Brotherhood

This is what happens when you do your homework before class…and don’t feel the need to listen to the professor. Yup. I’m responsible. So responsible. For my own tears at 2 AM as I’m typing this story up, but whatever. I miss writing for the record, hopefully I’ll return with more, though.

“Carlos, Carla, we need you, get up, come down.” Amanda hammered on the twin’s door as sirens split the night silence. Two tousled, blonde heads replaced the door. “Big Baby’s gonna blow, we need you to decode it.”

The twins exchanged looks. “You decode the bomb, I’ll run the back-up.” Carlos hugged his sister.

“Remember to speak clearly and slowly, little brother.” She kissed his forehead before the two split and bolted down opposite corridors. Amanda hesitated before following Carla.

“You can do it—” 

“Get out!” Carla’s fingers flew over the keys of her computer. “Get out, just because I am the best doesn’t mean I am successful.”

“Stage 1 successful, Stage 2 bypassed, engaging Stage 3.”

“Copy that, Carlos.” Big Baby’s beeping intensified behind the glass. “Amanda, I want everyone on the next three levels evacuated, they have 20 minutes to pack.”

Amanda stumbled around a desk and turned her back on Carla. The image of her blonde curls cut short above her ears, her loose pajama shirt hanging off one shoulder, her bare feet…were burned into her mind.

Each beep echoed through the compound. Seconds beat their half times. Minutes blurred the eerie silence together. Carlos watched the compound in the distance.

Twenty minutes passed. Twenty-one. Twenty-two. Amanda’s team sent a blur of head lights into the mountains. A heavy knot tangled inside Carlos. He raised his phone to his ear. “Compound cleared.”

A tear trickled down his cheek as he heard the heavy breathing from his sister’s chest. Three more minutes passed. A deep sigh rushed through his speaker.

“Carlos…”

“I’m still here.”

“I only have…45 seconds.”

“I’m counting.”

“I’ll wait for you.”

“I’ll be coming.”

“Take your time. Don’t come too early.”

“I won’t.” His breathing hitched. “There’s no plan B?”

“This was always every plan. Carlos?”

“Yeah?”

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness.” Her voice was cut off in a loud explosion. A gust of wind knocked Carlos backwards. The phone lost connection as a heat wave followed.

Carlos covered his face as ashes and flecks of debris showered him. “That is not weakness. That is life.” A deep sob tore his throat as he sat up and strained his eyes through the ashes…maybe his sister’s spirit was lingering in them.

“Carla was my older sister, as many of you know. What may not have been made clear was that…she was my elder by two years. Carla and I are not twins.” Carlos scanned the sea of black sitting in orderly rows, glittering with tears. He smiled weakly. “It began as a joke, actually. Her given name was Charlotte. Mine is Carlos. When our parents passed, she took it upon herself to protect me and that is when we truly became twins. We’re identical.” The sea of black swam as tears suddenly rushed over his eyes. Carlos swallowed and brushed them away to continue, “And she did that. There was some rivalry over who was the better hacker or coder. She always sacrificed the title, but when we accept the truth, Carla was better at everything. She was kind, loving, protecting, competent, the fastest coder this world has seen. But even the best person can’t stop time. We knew that night one of us would stay…and it would be her.” Someone sobbed and buried their face in their hands. Carlos looked away quickly, “It may sound cruel, it may seem…unfair…but her last words were “I’ll wait for you…Take your time. Don’t come too early…This was always the plan…” And, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness.” She wasn’t able to finish the line, so I’ll do it for her, now. “That is not a weakness. That is life.” Knowing this, I want everyone who knew here or heard of her…anyone touched by my sister…to strive to be more like her. That’s why she left and I stayed. I haven’t reached my purpose, yet. That’s…that’s all.” Carlos bowed his head. The words fell short, but the conclusion ebbed into the chests of the mourners. Carla passed because it was her time…and they had not…because their end was waiting.

Motivation

“How do you do it?” I watched her fingers fly through the machinery and create her new invention. “How do you find the stamina and…inspiration for all of this…?” Shiny metal fused beneath the bloodshot eyes of my friend. Her very breathing seemed fraught with more purpose than her lungs could handle. 

“Anger.” She glanced into my eyes and I closed my mouth to the spluttering I knew would frustrate her more. Dust had settled over the shelves on the uninhabited side of the workshop. Normally I would be tripping over mugs and spoons on the floor, but one solitary bowl, full, untouched, rested on her cluttered desk. I didn’t want to know what it once held.

