Thursday, November 08, 2007

Entry #7

Manila Bay, Philippines
December 7th, 1941
by Ello


The soldier walked in the cooling sands of Manila Bay. He marveled at the warm water lapping at his ankles, so different from the icy cold spray of the Atlantic Ocean. The golden sun hung low and large over a luminous sea. Sunlight and water fused together to send up a burst of joyous color in layered shades of red and orange lightening up into the darkening sky overhead whose blue had turned a deep indigo purple. The sun rose and set differently here in the Philippines.

As he stood alone on the soft white sand, he felt a comfortable inconsequence of being amongst all of nature’s beauties. The vastness of the sky and sea was overpowering to a young farm boy. He was a mere ripple in the ocean blue. A few months ago, he’d been sitting on his porch listening to the sounds of a waking farm under a docile dawn sky. Colors at home were muted pastels, pretty and soft. Here, life was vibrant and sharp with rich details.

The soldier waited peacefully, soaking in the last embers of fading light. As the sun set lower into the sea, its setting rays outlined the ominous black silhouettes of the U.S. naval ships lurking in the bay, leaving the farm boy turned soldier with an indelible imprint of beauty and danger. Evening enveloped him suddenly, as if a vast curtain had been dropped over the sky. Leaving him chilled and strangely frightened in the completeness of the dark.

10 comments:

Bernita said...

Well-done contrast of many things.

Sarah Hina said...

This is a lovely, yet unsettling, vignette. I loved the idea of nature's beauty being threatened by the coming war. Very ominous, effective ending. Great work.

SzélsőFa said...

What a rich description on display here, Ello. It must be part of a larger piece...

Church Lady said...

I agree with Bernita. I re-read this several times. I love the contrasts. Especially 'the soldier waited peacefully'
All of it....very nice!

Angela said...

Wow, very good. I was there with him.

Beth said...

One of my favorites. Well done.

Hoodie said...

Spectacular imagery on an emotional backdrop. Very nicely done!

Dottie said...

This is the strongest piece in terms of using the photo as the center of its story. You created a beautiful context for a sunrise even in the midst of war. Lovely.

desiderata said...

ello:

I feel the atmosphere so close, lingering too. Yes, vignette well painted, and I share gladly a bondage with another writer saying bye at sunset...

jason evans said...

The beauty-turned-forboding of the warships was striking. It must be disconcerting to experience war in a beautiful place.