Monthly Archives: December 2014

Laying Down My Mantle

We are all given a gift when we are born. We unpack our mantles, shake them out, and wrap them around our shoulders. They are, each one of them, custom made.

Some can wear them with aplomb, splendid things spun about with flourish, decorated with a filigree that was meant to be. They are not such a bother, these embellished mantles. Some merely hang around, a gossamer wisp of possibility, mostly neither here nor there. Some become yokes, yokes that grow heavier in such small increments that we do not realize how far they are weighing us down until we find that we have stooped so low that we can no longer see the sky.

I have chosen to lay down my mantle, to re-pack this outer garment that no longer suits me. It has grown dank and dark; unobserved, it has become worn through with holes through which I can see the glory of the layer that existed underneath. I will snip each thread, one by one, until the whole falls apart. I will burn through the thread of guilt, the guilt of being the one to choose to put my burden to rest, of being the one who has decided that I want to stand tall once more. I will tear apart with my teeth the thread that holds me to your remorse, the thread that has tethered the responsibility for carrying your mantle, along with my own, around my neck. I will leave you free to decide whether your mantle is one that you wish to bear. I have loosened the clasp around my throat, and now I wind it, gently, back around your own.

The patchwork of holes that will always remain have left me emptier than I was before, missing little bits of me, colorful pieces of happier times. Within it, though, is a lightness, a buoyancy that could not exist without the pockets of empty. The edges may have darkened, but the vibrancy of what was cannot be dimmed.

We are all born with a mantle, to wrap around ourselves. Today, I will fold mine up in tissue paper, and slide its box underneath my bed to rest with the cobwebs that will never be swept up, so that tomorrow, tomorrow I may stand tall.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

What’s Left

I want to rage but you want to cry,
and so I whimper.
I want to sing but you want to sleep,
and so I whisper.

You win by default, never warning me
your compromises are comprised
of a hundred tiny deaths.

Categories: Fiction, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 25 Comments

Moral Compass

Mother has been through my writings again, I can tell. It is only a personal diary. She really should not hold against me the things that I write simply for my own edification. I no longer have anyone to converse with, and so I must create my philosophies within the confines of my own mind.

It is raining again today. Every time I feel that I have Mother convinced that I should be let out for some fresh air, it rains. I am starting to believe that she times her acquiescence with the likelihood of precipitation. I do not believe that she wants to let me out. I do not know if I shall ever get out again. I know that she is afraid, both for me and of me, and I cannot say that I blame her. That does not mean that I am not angry about it. These walls grow closer together with every passing day.

There was a time when she thought that it could be controlled, that I could be controlled. That time passed, rather long ago I admit, and I am not happy. I have put so much effort forth to be other than I am, to no avail. Failing that, I worked to conceal it, to allow a film down over my eyes so that the urges buried in my soul were not on display. This failed as well, excepting one memorable experiment that most likely cannot be repeated as Mother now keeps the only key to my door upon a chain around her neck.

She does bring me things to brighten up my lonely days. She brings me small animals, sometimes. Pets, she calls them, though she never asks what I plan to name them, and very obviously refuses to notice that they are no longer keeping me company when next she returns. She is most certainly playing the willful ignorant, as the small collection of sharpened bones that had been squirreled away underneath my mattress is now gone and the dumbwaiter frequently reeks of bleach when I pull up my supper.

Earlier today I heard a woman’s voice that I did not recognize, through the door at the bottom of the attic stairs. The tantalizing lilt of Ireland sang through it as she answered Mother’s murmured directive. “Yes, Miss, I swear to you that I will never try this door again.” Despite the gloom outside of my barred window, I feel that my burden may be lightened, soon. It is nearly a given that Mother was not explicit with the woman when delivering her warning, and where there is a crack I may find a way to slide through it.

I do wonder that Mother did not bother to mention to me that our missing maid had been replaced.

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

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