May 3, 2004

Subtractive Light



Where am I?

Dark, it’s so dark. I can’t see.

Are my eyes closed? Why can’t I tell?

Flash: blue. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Blue, a blue car.

Appearing as the faintest hint, a premonition, just around the corner. The light is blue, the sky is blue, the world is beautiful, idyllic. No need to see the blue car, but it’s there, at the edge of my vision, nagging at me. Then, in slow motion, almost inevitably, emerging. A sound of steel against steel, and…

… this is not happening.

This was. And I know, know that he’s gone: our baby, my baby, child of our love, my youth, my life. And –

Flash: red. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Red, a red rose.

Peter holds out a rose, and I remember — our fifth anniversary, here on the doorstep of our home — a wet, hot, watercolour June evening. Heavy on the horizon, the sun glows as red as the flower. Peter’s lovely surprise, one of many I know will remain unknown tonight, because I have one to trump his…

“I’m pregnant.”

The rose is on the floor, and I in his arms, and –

Flash: yellow. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Yellow, a yellow flame.

Quia respexit humilitatem

Christmas, it’s Christmas vespers in the cathedral. Behind us the choir sings, but we pay it little heed. We have our own birth to celebrate this day.

aucillae suae.

We light votive candles, to our selves and to our God, a silent promise which seals our commitment to each other. Happy, oh happy, beyond words.

Ecce enim ex hoc beatam

One hour ago, he asked me to be his forever, and I said yes without knowing if I meant it. But now, I know, I do, I do…

omnes generationes

“I do.” The words are soft, barely escaping my lips, but I feel his grip tighten on mine. And I can believe, right now, that love is forever, and ever, et nunc et semper et saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Flash: violet. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Violet, a violet coat.

Her coat is violet, the only splash of colour at the wake. I don’t know who she is, but I hate her, this nameless woman, she who refuses to conform in her mourning. For myself, for Mother, for… who is to say? There is no reason, except my need to rage at something, someone, anyone

“Since your limbs were laid out
the stars do not shine!
The fish leap not out
in the waves!”

O, he is gone, he is gone, he is gone, he is gone

Flash: green. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Green, green grass.

My face in the lawn. I rub my nose in the greenery, taking in the fragrance of the freshly cut blades. My Sunday dress is ruined, stained by my verdant bed, and I know Mama will tan my hide, but here and now, there are no worries.

I know they’re looking for me, so I lay still and low. And wait.

Exhale. Roll over onto my back, stifling a giggle.

The sky is green. Or is it orange? That’s not right.

And still I wait –

Flash: orange. A voice: “Remember.” What?

Orange, orange, orange…

Warm against her body, safe, I turn my head to see what is away, outwards. Shapes dance ahead of me, bright and colourful, and I reach my arms out to grab at them. Still too far. Out of my reach, they wave, some running away, others popping back in.

Not sure what I’ll do once I get them, but I will. They can’t run forever, can they?

Still –

Flash: black.

I’ve… been here?

Wait, no, I –

Flash: white. A voice; “Remember.”

Light, there was light, when I…

… when I was…?

… was.


Here I am.

Posted by eden on 03 May 2004 | Comments (2)