Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sometimes stories are destroyed

Cement on my street explodes.
I've seen it buckle and crack, and fill with dust and shells.
Trees don't grow, bushes get tired.
Concrete is white and silence strikes like the hard light in the mid-day sun.
A silent dream is a place without a center, where history and stories fall as thousands or millions of corpses.
Memories are scared away.

But a million buildings stand, tall or squat, white-washed with windows covered in tinfoil and metal doors. Maps and plans come wrapped in foreign fatigues and foreign faces.

Our building was captured in silence. It is parchment, vague, distant. It is wrinkled like my grandmother. 

She said if you make a habit of smiling or laughing or if you let go of your words and sounds in any old direction, pieces of you can get lost and you'll never find them again when it's time to go home.

And all those pieces will fly off into the air like the birds, and they'll lose eachother. Like letters of the alpahabet, they don't have any meaning when they are alone. They aren't a word or a sentence or a story or a memory. 

My thoughts and feelings fly off alive and warm and get lost. Further from home than ever before, flying until their hearts beat out. 

A person can lose a home.

Thousands and millions of people can lose their homes.

Their stories and memories can fly away and become thousands and millions of pieces of lost words and lost sounds. When I'm old enough, I'll go back and pick up all the pieces and put them back together again. Letter by letter, word by word, brick by brick, the stories and sound birds will come home.
Science says everything is somewhere in a law called The Conservation of Mass. It says that it's not possible for anything in the universe to just go away. The somethings might turn into something else, they might be crushed or smashed, blown-up or destroyed, but the pieces and parts are all there. 

Is it possible, then, to put anything back together again?
Can you put back together concrete buildings with metal doors, cracked cement streets lined with trees and tired bushes, pianos, rugs, chocolate, laughter? 
Is it possible to put back together words once lost as fly-away letters, melodies once lost as fly-away  songs?

Words can hurt. They are solid. They can come screaming, obscene, laughing in the middle of the night and shout at you to leave your home. I wish someone would pray for sounds and memories and lost stories-they are trapped in hell.

Silence is not without sound.

When separated,
both are an exiled, 
meaningless noise without a center,

without a pattern,
without identity or family or story or memory,
without history,

without a home.  

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