Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Radio

The radio played by the old, lone lamp.

Her eyes were closed. The song moved. Images wove with a mind of their own.

She liked to be surprised by the music. Much more alive than if she chose records to play. She liked the conversations in between. The commercials. The contests and jokes. She liked having company in the small world of lamplight.

The next song danced her to the boy with dark eyes.

Her heart filled, and she missed him.

The next baked summer sun into her skin and vacation daydreams. In another, it was the weeks after her father died.

Her son was born. A husband came and went. The years layered on many years.

The night began to weigh, but she would not turn off the radio to sleep.

Not anymore.

She embraced a more fluid math, because in the silence, she was nothing but the sum of the things she could no longer be.

(Photo taken at the Philadelphia Museum of Art)


the walking man said...

This is well done Jason. That last line takes one into the heart of loneliness or being alone at the closing portion of a persons life.

You have drawn her memories and given clue to how her life was lived with enough detail to get the picture but not so much as to see it fully.

I like this very much.

Aine said...

...she was nothing but the sum of the things she could no longer be.

Powerful. What a great description! You've captured such a sad human moment here.

I feel sad for the many (I suppose) who feel this way. This is not the way I plan to be when I'm in that stage of life. And not because I've lived life any differently than she has. But because I know that when I'm alone and still is when I'm able to best know (or sense) the truest essence of my being. It is in those moments that I am most aware of all that I am. I can feel the life that is "me". And how "I" am just a small part of the whole.

We define our boundaries by labeling the atoms and cells that have organized into a body, but I can see how I'm just a part of the swirling soup of this planet.

It is in those moments that I feel most in love with all, or perhaps that I am love (for lack of a better word) in essence. We all are. We can't "no longer be."

(PS- my word verification was vingle... seems so fitting for December 1st somehow!)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'd have to say this was definitely my favorite of yours...You just raised the bar higher than it was-if that was possible!

Lee said...

They say music significantly connects us to memory. It is so evident here ~.

Anonymous said...

Walking Man, I appreciate that. I'm glad this felt like it had a strong vein of truth.

Aine, that's a powerful realization to be part of huge system, a greater whole, where our individuality (and limited time left) is really not a reason for sadness. When one focuses on achievement, however, each moment past is another moment where the ability to achieve has been closed forever. In that view, at the end of things, you have either achieved what you wanted, or you haven't.

Oddyoddyo13, very cool that this one resonated. I was trying to finish it late, and it was giving me some trouble. The pacing and delivery were so important to whether this worked, or didn't. It's an unforgiving formula.

Lee, it's certainly that way for me.

Shraddha said...

"She embraced a more fluid math, because in the silence, she was nothing but the sum of the things she could no longer be" other word.