Monday, August 26, 2013

Flight of the Aspen: A Sequel to "The Aspen"

Breathe me in. 
Take me to our secret place, where pain evades us. Where love is paramount.
The golden shimmer of the aspen call to my soul.
They comfort me at the height of this place and seem to sing a melody of triumph to one another.
I reach out and catch a fallen note, holding it close to my chest, pushing it deep inside -- a key, for a time when I will need it most.
For a day when I will no longer hear the music. --The Aspen September, 2011

Is it time to say goodbye
When every right turn leads left?
When every dance becomes an unsyncopated nightmare?
When the rhythm has left your feet and the music has left your lungs?
My hands tremble at the thought of this new journey before me.
Not knowing if I’m running or becoming...
Something new.
I want to explore the unchartered territory within my veins.
But how do I know if I’m running toward my next adventure or simply escaping?

In my cocoon of hibernation I hear a faint but familiar sound outside.
Within moments, I feel my heart quickening.
I look down to find a diode of red, radiating from my chest.
As I reach to examine the foreign emission,
It unexpectedly bursts into a rainbow of the most brilliant colors, I’d ever witnessed -
Shades of vibrancy my eyes had never beheld.
The key! I shriek, remembering a long forgotten promise the mountains had made me.  
I scratch the surface of my skin to find the light.
With a gentle tug, attached to a ribbon, emerges a wooden key, about three inches in length and warm to the touch. 
At first glance, it resembles a key that might open the antique door of an historic home.
Yet, as I look again, golden leaves begin to sprout from the key’s bow.
I know I must move quickly before the key is enshrouded by leaves and bark--
And my chance for a new beginning is overgrown...misshapen...gone. 
If the time for the key is now, there must be a keyhole somewhere close, I reason. 
At the top of my entrapment, I see a tiny pinhole of light.
That must be it!
My fingers and the key make their way toward the only light I can see. I fumble awkwardly, as a child trying to force a square peg into a round hole. 
Twigs from the bow are growing longer and time is growing shorter for me. 
It is simply a matter of time before I will be holding a small tree, instead of the key to my freedom.
Praying, I make one last thrust at the hole above me. It slides into something. I think I found it! A perfect fit! 
My heart is pounding and I am sweating profusely as I can only guess what is waiting for me beyond this safely spun prison I had created for myself.
Taking a deep breath, I turn the latch; without warning, my cocoon breaks into a million pieces, and I am left alone... in the wilderness. The refrain is louder in this space, and with a smile, I finally recall its source...  (to be continued)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Real Chronicles of Humpty Dumpty

The Real Chronicles of Humpty Dumpty --- (a work in progress)

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Humpty Dumpty, that infamous egg who took a tumble off of a wall no taller than a story high, but the tale has lived on and on through various accounts, often muddled by political activists or a well intended author, looking for an indentifiable character that the reader might be able to relate to, and the true story has never been relayed.
But looking back over such figments of ones imagination, can one person honestly tell me that a story about an egg with human characteristics, makes much sense at all, unless for decades upon decades the readers of this beloved tale were indeed lied to.

I was there the day Humpy Dumpty arrived and I was there on that fateful day when Humpty’s egg was shattered. And, people, I am ready to set an end to all this silly gossip and malingering, and set the story of his malicious behavior straight.

Who am I? I am Gertrude, very proud mother to 15 dodo birds, grand mamma to 7 grand dodos, and great grand mamma to, well let’s just not go there.  Very proud indeed I was back then. But I must tell you quite honestly that Humpty is a fraud who ruined my life and the lives of my entire species.

I was there when he first mysteriously arrived on my wall. You see, I was in my second season of a nesting phase busy using whatever piece of paper necessary, including bits of children’s story books, to create a home for my nestlings. When in flies a stork with a very mysterious package. The stork told me this was the last Dumpty on the face of the planet, and asked me kindly to care for him as he hatched.

I had never heard of a Dumpty.

And as a proud mamma to be, I said... “No, do I look stupid?” I have six dodo’s on the way and there is no possible way I could possibly stand to care for a seventh, even if he was the last of his kind (kind of ironic, now that I think of it). But the stork just left him up on my wall. And I have to admit, after a couple of nights I began to feel sorry for him.  Stuck in that oversized egg with no one to give him the love that only a real mother could. So, as I prepared my own nest, I began using leftover bits of tree limbs and paper, hoping that might shelter him from some of the storms and the wild cats who prowled the night hours. There were even times, when I would cover his unhatched shell with my body, hoping the extra warmth might give him the added boost he needed to go ahead and hatch, before my little ones arrived. But the only boost that added warmth seemed to give Humpty was a boost in size; and before long that egg was the size of a human child. 

Well, by then, he had become the talk of the town. All the townspeople gathered around to see this larger than life egg. One of the kingsmen came meandering down one day insisting the egg be cracked right then and there, so that a royal sized omelet might be made for the king and queen. I almost wish I had let him, but no my motherly instinct had to take over, and I guarded Humpty with my life.

I could no longer hold out for Humpty to hatch and I finally gave birth to 6 beautiful dodo birds. Meanwhile, Humpty stayed stuck in his egg.

At this point, I could no longer stand it, and I screamed, “Humpty, if you are going to be a part of this family, you are going to have to come out of your shell and see what the real world looks like.” And not but a moment later, did I hear, one crack then a foot emerged, a second crack then another foot emerged, a third and fourth cracks and arms were right there in front of my eyes. But this instantly became a huge problem for me, for as soon as Humpty’s appendages appeared, he began to move them around like Frankenstein’s monster. He swatted at everything around him as a grown man might swat at bees. And with one sad blow he hit my nest full of baby birds, and down the whole nest went, all of them landing on their heads. Well, I couldn’t fly, and neither could my babies. I tried to claw my way down the wall to rescue them, but my footing slipped each time. Since, Humpty had created this problem, it was time for him to solve it. By this time he was around 6 feet tall, taller than the wall. With his new appendages, he could easily make it down the wall and rescue my children. WIth all I had done to protect him, I thought he owed me that much. He agreed. But there was one problem, he couldn’t possibly see where he was going without eyes. So, I used my beak to peck out holes where I thought his eyes probably were, and a large smile, for mouth. If he wouldn’t come out of his shell, at least now he could see and talk and we could communicate. But as soon as he got a glimpse of the outside world, he froze and let out a bloodcurdling scream. “NO!!! I can’t,” he whined. I tried to reason with him, telling him that he couldn’t possibly hurt himself by falling a distance shorter than he. I begged him, stating that my children were much to young and couldn’t possibly survive down there by themselves. All he needed to do was simply walk down the wall and hand my children back up to me. Or if that was too difficult he could simply take me down the wall with him, and reunite me with my children. But he wouldn’t listen to reason. He covered his ears and began to wail. “What do you need them for, when you have me, the greatest egg in the world?” he exclaimed. For someone so full of fear, he had a big head. I decided if he wouldn’t help me, I would do this on my own. My children’s lives were at stake. So, I climbed down the nearby dodo tree, pecking grooves for beak and claw holds. After hours of climbing, I reached the bottom, only to find my children being carted away in a pen by one of the king’s men...