Friday, August 5, 2011

The Shadowlands

The closer a subject is to my heart, the harder time I seem to have writing coherently.

I have always read that a good author will draw from their own experiences.  I have started several stories in which things happen to the characters that have happened to me, but they never run smoothly and are difficult to write.

Even now I am having trouble.

I can always seem to make my point in a fictional story.  I may go to the extreme of making my points too well.  But when I write from my own experiences, with the thought of allowing someone else to read it someday, I can never seem to get the point across.
Perhaps it is a subconcious guard against vulnerability.

Anyway, this is a short sketch I wrote last October, early in the morning, watching the sun rise outside my hotel room window, in preparation for the funeral of someone who I loved very much.  It was dark in the room, but outside the sun shone in all its glory.  I could see the brilliant rays reflecting off the roofs of the buildings across the street.

Please comment and let me know what you think of it.  Is it coherent?  What did you understand from what was written?  I am not sure I quite understand the full meaning of what I was writing.  I had a vague idea of what I was trying to get at, but was having difficulty putting it in words.  However I seem to have managed to put several concepts down in trying to get at the vague one. 

Oh, and as I tend to do when something has affected me deeply, towards the end I rambled off into poetry.:)  Blank poetry, which is unusual, but there is certainly a difference between that and the previous prose.

The Shadowland

“What a bright day it is today,” Muriel said happily.  Two candles were lit in the dark rooms. 
“Yes, it is rather bright,” said her twin, Judy. 
   “It was kind of the landlord to send us two candles,” their mother commented.
The family and all their friends lived in a castle with no windows, where it was always dark.  The landlord sent them a candle every day, and occasionally two candles, to light the dark rooms. 
   Every few years, the landlord would come during the night and take one of them as they were sleeping out of the castle to the world outside.  He would leave a note to inform the others.  The loss of these was always mourned by those remaining within, but the landlord’s plan was to one day bring them all outside of the castle. 
   One morning Muriel rushed out of her room.  “Mother, Mother, come quickly,” she said.  “I can’t find Judy!”
   The mother followed Muriel back into her room.  Glancing at Judy’s empty bed, she asked, “Muriel…what is that on the bed?”
   Muriel went to it and picked it up.  “Oh, no Mother, it is a note!” She cried.
   “Then the Landlord has taken her away,” the Mother replied.
   Muriel and her Mother and the rest of the family wept for Judy for a long time.  But they could only see what went on in the Shadowlands.  They did not have the whole picture.  They wept for Judy having been borne away in the darkness.   BUT,
   Outside, in the sunshine, Judy stood with the Landlord gazing at the castle.  The tears were running down her cheeks.  “We never knew it was so bright outside,” she said.  “I wish we had known.  I wish everyone inside knew now.”
   “They do know, but it is hard for them to understand what the world really looks like. All they can understand is the great brightness of two candles in a dark room.  They cannot envision anything brighter.”
   “But they have the candles themselves!  Cannot they envision it being as bright as the candle itself?” Judy asked sadly.
   “They could…but they do not.”
   “We used to mourn for those who were borne away in the darkness.  How little did we know that we were the ones who walked in darkness!”  Judy mused.  Another tear slid down her cheek.  “Rather I should mourn for those who are still in darkness.”
Catching a vision of something so much brighter
The sun is bright yet there IS something brighter
We mourn for those who have gone on before
But perhaps they mourn for us who are still behind
And yet in and through it all the landlord…Our Landlord…has a purpose
brighter and better than anything we can here see.   We are confined by our dimension.
We can picture things less than what we have here but nothing more
Yet in glory we will see things as they really are
In catching a vision of something brighter…better…more…we catch a vision of heaven…and yet
 the vision will be far surpassed by the reality.

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