soon she is beyond the edge of my vision.

I cannot afford hope.

She passes out of my life, again — as she always has.

In my hand, a jeweled bracelet, black and deep as night — fair exchange for another shard of my soul.

Someday, I may turn and ask her true name, and the puzzle will be unlocked. But not for me, not yet, not yet.

tags: ariadne

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  • I must say that I really like the merging of photography & prose. The people demand you write a photo novella.

  • Do you fear the day she gives you the name, or do you long for it? Or is it both, overlaid?

    I can't tell you precisely what this piece means to me, but I can tell you it is profound, subtle, aching, and oh so very important.

  • "I cannot afford hope."

    That reminds me of the encouragement my partner and I give each other while rock climbing. If one of us hesitates, the other reminds them, "Are you climbing with hope?"

    The meaning is, don't hope that a better hold will appear, or that you'll find a renewed reserve of energy. Accept things as they are, and make your move now, before things get worse. (You lose energy hesitating.) The best way to climb is to abandon hope.

    It is encouragement that works remarkably well.

  • Miranda

    You can afford hope.

    I believe you will be healed and healthy someday, although I don't know what roads you will have to travel to get there.

    Love this piece - it reminds me of Chinese legends of the snake spirit Lady White and her sister Miss Green...

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