Soul Archeology

vista SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

They were literally walking on the bones of ancient past.

The bones of actual ancients, too, if you want to be exact about it.

He contemplated telling Liz then decided she was more likely to be spooked than awed by the notion. So he let the soles of his trekking boots crunch wordless greetings with each step, and he set his mind to wonder, radar-style, about the centuries he could not see and so few even knew about, yet lay here for every person to experience. Literally. Through the mounds. These monuments to earlier.

It was an odd thing. History.

Will others one day tread upon the remnants of his, and will any ever stop to wonder about the life he’d lived, the vistas his eyes had feasted on, the memories he’d placed into the air with every exhalation?

If so, what would they think, and how did he feel about the possibility?

Not great, he realized. Especially if those future humans would by then have skills for viewing molecules of thoughts or the equivalent … His mind, unearthed, would be a bit like having archeologists come across a buried midden: plenty of data, but far from being the end one would wish presented for scrutiny.

He shuddered. More from shame than worry.

“These are man-made,” Liz noted from behind. The path was narrow and they could only walk single-file.

He nodded, unsure whether she had misinterpreted his reaction or — as she sometimes could be — was eerily on point.

“I wonder if they had intended for anyone to walk on these,” Liz added.

He stopped. There was something in her voice. A fullness.

He turned to her. Her cheeks were wet. Her eyes were red. How long has she been crying?

Her lips turned up at what she must have seen in his expression. “I’m fine, Shawn,” she breathed. “It is just that there’s a sense of spirit pushing like a memory-foam against my feet …”

His own eyes filled and he shook his head, surprised at the emotion.

“See?”

“I do,” he nodded, reached for her hand.

The fields below them stretched wide and green to the horizon. The air sighed with the scents of grass and rain and years and sun.

“This place,” he braved, “it makes me want to be a better man.”

 

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

 

Perfectly Aligned

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Photo: Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

 

When the light

Aligns just right

And the ebb and flow

Combine

To sheer insight,

She breathes in

To allow

The soul expanding

Syzygy

Of hope and

Love and

Heart.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Syzygy in 30 words

 

 

The Longest Walk

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She rose with the sun, her brow still damp with the essence of dream. Soon enough her feet were, too, from dew and from the small drops of silence that mornings bring.

There was little to say, and much space to accompany.

It was a good day.

It had to be.

There will be time much later on, for all the things she might still need, and all the words she may still say, and all the sorrows she no longer wished to borrow.

In the meanwhile, she walked on, crushing dandelions, breathing lavender.

The fields stretched ahead as the disc of light leaned hot against the sky. The air shimmered, dancing in the sun.

Or wavering.

It would not matter, in the long run.

She walked on.

Eventually she’d have to turn around, retrace her steps, return into the pace of tending, bending, sending, lending, fending.

And it would still be a good day.

For the dawn poured the generous morn into her, washing her, filling her, scenting her soul. Step by breath by step by breath, immersed into the longest walk her present moment could recall.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Her Reflection

silver-1 SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She walks along the dunes. There had been very little time away from others. So very few opportunities to be alone. She needs this more than air.

Morris agreed to keep an eye on the children. They were not enthused.

“He’s boring, Mama!” Ethan complained.

“Yeah, and his breath smells!” Lilly pouted.

“You don’t have to kiss him,” she replied. “And if you are bored, I can leave you some chores.”

They skulked away, displeased, but there was nothing for it, grumpy neighbor-as-babysitter or not. She knew she was becoming increasingly impatient. She did not want to cross the line into unkind.

It wasn’t their fault that Paul left. It wasn’t their doing that their dad did not see fit to shoulder any responsibility. She knew they missed him. He didn’t even think of calling on their birthdays. She knew Ethan cried for his dad in his sleep.

She almost took them with her to the dunes. Almost made it a family outing. Lilly loved running in the sand. Ethan’s eyes always lit up at the space. Like her, he loved the breeze and silence.

But she could not. Not this time.