She had turned to what seemed to be an entirely different project. Her computer display filled with code and I looked away, I hated watching her type with her eyes closed. It shouldn’t be possible to be that sure of your own words. “Anger doesn’t do this. Anger…isn’t so methodical.”

“Methodical?” She threw her head back and laughed, fingers skittering away over the keys. “Trained, yes, experienced, yes, methodical? Ha!” She smacked the laptop shut and returned to the 3-D printer where I finally noticed another dish—her water bottle. That at least seemed used. She gasped and set the bottle down before rubbing her eyes. “You mean motivation?”

“Of course, I mean motivation.” I punched in her password and opened the health app on her phone. “What could possibly feed your motivation—”

“Anger. Don’t bother with that, I haven’t slept in…” She counted on her fingers, shook her dazed head and tried again.

“Three hours each for the past four days. Don’t take that fit bit off. Are you at least eating…?” I glanced over the charts on the app. Minimal sleep, losing weight, the only thing keeping a healthy plot was her hydration.

“I think so. But Lucy, motivation will eat anything, there just has to be enough of it. The more it can eat, the more it grows, the more it grows, the more you have. Different motivations eat different things, they can be picky…” She reached over and turned her phone off in my hand with a psychotic smile. “Mine…runs off of anger, primarily.” She swaggered back to her welding and flipped the visor over her face. Her voice echoed strangely. “I’m sure if I had enough love…or desperation…even hunger, it would work for that…but see, there’s never been a call for it, so I’ve never been able to experiment.”

I tossed her phone on top of the computer and rolled my sleeves down as the sparks danced all over the room. “Grace, don’t talk like that, you can’t just…treat…abstract thought like it’s sentient!” I had to shout over the noise she was making, but she carried the conversation like any other.

“What do you mean I can’t? What if it is? What if motivation is like…it’s like a virus or a parasite and some people are more infected than others? But instead of it feeding off of an emotion, that’s just what we excuse it as? Oh, he went and killed everyone out of grief, oh, she worked so hard out of love, blah, blah, blah.” She laughed again and set her tools down, flipping the visor up to look back at my stunned face.

“Don’t talk like that.” I swallowed hard. She always seemed insane during these spells…

Grace laughed and tossed the tools aside to pick up the computer again. Her fingers flew faster than my neurons as I began piecing together her three very disjointed projects into one puzzle. “You know I’m joking. I’m always joking.”

“You’re literally insane.” I did a little circle of unbelief and near-terror while she laughed again.

“No, you’re literally baffled, I’m potentially insane. Look, Lucy. It’s not gonna be much longer. I just have to—” She got up and started breaking her whole plan down. It was so unbelievable it went right over my head and I couldn’t even figure out what she was doing, but I grasped something along the lines of…over achiever for Harvard combined with rocket science and quantum physics. Maybe she discovered nuclear fusion. Not that I’d be able to recognize that when I saw it…or even know if any of those things are related…

“Hey, hey, look. Just give me a date. I can understand those.” I pulled out my phone and rubbed my nose wearily.

“Uh, area code 423-654—”

“That’s not a date?” I blinked, feeling as crazy as she looked. Did I ask for a date? What date did I ask for…I was thinking, I promise to be in bed on November the 22nd

“Are you sure? He’s cute.” Grace laughed again. She laughed so hard, she sat down against a bookshelf and clutched her sides. Tears streamed down her greasy cheeks and I groaned.

“What day will you come to a stopping point and when can I make sure you have showered, eaten, and are in bed for the next…let’s say eighteen hours.” I stood over her exasperatedly.

Grace stopped laughing and smiled wearily. “I promise, I’m not that crazy…just enough to keep me going…” She sighed and looked around at her desks from the new angle. “I think…give me two more days. It’ll be done in two days. Full 24 hours, though, I want all that time.”

“Yeah. Yeah, sure you do.” I helped her to her feet and rubbed my face. “You also stink. I’m bringing air fresheners in here. Maybe thirty or so.”

“Get the pine kind.” She walked stiffly to the crazy machine that followed her fingers and her tired body flew back to alert. I picked up my bag and started to leave. “And Luce?” I paused and turned back to her. “I, uh…I appreciate it.” I grunted and turned back to the door. I was almost through it when I heard, “Love you.”

I smirked and nodded. “I got your back, girl.”

