The following piece is the second part to a story in three parts. The first part of the story was in the last blog post where I was experimenting with writing with a photographic eye, describing visual images with words. This piece is in a more traditional narrative. I’m following my personal artistic unknown with various forms of expression, exploring with words, photographs and other forms of multimedia. My intention is to push the boundaries of what I know and wander in the world of following that light. Enjoy!
Red Barn ©Suzanne Lorenz 2016
What’s In A Home?
“I think houses live their own lives along a time stream that’s different from the ones upon which their owners float, one that’s slower. In a house, especially an old one, the past is closer.”
Stephen King, Bag of Bones
Bill and Sara brought the antique table and chairs to the bright, spacious kitchen and immediately began to clean them. They worked with an unspoken rhythm culled from years together doing this and that to improve the house, the yard, their lives.
When they were finished, the rich honey colored wood shone with luster, and the smell of the furniture had transformed from noxious to fragrant. They both smiled.
Bill gave Sara a kiss on her head and went out to the old barn to do another project, another idea. Sara sat quietly watching the sun stream through the kitchen window. A breeze moved the light muslin curtains in and out with grace. A moment, a pause in time that held a rhythm of its own. Three musical notes went through her head, something, peace.
She took a deep breath, trying to continue the calm despite a growing tension in her belly. Her hand swept through her long brown hair. She looked out again at the blue sky. She got up, went outside and walked through the well-kept yard, admiring the order and beauty of the neat vegetable garden and colorful flower beds. She walked to the edge of a vast field behind the farmhouse and stopped. The sky’s horizon ahead now seemed grey, layered with a whitish brown. There was no sky blue to recognize. The dull muted colors seemed hazy, suspicious, and the warm summer sun cooled. Sara suddenly felt unsafe. It was happening again. The horizontal edge of the earth ahead triggered her anxiety. Sara looked up and saw migratory birds flying through in their familiar V. Did they feel it, know it?” she thought. Did their feathers slide through the haze unscathed or did it stay on their bodies, feathers, beak, polluted? She turned in panic and ran back to the house, to the new kitchen table.
Shattered ©Suzanne Lorenz 2016
Bill wandered into the house and noticed Sara sitting rigidly at the table, breathing in short shallow breaths.
“What happened? What’s the matter?”
“Nothing, never mind. I’m fine, I’m just out of breath from my walk.”
“You don’t seem fine.” Bill said, “What is it Sara?” Sara sighed, walked over to Bill and put her arms around his tall, strong body. She knew not to tell Bill her feelings, her experience, her scare. She knew her vision couldn’t be fixed. It was as real to her as the house around her.
“Really, it’s nothing. I love you so much is all. Want some lunch?” she asked.
“Sure, I’d love some. Want me to pick tomatoes?”
“Yes, thanks” Sara said and watched him walk out the door. After lunch, as Sara worked on a square for a quilt she was creating she thought about what had happened on her walk. Was the sky that different from her house to the field? That threatening? Was the danger real? She didn’t know. She shook her head and tried to focus on her square. It was a large oak tree with smaller oaks surrounding it in a field of green. She had read somewhere that the native Pomo Indians considered the oaks to be personal property and passed down the possession of the trees in the family to new generations. The Pomos and the oaks were mostly gone now, and this square was a tribute to their majesty. Sara and Bill would never be able to pass their place on to a new generation. Despite years of trying, they would have no tribe. She grew tired, went to their bedroom and lay down on her soft, wide bed, covered in a brilliantly colored quilt she’d made. Bill had made their bedframe by hand from some oak trees that needed to be cleared when they first came to this property 20 years ago as newly weds, full of hope and dreams.
She soon fell asleep. An hour later, she awakened covered in sweat, gasping for breath, remembering her dream. She had been walking in the nearby woods when she heard a rush behind her. She first thought it was the wind, but she soon realized it was the roar of flood water rushing towards her. She began running but in slow motion. She realized with panic she couldn’t move fast enough to outdistance the water. She was running so slowly, as if an invisible force were freezing her movements. She managed somehow to get to the edge of her property, then to her house, but it was too late, the muddy, water crashed into her and her house, covering all of it.
She couldn’t seem to calm the terror caused by the dream. She remembered the water wasn’t pure, but polluted by pipes and garbage, car parts and sewage. It was filled with toxic sludge and it had suffocated her .
Bill popped his head around the corner of their bedroom door. “Wake up sleepy head! We need to get dinner. Our favorite show is on tonight and I don’t want to miss it. “
Sara got up from the bed, stretched and yawned, still groggy from sleep when she heard the phone ring and then Bill talking to his brother Jim.
“I’m doing fine, really Jim, I’m good. I don’t need you to come over but thank you. I’m cooking dinner now and we’re going to watch TV after.”
“I know, I know. It’s been a year.” Bill responded after a long silence. “She’s always with me Jim. She’s always still with me. I gotta go now”
House ©Suzanne Lorenz 2016