Sometimes you just have to embrace someone for who they are.
A moment kissed with life,
Forbidden from strife,
Was eaten by strife’s wife.
Session 1 (5 minutes): On the City Bus
Walking onto the bus, the anxiety grabs hold of my nerves and squeezes with a bitter intent to raise my blood pressure. I swipe my card, sensing a slight tug from the card reader – someone should get that fixed. And then I lift my head, and my eyes cover the crowd with their sense of awareness. I see no completely empty seats and realize that I must sit with another. Those with empty seats next to them include an elderly man with wrinkles screaming of his endeavors through life, and a woman exuding confidence and a lack of consideration for other human life. There was also a younger man who seemed..
Session 2 (10 minutes): A Wedding in an Old Church
The door is grand – white, crackling paint covering wood stripped from a lively forest. The rings and curvature of the wood, unsuccessfully hidden from the human eye, told stories of strife and fortitude. As she walked down the aisle, all she could think about was the door. Was she the door – a hidden story whose life would soon be revealed after years of weathering and age? And if so, would her soon to be husband appreciate the value in her cracks, or run from the sight of what he saw as worthless antiquity. Or was he, too, part of the double door. She was the left door, he was the right, and they connected through the clasping handles. Untouched, they were inseparable, but the turn of a knob, and they could be separated. She tried desperately to get these thoughts out of her head as she passed the damp cheeks of her loved ones. She focused on her body – the internal thoughts of each of her muscles. Her feet ached from the pressure building from her heel’s false height.
Session 3 (90 seconds): Canoe on the River
My arms ache from the incessant back and forth, push and pull, strain and release. But the pain subsides as it begins to rain. The surface of the river is invaded by the pleasantly mild and inviting raindrops. The sight lays content over my body like a towel just taken from the dryer placed over a shivering child chilled after a bath.
Session 1 (5 minutes): Suburban Swimming Pool
The light from the comforting warmth cascading from the sky highlights newly tanned shoulders. The pages of books soak up discreet drops shot from the disturbed water. The pavement stings the feet of youthful souls reborn – a sharp pain dulled by the promise of chilled enjoyment. Leaving the pavement, I am surrounded by a glacial chill that soon subsides to algid serenity.
Session 2 (10 minutes): The Old Fishing Hole
Two old men sit above the broken sheet of safety – hoping, breathing, living. The line gleams with a driven purpose. The fisherman’s stomachs growl and heighten their need for satisfaction. The line descends into the murky depths below the frigid barrier that distinguishes the hunter from the hunted. The line jolts, and at once the fisherman’s hearts begin to race with excitement. A short battle ensures. A life is won.
Unsuspecting victims swim below – hoping, breathing, living. They are distracted by a mysterious glow above. Their lack of conscious thought is exploited and the glint heightens their instinct for survival. An inviting foreigner approaches the innocent pawns from the hole in the duped one’s sky. They approach the line and begin to examine it, soon after deciding to taking it for themselves; at once the fish’s body becomes tense with a confused apprehension. A short heist ensues. A life is stolen.
Session 3 (90 seconds): Under an Umbrella
I stand and the sky’s tears taint the outer edge of my linen pants. Their sensitive thread is frayed by the sorrow drizzling from the sky. The ineffective cover taunts me. I give up. I cross the umbrella in front of me and call the water to me. It receives this invitation gracefully…
Session 1 (5 minutes): A Cliff by the Ocean
Stillness. The world around me shifts, and lives. The waves crash against the rocks below, and I feel it’s energy. But I am still. I can’t find my energy anymore. I can’t feel my life. I am alive. But I am not living.
The waves are so inviting. I taste the salt from the mist expelled from them and the grass is lush beneath the soles of my feet. I press myself against the Earth, harder, trying to anchor my soul to something concrete – something constant.
It’s difficult to anchor something when it barely exists.
I think therefore I am. Or is it I think therefore I am not. I can’t tell anymore.
Session 2 (10 minutes): Park Bench in the City
There is something really freaking frustrating about cities. I swear. Come, sit with me and look. Look around you. People. So many people. They all look real. But I don’t believe they really are. You can’t talk to them. That’s weird. Isn’t it? Approaching someone in a city to say really anything is so weird and disconcerting.
Well. That’s stupid. Why is that a thing. Why? I want to know people. I want to get to know people. Experience their experiences. And you’d think that a city, crawling with different personalities – different views of the tragedies of living – would be the best place to do that. But, these people aren’t real, at least not to you, or to me. Unless of course we are forced into someone’s life. But, why leave this to chance? Why let life control who you are surrounded with.