~~

“Woah, woah, woah! No, way!” I stood in front of a kindle sized screen and watched as a program sorted through all of my files. 

Grace yawned and shrugged indifferently. “It’s bigger than I wanted it to be, but the—”

“Grace, you literally created Jarvis and all you can do is yawn and complain about the size? You created JARVIS?! Can you fly?”

She looked at me like I was stupid and snorted. “I have had 42 hours of sleep in the past 14 days, I withhold all rights to yawning and no, I cannot.” Her hair dripped onto her shoulders, the first shower in those 14 days it looked like, too. Her skin was still pale and dark circles hid under the hollows of her eyes, but for all of that, she was looking saner. Tired, but rational.

“Okay, but you still made JARVIS.”

For the third time, my name is Garret.” The kindle blinked yellow with the computerized voice and the screen stopped blipping little file icons around.

“Subtle, Gracie, real subtle.”

“Lucy. I’m going to bed. Play nice with Garret.” Grace started to trudge out of the kitchen, tugging the bathrobe closer around her shoulders.

“Wait, wait, wait, what about the other things? There was the big metal thing with shiny metal and stuff and then there was the 3-D printer, what was all that for?”

She turned to me like I was crazy and then groaned. “That…that was a trellis for the garden. And the printer was…doing a lot of things. From making pieces to the games we broke to the screen for Garret.”

I blinked. “But I thought they all went together. It—It looked like it all went together, you’re kidding me, right?”

“You know…I would much rather be insane like me than just…stupid…” Her eyes said the rest as she shuffled down the hall to her bedroom and thumped the door. I smiled awkwardly at no one and sat back down on the kitchen stool.

“I’m not stupid, I’m just…”

A Hufflepuff.” The kindle-thing blipped at me and I scowled.

“Excuse you…”

“You should go admire the trellis. Personally, I think it would make a magnificent coat rack, but I’m sure you could find more creative uses—” I huffed and left the kitchen. Brilliant. She essentially created a disembodied Grace with a man’s voice.

I may have squealed, though, as I cranked the car. “She made JARVIS!!”

Pastimes- Library

“She made a mistake.” Voices whispered softly like the rustle of pages in a silent classroom.

“She won’t be coming now.” A papery crack split the rustling hush of the large room, but the girl didn’t notice. Her eyes darted from left to right, left to right, lips parted in concentration.

“Why would she make that kind of dumb mistake?” Another crack rent the air and her fingertips smoothed a page down gently, massaging out its creases before her eyes darted left to right again.

“How long do you think it’ll take this time?” Her knee bounced excitedly under the table as she cocked her head to one side. Her hair fell with it, forming a curtain against the light of the lamp.

“Who knows? Minutes? Hours? Days? She could be stuck for months!” She licked her finger and slid it across the paper. It caught and folded to the other side and her eyes took in a detailed drawing before darting left to right.

“Maybe it’s our fault. If we hadn’t brought her here—” The cardboard case fell shut and her fingers pushed it away as she reached for another.

“She knows better. It’s not like it’s a real addiction.” The cardboard cover fell open and her eyes began darting left to right, lips parted, breath short and soft, knee bouncing excitedly.

“Isn’t it?” She had appointments to meet…but the book was just too good. She had a few more minutes.

The Next Step

So Christi’s story has ended and my high hopes for my next story have fallen…it isn’t finished, of course. While I finish it up, I will try to keep consistent scheduling habits–unfortunately, my college courses have begun and my longterm vision for this blog is hazy.

Until further notice, I hope to continue the “Musings” thread on Fridays. They are relaxing little word projects for me and I end up writing several in a sitting some nights.

As for my Sunday and Wednesday posts…well, there’s the difficult part. I had hoped for another serial story, but those aren’t cooperating. I do have many short stories laying around my computer and I am considering posting those. Do I plan to have any semblance of consistency? Eh…no. Until the completion of any of my work in progresses…anarchy shall rule this blog. Anarchy or the whims of my schedule. (Sometimes they feel the same, no?)

Anyway, many thanks to those of you who have been reading Christi’s story. 🙂 The statistics tab was incredibly motivating at times. Let me know in the comments what you most enjoyed in the past several months! Today, we start another adventure.

Christi 16

The Life

Dear Christi,

I’m so glad to hear about your father’s heart, I was praying for him. How is Clay? The little on one the way? I’m so glad he’s been open to talking about Christ with you. I’m keeping him in my prayers.

