Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: Magical, Mundane Or Both
By Val Clark
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Rarely is it a safe place to go.
Often, when I arrive the space is small and empty. I have no idea what will develop as I linger. Or what I will discover.
Just a few hours spent pushing out the boundaries of that space can open up an imaginary world. After a visit, I take time reflecting on what has been revealed and am no longer surprised to find that what happens in that world often mirrors my struggles in this.
I go there now. What will I find?
A pale light glows, pearly yellow like a tropical morning when the mists play games with the atmosphere. A woman floats through the light. She is idealized. Slim. Beautiful. Her hair is dark brown. Her lips red and smiling. A long dress wafts around her on breezes undetectable by me.
I only have to glance at her to know who she is. I hesitate to stay in this place. I am scared of what will be revealed. But there is a greater One at work and I stay at His request.
She is not a ghost. Neither is she a figure raised from the dead. Though she is someone who is dead. Dead but risen.
The last time I saw her face, she lay, yellow skin mummified over her thin frame. Dead in the bed of a nursing home. The room already stripped bare of anything that was hers, waiting for the next desperate occupant.
There was nowhere to sit. Only her metal frame bed remained. I was not in the habit of kneeling then, but there seemed no alternative. So I knelt by her bed.
There had been such enmity between us. So little understanding. So little effort on my part to understand. I see that now and am saddened, embarrassed and sorry for the missed opportunities that my immaturity and selfishness engendered. Yet there had been so many lies on her part, I believed she feared what an honest conversation might reveal. Even as she gasped for her last breaths I tried to say ‘I love you’ but the words stuck in my throat.
I know so little of love.
In the light of our enmity I wrestled with those words. Unsaid for so many years, they died, still-born on my tongue. But I cried during that last visit. Silent tears dripped off my cheeks, chin and nose. When the phone call came soon after, I hoped she had endowed those tears with the words my cowardice had left unsaid.
I return to the now of that space and she approaches without hesitation. It is as if she knows that I am sorry for the pain I caused her. Knows I am grateful that she loved me until the end and, in her resurrected body, loves me in that perfect way that covers all sin and casts out all fear.
I truly had not expected to find her here. I thought this issue had been dealt with. I anticipated a story that I could craft with every ounce of skill and inspiration at my disposal. A story I could reflect on, that the One who invented story would interpret to my spirit.
I do not like where this might take me. Swiftly I pull away from this encounter.
My eyes itch with tiredness. I close down the computer and seek the oblivion of sleep.
When next I visit that space she is still there, patiently waiting. She reaches out her hand. Tentatively I place mine in hers. It has been a long time between touches. We walk along a sun-drenched beach. Small waves lap at our feet and I notice that we are dressed in the same kind of shining white robe.
She leads me to a place of blinding white light but it does not hurt my eyes. It is crowded with people; they part to let us pass. Finally we reach a stage. On the stage a Man sits upon a throne.
Mother leads me up the steps to the throne and sits me at His feet. I lean against His knee and look up into His awesome face.
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