Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sky Dove

How do you not let thoughts of the past – or fears of the future – direct the course of your life? Can you look back and move forward?
I'm not sure it's possible...I've never been able to; I've had to choose. Past or future? Past or future? My mind whirring like the barely functioning VCR I've held onto, which when asked to contemplate my past and future gets slower and slower until it hits pause of its own accord and refuses to play any longer. I have to divide my time; close one door before walking through the other, or stand out in the corridor waiting for the master of my head to decide. Like a wayward pupil I brood and act resentful. Which world will the Head send me to: the already-lived or the unknown?
Whichever one, it will become my present. A moment lived or re-lived, suspended, until it too falls into a bank of memories. Some memories linger like bear hugs and kisses; others rapidly fade like promises that shouldn't have been made or have been broken.
How do you let the past go and make new lasting memories? Memories that in time will come to mean just as much as your old and often revisited early past? Only the Sky Dove knows as the collector and keeper of these answers.
The Sky Dove, as anybody who has witnessed his spectacle will know, is no ordinary bird. He resembles a dove of dinosaur proportions, and his body seems far from solid being filled with blue sky and wispy clouds. In flight, his wings are gigantic, which in daylight would cast shadows over vast patches of land or stretches of open sea, but this is a rare sight for he mainly travels at night in a sky full of stars and over a dark sea. And every starry night he hovers in a spot where the sea touches the sky; uses his large body as a clasp to join the dark depths of the sea to the unquantifiable twinkling lights in the sky.
At that time of night it's peaceful. The tide is calm, lapping gently against weathered rocks, and the midnight-blue sky is clear except for the light of steadfast stars. The rhythmic waves drawing out new-born stars who are too young to shine and so sparkle; their winks reflected back as the waves splash to reach them.
The Sky Dove unloads his cargo: his latest consignment of future fears and unwanted memories. Those that are light fall into the night and those that are dark sink to the ocean's floor. His body emptied is pearly white and slightly shimmers; a faint glow emanating from his feathers, which when his wings beat again in low flight send a rippling sheen across the sea's black surface. His passage keeping time with the tide and the approaching dawn.
The starlight fades now the day's death-like shadows and the debris of past times have been removed, successfully disposed of. The sun begins to rise and the Sky Dove gets swallowed, enveloped by rays of piercing light. It showers down on him and cleanses him as invisible to human eyes he rests.
In repose, his body soon returns to its former blue sky and white cloud mass; refills with people's discarded past hurts, future fears and worn-out memories, and when the daylight dies and he's fit to burst, he again takes to the skies and frees the universe of its cast-off reveries.

*Inspired by Rene Magritte and by the prose of Tan Twan Eng