Of Stories (and excuses, however good they may be)

September 3, 2008
By Sheba Mathew, Hudson, OH

The photographs are scattered all over the floor, some, bursting with vividness, bear faded Kodaks stamped across their backs, others flaunt the odd violet-pink colors of their time, and others still are tucked away in long-lost books, their curious corners faded and fragile with age.

She sits closed in by all these pictures, slipping behind her ear hair like robin’s feather that matches the dull hardwood. Her eyes shine as they take in the snapshots of memories of the far past and the not-so-far past for the tenth-hundredth-thousandth time.
She can almost leaf through the heavy tomes behind every smiling face, tomes that send her steadily sinking like a stone in a pond while she floats upwards at the same time, a dandelion parachute ascending from its globe of fellow filaments.

In the dizziness that ensues when one is pulled in polar opposite directions, she takes hold of the photograph closest to her, unknowingly letting the tangled ball of yarn fall from her hands. She follows, still in that even greyer area between conscious and subconscious, plunging into an immeasurable tunnel full of cobwebs and skeletons and shadows. The misty dark bothers her little, for always she has been walking in a nebulous cloud of too many unknowns. She is not afraid because here she thinks she can feel the warmth of the light at the end of this tunnel

But not every tunnel has a light at its end.

The yarn, too, is never-ending, and leads her on a journey of tight roping cobwebs, and the story behind every photograph slowly, quietly unfolds, delighting her. Yet in this world there are no full stops, behind or beneath or just a few words away from every answer lies another question mark

Ten-one hundred-one thousand minutes-days-years she travels across every cobweb, and just when she thinks she has reached the final center, that powerful force of gravity drawing them all together, ah! the web breaks and bridges and entwines itself with another. Mystery after mystery she pursues, part-cursing, part-wishing, part-puzzling, part-laughing.

It is there, in her place, where many wish we could be
but there are too many stories, overlapping, intersecting
and too many answers, but not even one,
and simply not enough time to read.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!