The morning reveals that bruises are easily covered. I think I am hiding the marks with thick scarves and brown stockings printed with polka dots and lonely animals. The truth is, I have the same marks as you, but it’s my pride I am protecting. My marks are deep scars from those that gave us embraces with razor blades. They were Judas in Gethsemane, well placed kisses but daggers meant to sink into the soul.
The day is December, biting with cold. The white turns the day absent and icy, we’re walking around with wounded glances and frozen glares. I am starting to see the broken pieces we are, like pottery smashed into bits. The potter made us masterpieces, but we jumped from the kiln, purposefully searching for freedom, only to find the ache of cement and the cracks it contains.
Honesty is riveting when you finally discover the power it has. I arrive at your home, that building of brick and empty. You let me in and we sit. The kitchen table is empty and the clock tick is my only reminder of flesh and being.
Far away words are exchanged and I decide it’s enough. Authenticity is a quality I’ve never had, but today I found that piece of me behind the potter’s chair. It was broken and smashed, but it fit right in my side, like a mold that was never supposed to be missing.
I stand and unwrap my scarf for you. Eyes wide and gasping, you glare at my wounded skin angrily. I have violated an unspoken rule of silence. Standing, you are ready to flee. I grab your covered hands, wrapped in mittens. I feel your broken fingers underneath and I slowly take your gloves off. Your hands are bloody and mangled and true. You have frozen in a fit of panic, your eyes show the fear of a hunted animal. I have revealed your weakness, I have uncovered your oozing wound. You await my rejection and disgust. Instead, I kneel next to you and kiss your new wounds, along with the scars that show proof of past hurt. Blood is on my hands now, blood is on my lips, but blood is truth and it is saving us.
Hope floods your eyes as our blood shows us as one in the same. Unconditionally loved we both are. Tears of salt stain our dark clothes and our broken beauty is shining through the muddy scarves and coats.
We walk, bloody hand in bloody hand, staining the white snow with our wounds as we walk. We smile at each lonely being we pass and their eyes speak fear, but also of relief and hope. Freedom has a price and requires the sacrifice of pride. We are wounded, and we are together in that. Yet as we walk, we fail to notice that the dripping of our blood is slowing. The holes are closing and the bruises fading and by the time we walk past the hill on Calvary Street, our skin is as white as snow.
Before Ever After - By: Samantha Sotto
On a rainy day in a bookstore I picked up this book and finished it in that very same day. This book, constructed out of the beautiful intricacies of life, left me stunned. It dealt with deep issues in a light hearted manner, and by the end of the book I was ready to run away to Venice, France, or England - selling all my possessions to get there.
Before Ever After captured the normalcies of a Sunday morning breakfast and spun magic. After all my years of searching for new favorite books among old book shelves, I can finally say I have settled on another favorite. This book did not teach me something new, it merely revealed to me what was already there, showing me the beauty of history, of romance and of the little tales of life that most tend forget.
Before Ever After has a whimsical, bittersweet and courageous quality that I strive to embody in everything that I do. I will be purchasing this book to reread again on those days that I may forget who I want to be and how precious life truly is.
This book is definitely unique, and not everyone will like the sweet simplicity it is written with. But I thought it was a gorgeous book, and it is now in my top ten books to reread!
Romance painted the morning cottage shades of complex sunrises. The ceiling was a soft threading of old wood, speaking of centuries that were well past. The smell of crepes waft through the room where I sit. I look out of the windows you must have opened when you awoke. The sound of the old world whispers like melodies, carts creaking, dogs barking, roosters crowing, children playing. A village of history frozen outside, and you are inside creating warmth with your presence, the only movement in a world that has stopped for us. I awaken and slip on my white robe. The kitchen floors are cold and I giggle as I run out to the room where you await me. You stand with your back to me, singing softly as yellow sunbeams hit your thick mussed hair. You turn in mid-note, laughing with arms outstretched. You are golden and perfect, and flour fills our embrace from the cooking you did this morning. I think, as all of this comes about, how perfect to be sitting in an old home filled with rich history, how perfect to have woken up to a time that has frozen still just for us, time ticking backwards for this chosen moment. How beautiful to wake up to your face singing in the kitchen, sun stroked with the light of day, incandescent and young again. How perfect that we are here in Anghiari, making history in the Tuscan countryside with our decadent silly crepes on a day that was made just for us
There is something about escalators. As soon as you step on them, you are confronted with a choice. There are some people that will walk down the escalator with hurried smirks on their faces, tripping whoever is in their path. I like to watch these people and laugh, for their rushed steps are their own downfall. When I step on an escalator, no matter how short on time I am, I cannot help but to feel the clock tick slow. The colors around me blur and I am plunged into a moment that is mine. A moment where I don’t have to walk, run, step, try. I merely sit and remember, while I let time do it’s own trick and usher me to the next. Why rush an end that is already coming?
The eggs from that morning, dusted with the paprika and pepper the way I like. The melting cookie I chose, in a moment of weakness, to savor before leaving the store. The warm kiss I shared this morning and the smell of herbal tea as you prepared for the day. I am caught in a whirlwind of a freeze frame that allows me to remember my moments and have perspective on others, as they move on so oblivious within the store. In that moment, I can grasp the naivety and innocence of those around me, trapped in moments that keep them caged in a past or a future, but never a now. The escalator brings me outside of their world, and for just a moment I feel deep pity. They shall never know anything but the ticking of time, the heat of the deadline, the next meeting, the rush of a life passing before them. They will shatter into ash as I still wait, savoring time as golden and endless, filled with sun-soaked mornings with you and breakfasts of scrambled eggs in foreign cities that we knew not the name of until we awoke. There shall be many more escalators for me, I think.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
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