Don’t believe me that that is how you meet others? You may pretend that you choose who you talk with. But, life throws certain people towards you – life does – and all you get is a choice of whether or not you continue to surround yourself with them.
I love people. But I hate people. They aren’t real.
So here we are. Shut your eyes. Open your mind to what is real. What you know is real. What do you hear? What do you smell? How does the air feel on your skin? Is your heart beating quickly?
Embrace your senses and exploit them. Embrace what you know to be real. And then laugh, for “life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
Session 3 (90 seconds): Hotel Bar
The surface of the bar is sticky with the sweat of vagabonds. The room smells of regret and a unrest – a never-ending distaste for consistency.
Session 1 (5 minutes): Late Evening
I begin my trek home, and my legs ache with the memories of its travels of the day. They remember this path, but my heart can’t reason with the sudden darkness for its emotional depths are horribly incompatible with the love and happiness within my heart’s fragile body. My blood starts to pump and a slight dampness collects on my forehead. The film chills me and I suddenly shiver. Looking up.. a spiderweb coated in trapped bugs whose life force still shines through their encasement. The spider hides in plain sight emitting the brightest life force, quiet and inviting. He is a gentle spirit.
Suddenly my sight shifts and I realize the spider has been replaced with the moon. And I begin to ask myself if there was ever..
Session 2 (10 minutes): Loved One’s Funeral
There is a numbness that is building. I am outside of my body. There. I see myself crying. I am sobbing, but I can’t feel anything.. nothing is real anymore. The sorrow is external. The tears are external. Life is external.. for my body is a mere casing. The girl I was has left with him. Gone to another place. I don’t know where she went. All I know is that I can’t find her. I can’t feel her anymore. I can’t feel anything. And that emptiness is all-consuming.
I can see, though. But I wish I couldn’t. Because all I can see is his face. It is tattooed in the air in front of my eyes.
There are people talking to me too. I hear them. But they are speaking another language. Everything they say is like a poke in the eye, because they speak and I immediately start crying. Every time. But I can’t understand them. What is anyone saying. Why do they all feel the need to talk to me. I’m not important anymore. I can’t even feel anything, and I’m blinded by one image.
I can smell perfectly well. But I smell Oreo’s, Reese’s, and cheap beer. Like some indulgent fairy is following me around taunting me with foods that remind me of the rambling people’s malformed words, which leads me to my bitter sight, which leads me back to the numbness.
It’s a gruesome being that, instead of feeding off of me, takes me and throws me away. I am no use to anyone. I am just an easily disposable being. My innards are useless to everything – even to the parasite called apathy…
Session 3 (90 seconds): Crossing the finish line
600 meters, and now was the time. He picked up his feet with such power that it must be coming from outer force. It was as if his feet were being propelled forward – gravity had shifted and was now pushing him forward, closer…
Session 1 (5 minutes): Six in the Morning
I wake up at about 5:58, and the anger that flooded my body almost approached the intensity of my screaming alarm clock’s voice. Losing those two minutes of sleep was like tasting a bitter piece of dark chocolate. I tasted it, but knew it should be richer.. full of more life. Instead time broke its promise to me to be peaceful. With a swift punch to the gut, time became the wind. So, I hit back, and thwarted it’s devilish intentions for 10 more minutes…
Session 2 (10 minutes): First Snowfall
He couldn’t make out what was coming from the sky. They looked like small gnats, somber, unable to combat gravity, for they’ve lost the want to try. But they land on his skin, and the sensation defines wonderment. These gnats have not lost the want to live – they have been infected with a chilled energy and their only mission in life, now, is to leave that energy elsewhere. Let others experience the chilled comfort in solitude. He notices his immediate surroundings. Life stunned to the white perfection. His feet disturb the perfect white layer that coats this environment. The clouds, he decided, must be experiencing a numb sense of serenity for their tears have become crisp chilled suspensions of the anguish within. He begins to ache for the flames inside his home, hearing crackling besiege his mind. He is drawn to it, for the chilled serenity is melting into the utter bleakness within the clouds and coating his skin, searching for a way to enter his soul. He feels himself becoming the clouds – lifting from reality and becoming consumed in his sorrow. Fear pushes him back inside the safety of his home and he embraces….
Session 3 (90 seconds): Easter Sunday
Room with a slight tint of pastel, reeking of sweets. The floorboards smudged with a light film of dirt and eggshells…