4.9.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by Alessandro Neri from thedphoto.com
Photo by Alessandro Neri from thedphoto.com

April 9, 2013: She carried her grief.

7 Replies to “4.9.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Religion had let her down. She never looked back to see the inside of the cathedral. She looked down as if answers no longer came from a Higher Power. She looked down because her thoughts were about giving up. She didn’t know how to go on with life. Her husband walking behind her tried to reach out to her. He called her name. She didn’t answer. He would only want to know where to go for lunch. He wouldn’t understand her grief for a sister and bestfriend. He had nothing to offer. She must find the strength from within herself.

  2. The music had been her undoing, at first distant as it circled above her but clear as a clarion bell. But then voices joined one by one the circling of soundings, and they found her unarmed in her center, the rise of the soprano and the underpinnings of alto, baritone and bass such beauty and power, like the cathedral itself. It was ubiquitous, this pure music, and it meant to unleash the gritty pain that had scraped the night away. It had, in fact, left her bleeding within the thin walls of flesh, a wound that could not be soothed with the genius of music alone. And yet, when it was over and her tears sprang for the first time over Tamson’s passing, he followed her with his bellowing voice that she could not escape even in her need: “Why this long face?” he demanded. “Did I not get you the tickets to make things better? She is gone, and there is nothing for it!” She wanted to turn and do him harm but instead she rushed down the steps, her program in hand, and knew that if not for music she might not have the decency and stamina to face him without ruinous results for one more day. With her dear Tamson gone, she would have so little joy with which to defend herself. So she left him huffing and breathless on the boulevard, ran as fast as she could in her sturdy shoes until she found a tiny café. She sat and drank her coffee until darkness graced the street, and wept without a sound.

      1. I so appreciate your response, Patricia Ann, and am glad you may find it worth showing more prominently. This photo really grabbed me, such a visible yet subdued, quiet pain as it rises slowly to the surface. I love the photos you find and will return to see more. Your site is wonderful, really!

  3. She carried her grief as though it was a new purse. It was something unfamiliar to her and she kept checking on it, to see how it looked to others, to see if it told the world what she wanted it to. This is not to say that Alison’s grief was something shallow or false; she really did mourn the loss of Edward Arthur Fields.

    In idle moments during the church service she rummaged through that purse and brought forth small items of memory: a card that Edward had sent her only hours before he’d passed and it said how he wished she was with him still and how he was sorry for everything. That was like he was tidying everything up before he went, she thought. And an opal ring that he’d given Alison for her twenty-first birthday and they were just kids then and she laughed through her tears at that memory, how she’d stood naked at the motel window letting the sun make rainbow colours on the surface of the ring – the Seacomber Motel, Atlantic City, room 121. And a rabbit’s foot bottle-opener and she’d screamed in fright when he’d given her it, but he’d shown her how to rub it for luck with her eyes closed and she could wish for anything then and in time, he promised, her wish would come true – or it wasn’t a real wish if it didn’t.

    Edward Arthur Fields, her only two husbands. She laughed when she said it like that. They’d married in their teens and maybe that was a mistake; their parents had said it was. But Edward was always in a rush and she was dragged along with him. She shook her head, remembering, and she smiled too, for Alison knows that kids love deeper than adults do and she never forgot those years of always wishing to be with him. In truth that’s why she married him again, twenty years later, after meeting by chance on a crowded train going north to Maine. She still had the rabbit’s foot then, but the second marriage lasted less than the first, and now Edward Arthur Fields had rushed ahead of everyone to his grave.

    The service was a sober affair and not really like Edward at all. There were dour hymns sung out of tune, and prayers the words of which were dull and dead and muttered rather than spoken. That was not Edward, she thought. And everyone wore black and grey; except that Alison wore a pink tweed jacket and a bright red skirt. That’s what he would have wanted, she thought. And afterwards she went to an all day bar across from the church and she ordered a cocktail in a fancy glass and one for for Edward; and she put a dollar in the juke box and ‘Bye Bye Love’ by the Everly Brothers was her first choice; and she sat alone at a table for two near the window; and she opened her purse and looked for something she had lost.

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