I want to thank you for your help all those years ago, by the way. It’s been a long road, but now I think I’ve actually recovered from being in the military. I’m full, again. I have all of that passion and love in my heart and I tear up just thinking about how great a role you played in that process. Don’t laugh at me. We both know I’m being ridiculous, only one of us feels the need to point it out. I’m being honest, here, you should be glad. God is using me to reach others, but he used you, an unbeliever no less, to reach me. I feel alive again. I feel whole. Thank you.

In my last letter, I mentioned how Susanna struggled with a definition for love and whether she was lovable. Could you send me your definition? I wrote it down somewhere, but like you said, my notes finally maxed out my brain. Carter is grappling with self esteem, still. I’d appreciate if you’d continue to pray for him in your small group. He was making so much progress, but now I can see him sliding backwards. 

Bobby is so much help, by the way. He manages to connect with the young men better than I. Thank your parents for raising such a useful man.

With love

In Christ,

Hailey Marsy

The End

And so it ends…Any closing thoughts?

Christi 15

As this story nears its completion I would like to apologize again for its roughness and whatever inexperience of mine has bled into it. And thank you for reading. One more post to go, after this, and hopefully, another story will be soon to follow.

The Voice

I woke, I ate, I breathed, I lived, but I had no life. As an experiment, I passed my autonomy to another. That was not death. It wasn’t so wrong…but the way I handled it. The losing motivation and all other sources of meaning. That began my decay. Under Kalia, though. There I became a living corpse. Without memories, feelings, or conscious purpose, I don’t believe I was a person. It was a cruel state of being because I never died…I never ceased…I only continued to lose myself. When I joined the IMA I regained autonomy and purpose, but my drive was still gone. I believe that was the beginning of rebirth. When I received my journal again, I regained my emotions and many past experiences. I could empathize with others and I had something to define me. But I don’t believe I ever came back to life until I found my family again. That is when all the pieces of my life merged. I went from a shell, a living corpse, to a woman. I never lost hope…I just lost sight of it…and I lost memory of it.

Question Entry 34

I asked “What is a Living Blank?” so many years ago. The answer is I still don’t know. I can never fully remember my life as a non-entity. I also asked, “Are we living corpses when we forget all our past and who we are?” And I think the answer is yes…but not in the way I meant it, then. We are corpses searching for a defibrillator. There is hope and it is tangible…we have just forgotten along with everything else.

Dancing

The little light casts a shadow behind you.

You’re dancing in the dark

The little breeze chills the air around you

You’re dancing in the dark

The little puddle cools the canvas against you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

The little owls chant nearby you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

The little raindrops refresh the air inside you.

You’re dancing in the dark.

You’re dancing in your heart.

You’re reaching, stretching, pulling, growing.

You’re recreating a delicate art.

You’re dancing in the dark.

Christi 14

The Lover

“You’re happier.”

“You’re greyer.”

“You’re just as impudent.”

“You’re just as tolerant.”

Clay sat across from Christi in her living room, resting his elbows on his knees and watching her calmly with his blue eyes. Hailey curled up in the corner of the couch, watching curiously.

“And what makes that stand out?” Clay laughed softly as he leaned back and cracked his knuckles.

“I’ve been…turning philosopher like you said I would.” She laughed softly, popping her neck on one side. “You remember that old journal I used to write in every day?”

Clay shrugged, “Sort of. I think so.”

“I had a bunch of questions in there…one of them was what is love…and I decided love is sacrificing yourself for someone who’s screwed up.”

He snorted softly and smiled. “That’s one way to put it.”

“Well, you loved me a lot, I’m thinking. I was screwed up.”

“Don’t say that.” He looked away. “I did. But like an older brother, I think. I really cared about you. It just took a long time to realize how. And then when I did…well, I never thought about you being messed up. I just cared about keeping you safe.”

“Exactly.” Christi smirked and passed waves of blue light from one hand to the other through her palms. “You were tolerant. I was impudent.”

“Fair, I guess. It’s funny. I had the better memory, but it’s all…hazy, now, looking back. Up until the fire, almost.”

“Yeah. I’ll never forget that fire, I think. Do you ever get scared taht you’ll lose youself if you forget your memories?” She popped the other side of her neck and glanced at Hailey. She was scribbling notes quickly into her folder.

“Yeah. All the time. Or used to, anyway. I was scared I’d forget who my wife is sometimes. Or my kids. My job. I don’t know if I’ll ever loose myself, though. I’ll always be Clay.”

