Reverie

I see Jacinda alone in one of the school’s breezeways. She dances a kind of three-hop number, a light skip down the middle, then back the way she came. She sings to herself as well – a quiet, private song. As I come around the corner, I can hear just a few notes.

Concrete above and to the sides frames her in a rectangle of light. Behind her, I see the expanse of empty playground. A bit farther, a chain link fence. Beyond the fence, four lanes of traffic. September rain has fallen and the asphalt grit glistens.

I remain at the breezeway’s far end, about thirty yards away. Cold air lingers the way cold often does in the between spaces among concrete buildings. As soon as I see her, I know she is in a place of her own – one that I cannot access except to witness. She dances as she pleases, and the word that comes to me is delight.

How true that reverie comes less often to me now!  I may have to bring it on more by force than by accident. As a boy, the glow of daydreams came to me all the time. Now, I fill the emptiness with a next step or a change of subject. Jacinda, however, demonstrates no hesitation in acquiring reverie. She slips into dancing with invisible friends and wanders her realm with a sure foot. At one with her steps, with the sweet breeze, with her humming, she pirouettes  just outside of the roar and the rush of circumstance.

I call her name and she comes to a full stop. I know that I have interrupted. I question myself. Why did I do that? I fall into a brief moment of self-reflection against the mirror of her non-time and non-place. I see that I am curious about how a child travels to a place I once knew, but no longer know how to find.

She looks at me. She waits. Her eyes ask “Yes?” as in how may I help you. I come to understand that I am uninvited, but not in a mean way. I step forward from the breezeway shadows, almost tip toeing, and move on. I hear the hum and know she has started dancing again. I look back and wave as I turn away.

Enchantment remains for me, but more as a faint glimmer, connected, but far away. Soft exchanges of light and dark, instances that slip below and rise again. My own dance with memory and time can come to me that way. The quieter spirits get dismissed, replaced by rougher, cruder shapes.

To step in between as if no distinction between in and out existed – that’s what a child can teach us! Ears tuned to the quarter tones and eyes to the shimmers just beyond the prism. Whether I hold or dismiss them with a harrumph has no bearing. At midlife, I feel time’s quickening. But I also get a lift from knowing that a child, by dancing,  offers a kind of proof for that which I can no longer see.

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3 Responses to Reverie

  1. Adrienne May 4, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Here’s what I like

    “She dances a kind of three-hop number”

    “She sings to herself as well – a quiet, private song.”

    The narrator creates a beautiful scene here with vivid and fresh descriptions. The imagery is like a water color painting for me. . .. soft and pastel with colors running into each other.

    “Concrete above and to the sides frames her in a rectangle of light” then slaps us back into an urban environment and wakes the reader up in the same way the narrator startles Jacinda – very effective but still this softness with “Rain has fallen and the asphalt grit glistens.” Effective and aesthetically pleasing.

    “Cold air lingers the way cold often does in the between spaces among concrete buildings.”

    “I know she is in a place of her own – one that I cannot access except to witness. She dances as she pleases, and the word that comes to me is delight. “ and “How true that reverie comes less often to me now.” and “She slips into dancing with invisible friends and wanders her realm with a sure foot. At one with her steps, with the sweet breeze, with her humming, she pirouettes just outside of the roar and the rush of circumstance.” Beautiful, lyrical, meditative!

    I have this sense of being within this water color that the narrator keeps adding shading too with gentle brush strokes. You called her name because you wanted to be in the water color too, well that is my theory.

    Ok. . . I should have gotten it over with and just highlighted the whole thing in the first place

    “Enchantment remains for me, but more as a faint glimmer, connected, but far away. Soft exchanges of light and dark, instances that slip below and rise again. My own dance with memory and time can come to me that way. The quieter spirits get dismissed, replaced by rougher, cruder shapes. ” I tried to pick the best part of this scene but found that it all just went together so beautifully. Each word carefully chosen. Each piece crafted together so beautifully. So artful like a piece of sculpture.

    “To step in between as if no distinction between in and out existed – that’s what a child can teach us! Ears tuned to the quarter tones and eyes to the shimmers just beyond the prism. Whether I hold or dismiss them with a harrumph has no bearing. At midlife, I feel time’s quickening. But I also get a lift from knowing that a child, by dancing, offers a kind of proof for that which I can no longer see.”
    A beautiful way to conclude.

    BTW have we met Jacinda before?

  2. Em June 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    At midlife, I feel time’s quickening. But I also get a lift from knowing that a child, by dancing, offers a kind of proof for that which I can no longer see. . .Amen

  3. David June 25, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Beautifully written!!

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