Tangible Fortunes

He is like a sulphur match, the original one developed in 577 AD in China, impregnated in pinewood, combustible on fire, harmless and gritty, when not. You could place him between your teeth. Perhaps, he is more in the family of the Coliadinae or Cloudy Sulphurs. I’d rather compare him to a living organism, but equally as consumed and highly attracted to light. Each is amazing and extraordinary in their way; that is until either the wings or your fingers get burnt. Then, no matter how many times you see the fire burning, it is still amazing to the Cloudy Sulphur, but stuck in the recesses of memory is the feeling of charred fingers. It is perhaps a bit of humor that he is a water sign. Well, there it is, a basic truth, presented in the form of a human being. Consisting certainly of body, mind, and spirit; and if you dare believe, a ‘soul’.

He is a loudly silent soul. Perhaps, that is why one might stumble upon him unknowingly. He is as a quiet hum of a motor or the sounds of crickets in the night, incessant and beautiful until you find yourself consumed by their noise. I often wonder why I had not heard it in the first place. But life is short, and some moments so very, very long. Why dwell on memories that are by definition impossible to live again except in ones’ mind? The answer is a conundrum, best described by memory and perception imploding amongst themselves. Perhaps, as the sun, they shed light on the reality of now. Of course, one would have to have that magical ability to travel between the worlds of ‘then’ and ‘now’; always filtering the distortions of our memories. We are, of course, magical beings in that way.

Falling rain in the hot muggy summer of the South. Rain that has been prayed for, hoped for, and then prayed for again. Can’t help but find humor in hot sticky rain, so I laugh. Remembering that the flowers are fed, and when the garden grew we had squash and fried zucchini for breakfast. This is a beautiful place, but as suddenly as the rain began, it stops. And I stand there, stupid, drenched as though I had been slapped hard in the face. Next time, I’ll carry my umbrella.

I remember the first time I saw him; I was like an ant. Specifically like the Oecophylla, or green ants. Eusocial by nature, I was of course, on my way …to somewhere, somewhere important and it would, of course, benefit all of humankind. Not sure where to go, how I might get there, but sure that wherever it was, there would be plenty of ‘honeydew’. I thought I might ask someone if they knew when there he was in the middle of all that hustle and bustle. Concrete clouds drowning out the sky, there he stood; this loudly silent being. And so it was with purpose that I began to engage in very serious travel. I never did get a chance to use my umbrella. And I would smile, at least until I got out of ‘here and now’ and found ‘then’ or what most of us settle for, which is ‘later’.

Later, I would recall that the streets were not as dirty as I had once thought. In fact, I saw a street cleaner while I was there, and I had not seen that since I was a little girl and I still woke up early enough to peep out of my bedroom window. All of these of course are distant mirages, memories that I remember. Glimpses, freeze-frame photographs, quickened and held petrified in my mind and dug up for no real apparent reason other than, well, ‘I remember when…’. Sometimes these thoughts are so distant, I can’t even remember them anymore, and like a mirage, the closer I get, the sooner they disappear. But there are remnants of him, and I know that they did once exist. I keep him like fine jewelry and take him out and look at him from time to time.