“Will we, though?” Christi pulled her knees to her chest. “I think more with my memories. I think better. I asked more questions without…”

“You were always Christi, though. You always had spunk and drive and a mean right hook.” He laughed. “Why are you still worried about this? It’s over.”

“I had it, but I didn’t know how to use it. I still needed my memories so I could…manipulate my own character. I’m not really worried…now I just want to know.”

“See what I mean?” Clay laughed again. “You have spunk and drive. Always. Whether you’re Christi or Christina or “I forgot my name”, you’ll always have a little part of you there and it’s enough to remake you. You’ll be a little different from now, I guess…but you’ll still be you. Christi. The girl that I tried to beat to a pulp, the girl that I almost married, the girl I fought to win.”

“Those are all based off of memories, though.”

“But the being, the you,” He waved a circle in the air. “It was you in each of them. My feelings for that “you” are all the same. A little irritated, a little amused, and very caring.”

“Hmm.” CHristi looked at the ceiling again. “I guess that makes sense…sort of.”

“I guess it’s one of those things we don’t really need to know. We’ll find it out sometime, our race, not us, but it’s not vital to our survival.” Clay shrugged and looked at his fingers. Christi shrugged back and glanced at Hailey.

“Well, it’s an answer, anyway.”

“Not one I like, though…” Christi looked away again, thoughtfully.

Question Entry 33

I’ve heard that an empty mind is like a fresh slate where people can start over. I see where that’s coming from, but what exactly do we lose when we forget our past? It’s so much. With no memories and no…no past me I didn’t know what to care about or what to do…I suppose it’s like Clay said, the core essentials are there for us to start over, but it’s so hard to. It’s scary to. When we forget the past we lose all the mistakes we made and all the lessons we learned from. We lose our little quirks and things. If I had the choice, I’d remember all my prize fights. Not to remember the pain, but to at least remember what it was like to exist during that time. Remember the feelings. Maybe then I’d feel less heartless. Maybe we forget our feelings, too, when we forget our past. We lose our empathy for people.

Christi 13

The Mother and the Friend

Hailey hugged the folder to her chest as she knocked on the door. Christi had a cold today and suddenly canceled going to the coffee shop because of sharing it…But after their meetings, she wanted more than ever to share. The door opened when she least expected it and she stared up into the blond beard of a tall man. “Hello–” Her voice squeaked treacherously and she coughed. “M- I’m Hailey Corelli? Does Christi–”

Before she could finish, he turned around and called, “Chrissie, your friend is here.” He turned back and grinned at her. Now, she could see the resemblance. What she had thought was arena damage to Christi’s lip ended up being a small downward curl passed down from her father. Hailey smiled back. Somehow, both Marsys successfully turned the potential sneer into a welcome. “Come in, Hailey, we have soup and tea in the kitchen and Chrissie will be out in a minute.”

Hailey almost crept in, feeling dwarfed by the jolly giant. In the living room sat another jolly giant, this one clean shaven and skinny. She started to grin a little more. That must be Bobby. A clatter in the kitchen made her turn and she found a greying Christi…Her mother, the original Chrissie. The woman caught her eye and smiled. All mothers were alike, Hailey mused thoughtfully. All of them had the same glance for a new friend of their child. Someone coughed and sneezed behind her, and Hailey wheeled around, starting to grow dizzy. “Christi.” She sighed with relief.

“Hey.” Her friend grunted and blew her nose with a grunt. “You’re incorrigible. Want to come to my room?” She didn’t wait for an answer and shuffled down the small hall. There were three doors spaced evenly apart on one side and two on the other. “Bathroom’s there,” She waved at both of the two doors and opened the second door of three. “Here’s my room. Small, but I wiped everything down before you came.”

Christi shouldered through it and sat down on the bed with a grunt. Hailey looked around and smiled. The theme was blue again. White sheets and blankets, blue ribbons covering one wall, a few books, and a chest of drawers. All varying shades of blue…even the books. “Thanks.” Proof of the cleaning lay in a corner beside the trash can. Christi waved her over to the bed and Hailey sat down on the edge.

“So…I’m sorta…” Christi rubbed her head, searching for the word. 

Mrs. Marsy poked her head in with a smile. “She’s on tylenol, not really awake.” Her daughter gave a cheesy grin and leaned back. “Would you like some soup or tea?” 

