“Haunt and Burn” // an imagined conversation


[an imagined conversation between a dreamer and his elder.]

What is it that inspires you, Boy? What is it that haunts your recollections, burns into your mind and causes sharp intakes of breath, kind-of-gasps at the sheer beauty of an idea? Do you have these?

Of course.

Then tell me, child, as life waits for no man, except for he who grabs it ’round the waist and pulls with unnatural strength.

These hauntings, sir, do not upset me – rather, they are sweet (though hollow), soft, fleeting but enjoyable. Some days, when I wake up in the sun, I imagine for a simple, weak moment that I can taste them on the golden beams. (Though I know, in reality, they reside in the ink.)

Spit it out, Boy.

Right then. They start with the storm through the windows, when the lightning flashes as a sudden smile. The Thief of beauty, who comes in the morning and flees when the stars come alive. That also: The Awakening of the Stars, exploding over those shadowy brushes, the too-tall trees. Even more, then, as you might guess, is my fire lit by the whispers of a stream, or the rustling of that voiceless laughter through the every-colored leaves in the light of day.  And, in a semi-ironic way, there are the books, which have begun to burn me. Imagine my surprise, and the pain that I felt, when I found they were searing my heart and my mind with their fullness of phrases – these Stories are welded into my Being.

I know it. I relish that pain.

I hope you do, as I do the same. It makes them much easier to love, and therefore understand. But they leave me with a bittersweet hatred for endings.

But not completion?

I am human, and uncertain.

That is redundant. Be sure in everything, as far as is possible, but most of all, be sure in this: completion need not be hated, or even feared; await it instead with bated breath.

I’ll try to remember … but for now, would it be alright if I celebrate the hauntings?

Alright? Appropriate, I think, and wise. Grow old, and respect them as the shadow does the man: understanding that he would have no purpose without the Light.


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