Tuesday, September 6, 2011


From My Archives:
1,179 WORDS

      Love comes in many ways and from many directions. It came to me as a child from a grandmother who accepted this awkward child who seemed not to fit in, a child born out of time...not really a changeling, although that was the explanation she would often hear...more a throwback to a time when the lines betwixt love and disregard were not so hard to distinguish.

      When a child is conceived and nurtured within the womb of mother, it is assumed that mother has this predisposition to love the life swelling within her belly. All the tales of old tell of this love, a maternal love that is the strongest and most elemental love known to the human experience...but somewhere between the dawn of motherhood, and the age of computers and cyberspace, someone forgot to tell the mothers of today that this love is supposed to be inbred within them.

      A child born into a family where love is in short supply does not understand why the love that should be there is absent, and being a child with limited understanding of the dynamics of human emotions, blames herself for the way her family cringes whenever she enters their space.

      What happens to said child, starving as she is for the warmth that should biologically be hers? Had not her grandmother picked up where her parents failed, one can only speculate what would have become of her. Social Scientists have shown that baby monkeys deprived of mother's love, soon wither and die...perhaps that would be kinder than to give this child the teasing emotions of a love that will soon be stripped from her world when her grandmother's form passes on to its earthly resting place.

      What becomes of such a child, as this child moves from the curiously vacuous emotions of her paternal life onward into the cold and stark world we all must somehow function in? Does she close in upon herself, seal her heart and soul from further pains? No. Just as the baby monkeys in the laboratory sought the substitute mothers of fur covered wire, the child grows into a woman still seeking the acceptance and love that she hungers for with all that she is...But where to find it?

      Not in the marriage that pitted her against yet another stark reality of human-kind...a man who must obsess and defile that which is softer and weaker than he. As the union erodes her spirit, she sinks deeper and deeper into the despair that robs her soul of joy and beauty...Is there hope for her?

      Somehow she reaches deeply into her soul, where her grandmother's spark still glows and pulls herself from the horror of slavery in a modern age. What now, she wonders, is there for her? Should she close ranks and wade through the endless years yawning wide and barren before her? Does she dare step onto that treadmill of life that could destroy her just as easily as it could save her?

      The risks are many, and her heart so tender. Does she dare spread her wings and try to fly into the dangerous winds of love? Once more one wonders if it would not have been better to have allowed the vagaries of life to pull the breath from within and let the spirit wither and die...but with her eyes widened with hope and child-like anticipation, she chooses to try her wings.

      Hawks and vultures and other birds of prey swarm in those skies, waiting for a morsel that is sweet to consume. With no experience to guide her, she soon finds herself floating beneath the well-flexed wing of a vulture disguised as a dove so she will not know that her choice will bring her anguish and a lesson she would feel long after the tips of her wings had been bitten and devoured by the marauding bird.

      Spiraling back to the ground, her wing tips gnashed and bloody, she limps along the supporting ground looking for a hole to bolt to while her wounds mend. But alas, she has not learned her lesson well.

      Scars quickly mask the obvious and time diffuses the sharpness of memory and once more the diminutive bird spreads her wings and soars again, a little wiser, perhaps, but still looking at those skies with the hopes and dreams of that long ago child looking for love.

      Many a carrion soars in those skies, looking with their well-trained eyes, for the innocent young tidbit that will fall prey to their time slickened wickedness. This time the big bird bites off her wings to the very joint, and once more the little bird careens, broken and battered, to the land below to lie there in an agony too stark to even crawl away from.

      But the sun takes pity upon the fallen bird and warms the wound allowing life to pour back in...but perhaps the sun would have been kinder to have remained hidden behind the clouds of darkness and allowed the bird to finally release itself from its earthbound shell.

      Warily, with her wings mere nubs of their former self, she begins to trek. Without the span of feathery plumage, she cannot soar into the skies, but that is OK. She has decided that it is better for her to stay down here and just stumble through whatever of life is left for her.

      But when one is not looking, that is when life is its most treacherous. A hawk has eyes that see all there is to see, and as he soars so far above the stumbling bird, he knows he has found just the morsel to sate his desires.

      He lands before her and speaks the words that reach past all her wariness and he offers to be her wings..."Come ride my back" he offers gently. "I will take you places you have never been...Show you wondrous things you have never seen."

      And he does. Off they soar, and the little bird is awed by what the hawk shows her. Happiness etches its way into her being, and trust. Such trust she bestows upon this bird of prey. Just when she believes she has found her place in the sky, he begins listing this way and that, a daredevil in the sky, and then he rolls over in midair.

      Now she lies on the ground, shattered and broken in so many pieces that there is doubt she can ever be put back together again. Her heart still beats, her eyes still see, but the little bird inside is gone, and no one knows how to bring her back.

She wishes the heart would cease, and the eyes would roll back into her small head and grow dim, for as long as they continue the pain never ceases...Poor little bird...Poor little bird does not know she’s stepped into the flames of hell and there’s no way out...there’s nothing left within her to try: Nothing but this gaping emptiness where once there’d been a soul.

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