This time she needed to replenish. For herself. For them. They needed a sane mother. She was running low on how.

 

She walks and breathes and ruminates and lets the worries and the sorrows stream out and flow down her cheeks and neck and chest till they evaporate.

There was a time she had hoped to have a house on the dunes. There was a time she had a dream of living in the solitary calm of gulls and tides and estuaries.

It wasn’t that she regretted having the children (marriage was a whole other story, given what non-partner Paul turned to be). She did not. Not once. She couldn’t imagine her life without them. Just for this morning, though … she needed to let be a part of herself that did not have them in its center.

She walks as if in daydream. The light shimmers and the estuary glints silver in the shrinking distance. It gives her peace. A reminder of how every stagnant-looking pool may in fact be only a pause in flow.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

To Know Good

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Photo: Valario Davis on Unsplash

 

 

“So how do you,” he asked,

“Know good

From bad?”

 

“By the heart,” she replied.

“By the actions that

Build

And prop up,

And the words that

Support

And patch the

Cracked places

Inside broken parts.”

 

“And how,” he pressed,

“Do you know what

Just needs

Giving up?”

 

“By the soul,”

She patted the warm place

On her lap.

“For breath

Matters,

And hope

Matters,

And kindness

Is superior to any

Pass-by-night

Emperors

Full of promises

Of might,

Touted

For our good

But seeped in

Falsehood meant

To bring on

Plight.”

 

He shuddered

And she stroked his wet cheek

And held a cool

Palm to his brow.

“Now sleep,

And let spirits

Of light,

Hold back the bad

And

Fill your cup

With good

Till the world grows

Up.”

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: For Our Good

 

 

 

The Wait

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

In the days of old they’d walk out on the water at high tide, appearing to float atop the waves.

It was a sign of trust.

Also of recognition. For they’d come from the water, after all. Their bodies might have forgotten how to live in it, but their cousins — seals, dolphins, whales — still held links to what was possible. And they spoke of long swims and deep dives and frolicking, and of how one day they’d all come home again.

And so they hoped.

And let themselves be carried by tentative feet on mossy rocks built far in and well past the breakers, all the way to the beginnings of the depths.

First as children whose hands were grasped by others’. Then as youngsters showing off their balance and their fearless speed (and perhaps a bit of memory from within their cells, of swiveling agility and joy being in of itself a kind of swimming). Then as new adults, saddled with fuller understanding and big bellies or wrapped by legs and arms of small ones holding tight around the waist and neck. Then as elders, wary of a fall and fearful even more of a child letting go of their hand and drowning. And at the last, as age counted no more, carried, offered, sent home to the sea.

Yes, in the days of old they’d walk out onto the water.

In celebration. In commemoration. In passage. In ritual and prayer and courage and communal hope.

Till they forgot.

And the waves licked the rocks till very little path was left, and dolphins and seals and whales no longer were spoken to and had moved on, and the earth and depths curled tight to wait.

For the people’s lungs still ached for the swim, and their heart still beat to the rhythm of the surf as they slept, and they still made a bit of ocean in their eyes, especially when they wept.

 

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo

 

 

Central Park, New York City

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Where waters tide

‘Round canyons

Carved by time

And ice,

Other canyons

Rise

Man-made

To tickle skies.

 

Where greenery

Respite to

Millions

Provides,

Sleep memories

Of others

Who used to there

Reside.

 

Where footfalls mask

The horns of cars

And rustles hold

More sway,

There breathes the city

That like me

Many call home

Today.

 

 

 

For the dVerse challenge: take me with you

 

 

 

Blue Earth

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

On this Earth Day

As we are all

One,

Cooped in

Holding on,

Blue around the fingertips

Blue around the lips,

Blue in oceans, and

In the reflections of the deep,

Blue in sorrow

Blue as sky lift

Dark sapphire

To the reified aqua

Of hope.

May we rise

Like the sun,

And not forget how

We can

Help each other

Cope.

 

 

For Terri’s SundayStills: Earth