An Artist Lost: A Short Allegory of Sorts

ImageAnd when she closed her eyes, she liked to believe the world was cloudless and all the people were holding hands in lines around and through and under each other, atop the crust of the earth. And there was enough tension in their grasps that no one fell into the water, or off the vertical ledges, but all stood tall, feet grazing the skin of the planet, yet none so heavily that he or she was tied to it. And with the smallest of force, they would gingerly push in one direction, and the lines would move around and through and under each other, each person smiling as he or she passed another, remarking upon the weather, or the economy, or some such small talk. 

And in the middle of this perfect interwoven tapestry of people holding hands and making small talk, she was dancing around the world, between her sister and brother, feet just barely skimming the skin of the planet. And she was happy with this cloudless world, where everyone and everything fit into each other, constantly moving towards new climates and new economies. 

But in the midst of her euphoria, the image turned to nightmare and her mind wandered from where she wished it to go, and suddenly the clouds overtook the sky and all was lost in a deep descending fog and there were no places to run to. And the talk turned to debate about religion and war and the people clutched each others hands like vultures with their bounty, violently jerking the line this way and that, so that her feet was dragged through the tough terrain in a barren desert. And her brother and sister, no longer smiling, turned to her with ashen faces and squeezed her hand, demanding she pull her weight; demanding she choose a religion and support the war and push the line forward and backward and through and under. 

And she tried–God how she tried–but her hands hurt and she couldn’t stand herself up far enough to push properly, and the talk of God and death made her head hurt and she found herself pulling her hands away and raising them to her head and crawling into a ball in the crevices of a desert. And then the lines broke down and everyone went off to their own deserts and learned a new trade and forgot about the world that was, because life had moved in a new direction. And she was alone in a hostile climate, where the economy was always down.

And with the nightmare past, she opened her eyes and searched the faces of her brother and sister, father and mother, and found ash and clouds. And somewhere in the labyrinthian tumble of life, she grew up. And the story kept going, and growing, and never stopped or waited or even hesitated, but she learned to take up a new trade and left such fantasies behind. 

Another artist lost to reality.


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