A Smile in the Dark

It’s like looking at the stars in the night sky…

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A flurry of activity, all around him: children are running about, playing soccer in dusty school uniform, clouds of dirt rising at their hurried footfalls; birds flit about from branch to branch like black streaks in the brightness of an August afternoon, withered blades of grass dangling from their beaks as they fret about their nests; tides of animated chatter surge and recede; here, shouts of raucous laughter resound; there, a cry bursts from the lips of a lively storyteller.

As he speaks, there is a depth in his eyes as the words trickle forth from him, a depth that beckons, invites his listener to come closer, almost as the clear stillness of the ocean calls one to plumb its depths. His gaze is gentle. Now, a laugh escapes from him, thick and heavy and soft. His brilliant smile wreathes the hard stone lines of his face into smooth, mirthful curves; a twinkle dances in his eyes. It’s like looking at the stars in the night sky, or the warm light of a distant flame in the dark. So black a face, yet so radiant a smile!

 

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A Man’s Eyes

What shall I call them? To what shall I compare them?

Looking at it, the details lead you in, the little touches left in place by the deft hand of the artist. Candlelight, so soft and gentle, almost like a kiss laid upon the walls, to make them glow with a muted blushing – it bathes the painting with a rosy light.

Dive through the frame like a window and stare. Stare at his eyes, there, in the scene. Look at the light in them, bright, arresting. Hear the clamour of the people, feel the sweat slide down your skin and look, look into his eyes.

Let the sunlight burn into your skin, and the burnished armour blind you.
Feel the people brush against you, push you aside, and see him still, upon the ground, fatigued.
Let the weeping of the women pierce your heart.

See the blood flowing like a river, like the blood of roses spilt on desert sand. His blood.
Hear the whips that crack against his skin, and their shouting, and the cries, like blades come from the hand of a beloved friend.

Look at his face.

Look into his eyes.

Then, a movement, and the desert melts away. Startled, you look up, beyond the candlelight’s reach, into the shadows. There’s someone there!

His eyes catch your gaze, hold it, arrest it.

What shall I call them? To what shall I compare them?

Diamonds, hard and glittering, white-hot with flame the likes of which has never been beheld by men, or blazing embers, bearing a fearsome fire within them, the very heartfire of the earth?

Stars above, radiant and lofty, jewels adorning the firmament, or ice and snow, brilliant, colder than the breath of winter itself?

Lightning, swift and terrible, piercing through the heavens, or steel, firm and unbending, like the warrior’s resolve?

A man’s eyes.

Words to a Weary Soul

“Come forth, venturing the narrow way;
Let nothing hold you.
I shall wait.”

Turn not, tread in spite of mist and dark,
this thorn-strewn way;
Bleed, bare your heart.



Hold me, lest I crumble, turn to dust!
Your light, so distant…

Quavering.


“Fear not, let me see the wounds, the tears,
Your dolours, sorrows;
I will soothe.”

Forward, braving night, and wind and rain,
Burn, love again,
Arise,

“Beloved.”

Nature – A Reflection

Mountain, steep and jagged, tough,

And crowned with searing cold, the winter snow;

Past the horizon staring,

O’er the clouds below.

Behold the sight, grandeur!

In you, we glimpse Immensity.

Seedling, little, delicate,

Cherished, born from sweat and blood and pain,

Such tender care receiving;

Oblivious you remain.

The sower’s sacrifice – an image of Maternity.

First Meetings

“Somehow I found a way to get lost in you,

Let me inside, let me get close to you…”

-from a song entitled Lost In You, by Three Days Grace

Today, these words, these lines of a song play over again in this man’s mind as he remembers something, a special moment, if you will, one that is ordinary, commonplace perhaps, and happens often, and yet is no less wonderful for it.

He remembers what it feels like to put oneself aside and look at that person next to him. He remembers the silence as his eyes connect with those of the other, the searching, the delving as both of them stare. He remembers what it’s like to lose oneself in contemplation of the other, to search their eyes and behold the astounding…realness of the person staring back, the brilliance of their mind, the simplicity of their heart, their strength, their openness, and have his breath taken away.

Today, the memory washes over him. The joy and the wonder manifest themselves again, but remain incomplete, like dawn’s light behind the curtain. Only a shadow of their splendour is felt – all else is engulfed in a longing, bittersweet.

Even so, he remembers. As he spoke with that other, their gazes touched. Their eyes met. The windows of their souls were opened.

He remembers the fire that came to life within him. What great delight! He could not contain it; his heart threatened to pour from the blaze from his eyes in shining tears!

Two kindred souls encountered each other.