"… of the silent,"

Swan Lake – No… Not The Ballet.


It was just one piece, shuffled back toward the wall in a stack of twenty plus nameless works of art, some beautiful, some not. The frame, worn white painted wood, was my initial interest, and waiting for my wife to find a new set of clothes to try in the fitting room, I was game for any distraction.

A single white swan, alight calm waters, freshly whitewashed gondola some ways behind, leafed trees framing from each the other side. And my brain clicked to the moment. The swan bobbed as the pond lapped, the chirp of birds filtered in from somewhere deep in the foliage. Then the PA system squawked something about an associate being needed somewhere or another, and the moment was gone. I looked back to the picture to find it, but it was elusive.

My girl was wandering my way anyway, five-foot-something of wit, charm, and sex, with a cart full of color to put to the test. For all the world, I wouldn’t miss the chance to watch her dress and undress repeatedly. Certainly not for a swan.

But thirty-something minutes later, I found myself again, this time her in tow, flipping through the tattered frames, and pulling aside the one that had connected with me, once upon a time now past. And now searching her eyes as she looked upon it, hoping to see that same some flicker of recognition as it locked with her soul as it had mine.

It sits now, propped against a recliner on our living room floor, waiting  for but a place and a nail to hail its purpose. And my girl lays out on the other side of the sectional from me, wrapped loosely in a small, hideous-yellow down comforter bought from the same shelves as the art, meaning as much to me as any human wished they could to someone else. Our cat is perched in the large living room window, parting the drawn curtains with his slender rump so as to see out from it, tail twitching with tension as he watches the birds zip by, so close, and yet so far from reach. And our TV waits for orders to show us this or bring us there. While I type out words to a world unseen.

Funny thing, the purpose we, all of us, daily find.

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: “Purpose

Anger is Useless… Except, It Isn’t.


The other day, after mowing the yard, I found myself laying down to stare at the clouds, green(ish) grass pricking my skin all over, something hard and uncomfortably protrudent making a nuisance of itself at my lower back. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant thing. It was supposed to be. But let’s face it, life aint like the movies. It was more like singing in the rain, or sex in the ocean. It’s supposed to be great and romantic… but it’s more just something you do so you can talk about it later. (And here it is, later, and here I go, talking about it. Self-fulfilling prophecy.)

There is, amongst all the unpleasantness in getting there, something profoundly settling about staring at the sky. It’s simply hard to remain angry while gazing at the eternity of void above ourselves. Winnie the Pooh didn’t curse out Christopher Robin while laying back on that rocky alcove and staring up at the summer’s end. Nor did Timon and Pumba get in a huff while gazing at stars with Simba. Bad examples, sure… but, whatever. So, while I stared at the sky, I found myself calming, muscles loosening, tension easing. And I realized, that I was profoundly, overreachingly, completely, and totally angry.

Not the rage that fires up quickly and dies in shame. More the deep, burning, boiling, upset-of-stomach that neither goes away, nor really ever finds need to explain itself. Being, as I was, in a contemplative mood, I decided to dig deeper. Anger is not a natural thing to me. I am relatively slow to respond to emotion, both negative and positive. I like the trodden path of “eh”ishness. It’s calm and simple, and gives more time to observe the world as it spins. So finding a simmering resentment in the depths of my soul that would not respond to sky-staring, I was intrigued. What did I have to be so angry at?

And it turns out, alot. In fact, alot doesn’t even begin to cover it. Once I started tracing its roots, I found a whole glowing nuclear meltdown of radioactive waste left by this-that-and-the-other. And, perhaps most surprisingly, I liked it. Because anger keeps us balanced. It reminds us that life isn’t fair, and just the act of being human will usually end in tragedy. But that’s okay. Because we get to be angry about it.

So I smiled, stood back up from off the ground, found that stupid little rock that had been so irritatingly digging at my butt, and tossed it gleefully into the street. You see? Anger. It motivates good things.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: “Angry

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