After the Storm...

Sometimes, that reflection from crystal clear water is enough to strike us with awe. It’s how the blemishes and flaws from our faces seemingly rids its self and releases an unrecognizable beauty. For once, calling oneself beautiful, flamboyant, grand, or impeccable is no longer a narcissistic notion. Some say it’s the water, some say it’s the shroud of flaws, some say it’s the sun, but I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a random moment in time where the self-loathing and years of regret flow merely through a stream and into larger pastures. Maybe it’s not the time and maybe it is something special. I’m no more able to answer than a bush by the lake; perhaps a bush by the lake possesses greater wisdom than me. It is one of those times in our lives where we truly put to rest our extraneous selves and wake up to a newly defined one, one with perhaps a scent of ocean breezes and bitter-sweet oranges. Life comes in and apathy comes out – maybe life can begin anew. The simple image of our faces being more than what they were is simply enough to appease the mental state and whatever it is that ails us. In the moments of delivered reprieve, most if not all, reach reflection.

In states of lull, such as the water-born faces of before, the mind is at its calmest. It’s here that our minds slithers its way into our own past and reflect on the deeds we’ve done and the humiliation we’ve endured. Nothing strikes more painfully in introspection than humiliation, but here is where we expose the ugly nature. We sit silently in the background of our memories and watch as our former selves fall victim to the crimes of humiliation, but here is also where we grow stronger – to face it with heart and not with brawns. Forgive and forget is suddenly a state of mind, and so we lay rest to the pains gnawing at us from the very core. Our hearts grow stronger in this sudden exploration of our minds and from these stronger hearts return a token of gratitude; we gaze into the mirror at our former selves and banish the oppressions, regrets, shames and any other extraneous pains that burden our past.

The city of broken dreams awaits us in the distance. There, in all the haunting reminders of things we all once knew, are the rubbles. We return step after step to watch our whole lives flash in an instant; our memories, pains, and dreams lie in waste after our major self-conflicts. We reach our hands out to reclaim the wreckage, but they no longer exist. I feel remorse for all that I’ve lost, but it strikes most coldheartedly when the idea that we could’ve done more crosses mind. Maybe it becomes a lifetime shame that our lives are drowned by regret of not doing what should’ve been done, but that resides in the past, a past that we will cherish but also must somehow forget. This is our lives…not entirely decided as to why we endure the things we do, yet we continue.

We cross the mental wreckage and arrive in a new place that whispers, “Sanctuary” from the many empty but vivacious pastures. There’s a river and in that river travels the forgotten hopes and dreams of many that fought to keep it. I’m truly inclined to believe that I’m part of the forgotten scraps, yet I stand beside, watching my reflection and trying to decipher which dreams are mine and which aren’t. There’s none and maybe there truly isn’t one. This world is a mental reprieve from the pains that gnawed at me once before. This is the place after the storm – the imaginary wonderland that some believe still exists after the great storm, especially designated by the sign of a rainbow.

I lay back and watch the clouds drift into oblivion; soon after, the sun appears. The light shines in my eyes with the luminosity of a thousand bulbs…I walk back to the river and drop everything I have: my hopes, my dreams, and the rest of my old life. I keep the last strand of memory from my past and walk the other direction. As I walk, my figure disappears from the distant, slowly but surely. I leave a word behind: “Hope.” A new self in a new world…the storm is approaching…





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