Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I will write you a song

I'm sitting here cross legged in front of the computer, listening to my mp3 player and enjoying a cup of decaf coffee. There's a story I want to tell, and I have to get it out before it runs away from me again.

(Come away with me, Norah Jones sings, and I will write you a song.)

It's the story of a girl, an artist, a writer, a musician, who left home one summer afternoon with nothing to her name but a handful of promissory notes, like an inept, down-on-luck player in the Life board game.

Sometimes people start out with the best of advantages, and they are fortunate indeed. Others have to fight for them as they come, and they are somehow all the wiser for it, she believed. Enthusiasm and Hope and Determination can carry a person a long way. So she thought.

She did not reckon on Disappointment and Sorrow, those mortal enemies, the assassins who cast a deeper wound than any chess game queen. They wield not checkmate but stalemate, a formidable, intimidating block forbidding any other view than the one directly visible.

Unarmed for these foes she surrendered her Hope and without Hope she had no Determination.

She found that the graceful inherent carriage of these virtues, once surrendered, have to be earned back. That the gifts, once given, are not so easily reclaimed.

The loss of Innocence is not just that; it's a taint of Defeat and Desperation, a stain that hisses the self-fulfilling prophecy: "Your skills are lost; you are nothing special."

She could no longer draw, or tell stories, or laugh out loud, much less sing. Her voice was indeed, in every possible way, gone. For years and years, this was so -- so many years, in fact, that she resigned herself to living without it, and she spoke of her talents no more.

She did not reckon on the persistence of Hope, how it continued climbing, a determined ivy unseen and unrealized, outside her carefully built fortress of Self-Protection.

Or how Kindness planted it there, and Light and Love nurtured it along in the Silence, until one day the vine pushed through with a crumble and a silting spatter of mica (it was such a fragile tower, after all) -- and she found it.

Through grateful tears of joy -- almost laughing in her relief -- she breathed in the sun and the fresh air and began to sing. She sang, whispering at first, then more bravely, if trembly, and the more she sang the more she found, to her palpable suprise, that she'd never lost her voice at all.

It had only been an illusion, a transitory effect, as changeable as a prism.

I didn't lose it! She exulted. It has only been lying dormant, transforming into something stronger and more beautiful.

But who planted the seeds of Kindness? She asked wonderingly, beginning to understand at last.

But she already knew the answer: