The Beauty of Openness

July 28, 2009
By pinksun SILVER, Sherman Oaks, California
pinksun SILVER, Sherman Oaks, California
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I marveled at its intense blue hue and the way the light flecked off its surface in triangles. I couldn’t contain my bubbling enthusiasm, so I decided to let it spill onto paper. I fixated on the plate awhile longer and then turned to jot down fresh thoughts. The lip framing its square shape, the way the diamond base elevated it slightly above the tile countertop, and of course that startling shade of blue found their way into my writing. I took up a nice three sheets front and back. I dropped my pen and read it over. A smile broke my earnest concentration; it was all there.

I could send this to Alice, my pen pal. I read it over once more. But how could I be sure she would visualize the blue just as it was? Or how it contrasted against the stark white glistening tile? Tile so white it looked hard as if desensitized from brutal scrubbings with bleach. Tile whose hardness was extenuated by that dramatic presence of the plate---contrast. That’s what I’m missing. I stuck a carrot and placed an extra sentence. I chewed anxiously on my pen.

I found a thesaurus and x’d out my words replacing them with narrower ones, but there was always room for interpretation. I doubled my adjectives. Not just “blue” no a “deep royal blue with darker shades lurking in its depths.” It grew to seven pages, but I still couldn’t be certain I had done it justice.

I gave my work a long look as I searched my mind for help. The precision I wanted was a Mount Everest and I was an amateur stumbling at its feet. In a flurry, I sandwiched the papers between my palms and forced my fingers into a fist and reduced the thing into a ball. Defeated, I threw it in the corner of my room, slammed the door, and cried.

Impulse never again drove me to write. I viewed everything in a hopeless admiration. Every time I stepped into the kitchen that blue caught my eye. I returned its sneers by coolly ignoring its presence, but I still sulked past it. But soon these feelings faded and the plate drifted to the back of my memory. And, why I shrunk behind pencil and paper became a mystery.

Yesterday, I was nervously shoving my belongings into cardboard boxes. I knew I had to give up a lot to squeeze in myself and three others in to the 15 by 15 ft dorm room. A crumpled ball of paper caught my attention. I was relieved to have a reason to get up and stretch my cramped legs. I grabbed it and held it over the trash can about to make its death drop. My hand hovered; I was too curious. I unfolded its dusty edges and smoothed out the wrinkles.

I strained to decipher my young letters but I grew used to it and became completely absorbed. The memory of the plate floated back, first, in a haze and then crystal clear. Excited, I ran down the hallway down the stairs into the garage to see that old plate. I reached past cob webs and grimy layers of dust and reached for it. I took it outside. It was --- a blue plate. That was all.

I had seen it as ocean water right over an abyss that plunged down to profound depths. It was the reflection of a cloudy sky on the slick, jet black asphalt. It was the morning glories on the neighbor’s chain link fence yawning open as the morning sun tapped their petals. It was Kami’s eyes gushing with vehement emotion. The speckles of light were the string lights Jaz left on in her room while we whispered in the dark. There was no definite list, no concrete understanding. It was a channel of memories and fantasy. And then I saw the beauty of openness; the constant room for interpretation, the endless possibilities.

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