Cassandra’s Tears

Tears of joy, tears of pain, we are reflected in the salt-water pools we create. So let us build a fleet of paper boats and sail them on our ocean of indecision, laughing at the wind-whipped white-crested waves that would wash over us, drowning us in our own despair, yet somehow never vanquishing us in the end.

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Location: Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

Friday, September 28, 2007

Crystal Clear

     If I were transparent, sunlight would shine right through me. I would cast strange shadows, like jellyfish floating in the sparkling sea, tendrils dragging the sand, their mauve brains surrounded by water-clear gel. Light passing through me would bend and refract, leaving rainbows in my wake. I could start fires just by clenching my fist and focusing the sun’s rays on a piece of driftwood.

     If I were clear as glass, I could stand perfectly still and become invisible, or I could play tricks on unsuspecting pedestrians, tripping them with a strategically placed foot, or sidling up behind them and whispering lewd nothings in their ears. I could sneak into movie theatres and concert halls, standing in the shadows and avoiding the rainbow-making light.

     There is no transparency here. We are opaque and obscured by our inhibitions and our fears. We do not reveal any more than we have to, lest we become vulnerable to attacks on our delicate soft souls. The jellyfish washed up on shore and left by the ebbing tide dies in the sunshine, exposed to the drying air and the sand shovels of holidaying children.

     We cannot risk leaving our own mauve brains to the elements, so we build shells around them, construct castle walls with ramparts and crenellated towers from which to launch our counterattacks. Then we feel safe, solid, impervious to light and rainbows.