Sacred Contracts V: Retention
I've always kept a flower on my desk, a
daisy or perhaps aster from the roadside.
It kept me close to nature during work.
One morning I chose a perfect rose bud.
She sat for a week but never bloomed.
After two I knew she never would.
I didn't throw her out. Maybe I felt guilty
for plucking her before she opened up.
After three her head became a crook.
She seemed in perpetual prayer, an
eternal vigil over a lover’s cemetery plot
some forlorn secret buried too soon.
After a month I entertained dumping her.
After six weeks I inadvertently bumped her
with a folder. She landed with a thump.
Stunned by the sound, I discovered she
had petrified, was stone-like in resolve.
She became a permanent paperweight.
During late nights when I couldn't sleep
I would meditate over her constantly
her presence an anatomical mystery.
In the deepest hour of the coldest Winter
of my Life I picked her up. Examined her
hardened exterior like an ancient fossil.
"What is her essence?" rose up within me.
I thought, "Beauty". But she had shriveled
in brilliance, was hardened by rigor mortis.
Lack of sunlight, too much rain, or, perhaps
by a late waltz against the cold skin of fog. It
didn’t matter; I could not answer so let it go.
"What is her essence?" came the specter
for weeks. But the answer wouldn't manifest.
One night, words formed around the space.
"Invert her and tell me what you see." I was
amazed to see her become a human heart
with an understanding that absorbed into me.
People, too, become hardened by elements:
Fear. Betrayal. Loss. Loneliness. Pain. But,
their essence is the same. “What is it?”
"Love" I answered, without any hesitation
or doubt. Despite how hardened people
become, their essence will always be Love.
Turning her back over, she became, once again,
a bud. “What is her essence?” echoed... In the
year I’d had her, one thing had never occurred.
I pressed her to my nose and deeply inhaled. Her
aroma was as strong as if Life had opened her up,
and survived long after she'd given up the ghost.
Because, you see, some things will never be lost
to the grave despite how hardened they become.
Sacred Contracts retain their essence within us.