Hailey chuckled, “Both, please…thank you.” Instead of leaving, Mrs. Marsy slid in and set a tray down on the bed between Christi and her friend. A thin broth soup lapped at the edges of the bowls and pieces of warm homemade bread steamed beside them. Hailey grinned appreciatively and picked hers up, resting the flat bottom on her legs. Christi eyed hers a split second longer and turned back to staring at the ceiling. Her mother laughed softly and sat down on the well carpeted floor. 

“Christi tells me you have been talking about purpose…?”

Hailey nodded as she sipped the soup.

“This morning…As said, she’s been on tylenol and she reacts funny to it.” Her daughter chuckled and reached for her soup, now. “Well, she mentioned…you both had a question? About value or…why you wanted to succeed?”

Again, Hailey nodded. Mrs. Marsy lifted a mug of tea off the tray lightly and sipped it to clear her throat.

“When Christi was younger, she actually…had a perfect example of this.” Both glanced at the sick woman and found her deeply absorbed in spooning out the soft carrots. “Well…When she was younger, she had an incredible passion. It’s weakened, now, I think because of her lost memories, but at the time, I was sure if even the caste system barred her way, she would find a way to break through it to achieve her dreams. She was determined. Rather high-strung, as well.” She laughed softly. “And it always culminated itself in fighting me over dinner in the evening. Bobby is adopted. He doesn’t look it, but he is and when he was younger, he had such a weak stomach, it was pitiful. And…Christi, well, she liked food with a pop to it. One evening, instead of pestering me to season the meal strongly…”

Hailey began to grin around her snack. “Oh, goodness…”

“She was six years old, by the way,” Mrs. Marsy began to smile wider as she neared her climax. “She went to our neighbors before dinner. We knew them well and their children had a habit of letting Christi in whenever she came over, but she went over and raided their spice cabinet. It was closer to the ground for her. And then, carrying them all in her backpack, she came home and put them in the soup. No questions, no comments, just began pouring spices in.”

Hailey giggled and glanced at her friend. Christi was giving her mother a wry smirk. “And she didn’t even notice it until Bobby tasted it. Poor Bobby had a belly ache all that night and I never did it again, he cried so much.”

Her mother nodded and laughed. “But what I mean by this is…some people are born with a natural drive. And it is constant. They always desire a definite goal and a path that leads to it. Christi was the most selfish little child I ever met and let me tell you, when she had a goal and a path, only her father could stand in her way.” Christi nodded again, wryly. “Not everyone has that…extreme amount…but I think it explains it well. I htink that when you succeed, you also are able to put a name to your value or put value to something you already care about. So success and…goals are both intertwined with love and sacrifice.”

Hailey smiled brightly. “Thank you. That answers questions, actually. I’ll be sure to pass it on to Christi when she’s…” She giggled. “Coherent.”

“I am coherent!” Christi groaned a little and yawned. 

“And I’ve got blue glitter in my veins.”

Christi sat up curiously. “You do?”

Mrs. Marsy laughed. “Oh, dear…”

Question Entry 32

Value is that which drives us to sacrifice for others. It gives love a goal. We want to succeed because in achieving that goal, we have either created or appreciated value.

My nose is stuffed up. 

My head hurts.

I’m going to bed.

Musings on Silence

Silence rustles around you and sends a shiver down your spine as you recognize it. Its foreign pull draws you deeper into its solitude and you close your eyes, hovering in time and space, if possible. The rustling develops and suddenly you’re surrounded by the rushing wind of tranquility. Your brain is almost more active than before, if possible. The mind-numbing chaos that once surrounded you lays below you like a cloudbank at the base of a mountain you have just crested. A weak craving in the back of your mind begs you to return to the clouds. The relaxing smoke and mirrors that fog your thoughts and leave the profound perceptions for another day. In the stillness, though, you can’t seem to move. It’s the eye of a hurricane. The resting point at the top of a hill. The hour at dawn before the world expects you to be awake.

And that stays you.

The opportunity of introspection and reflection. The silent moment in which your eyes listen to the orchestra the sunrise presents you. The profound thoughts meander in, one linked to another. Your thoughts flow with a strengthening current until you are swept out of your surroundings and into an abstract world.

How often do you find this moment? This peak in time that cradles your innermost beliefs? Do you recognize it? Climb the mountain. Look down and admire the clouds and reach your neck up to the sky to exercise your mind. Don’t fear the silence. Savor it…it only lasts so long.