Friday, February 12, 2010
TOP SECRET! And Happy Valentine's Day!
Oh it's been busy! I feel like there are a million poems all cinched down inside, bubbling up, ready to cover the pages of a book, but they must stay unwritten for now because other things are taking priority!
Tonight the interview aired about my book and I think it went very well! I hope to get a copy of it at some point to share with everybody.
And I'm in the middle of plans for a new, top secret project and yes I am being deliberately teasing and illusive because there will be a big announcement eventually but for right now we're hyping it all up a little!
Valentine's Day uh? Well lately, in my creative writing class in a chat we talked about the story of St. Valentine being jailed for marrying couples who were forbidden to do so by Claudius who felt married men weren't good soldiers. While in jail he fell in love with the Jailer's daughter who was blind. The legends says that before he was executed he restored his lover's sight and left her a note signed "from your Valentine," ,he converted the entire family to Christianity and they were all killed by the king. Hence the romantic and tragic beginning of Valentine's day. I've been using the characters of Val and Aster, telling of their love.
Here is a sample of one exercise. They are the same scene told from two different points of view.
The Story of Val and Aster
The scurrying rats chewing at my skin in the depths of this dark-night hole do not terrorize me as much as this. The shock of it still lingers though I’ve known it for days now. I knew of and believed in love between and man and a woman so much so I risked my life for its sanctity, so I knew of its possibility. Her footsteps now approaching fill me up with the cursed longing, the clinking key plays the music of anticipation. I smell her skin, clean and fresh, my haven, my light, my hope, brighter even than that which God provides.
When I die they’ll bury me in dirt the colour of her silken hair. It makes it bearable knowing this. This God I’m supposed to love and love alone, second place now, banished for a girl. Me, a priest, in my arrogance, thought I was above it all. There, her face, though it’s dull here, damp and stale, brightens this evil cavern. Her eyes, empty of the knowledge that eyes often have, are full of a different knowledge, that of an enlightened soul. Her smile now, it forms for me and I cannot help but return it. I pray for her sight to return so she can see me, a ruined priest, a damned man. Perhaps her strength then, at that sight, would save us.
“Here is your tray Val.” Aster’s soft melodic voice awakens my soul and my body stirs in spite of my nightly flagellation with cruel and predictably traitorous physical desire.
“Thank you.” I whisper gently, unable to burden her with my pain. I reach my hand out to take my food, touching hers briefly, purposefully, the temptation beyond my control. My God has no heat like her soft sweet flesh though Satan promises I’ll feel a stronger burn at life’s end. Her eyes clear suddenly, her mouth forms a bow of shock at my touch and I am drawn to place my lips on hers. She is here now, I love her, and I am damned.
Val and Aster
The rats scurry through the bars as Aster carries the tray through the dark hallways toward the small prison cell where Val awaits. Her step is careful and sure in the cavernous maze leading to his damp, solitary cave. Val waits for her there, his dark hair a matted mess, his body bleeding from the nightly torture he has inflicted upon himself since the knowledge chewed its way into his brain so that it now matched his traitorous heart. He loves her. He loves her body, her flesh, he desires her in all the ways a priest is forbidden to love and the flagellation of the darkest nights have not dimmed the desire that torments his body and soul.
Aster turns the key, the soft clinking sound exciting her, his closeness now within her grasp. She holds the tray steady and firm, her confident steps defying her affliction. She sees everything though she sees nothing and in this doomed man she can see only purity of spirit and she loves him for it. She has stopped praying for her sight lately, no longer needing it in the ambient glow of her newfound happiness.
“Here is your tray Val.” She holds it out for him, knowing he hungers, as much for her as for the small rations she brings him daily. She holds it in front of her, shuffling closer, waiting.
“Thank you.” He takes the tray, his hand touching hers, lingering against its soft flesh, stroking it first then stopping, both of them shocked at the heat of the touch.
The light blinds her and her mouth forms a bow of shock at the sudden brightness that sears the sockets of her eyes though the room is dull and dusky. The first sight her blighted eyes beholds in all of her adult years is his face, dirty, tortured and drawn and above all, full of all consuming and self-sacrificing love.
I thought I'd share it here what with the day of celebrating love coming soon.
Oh and one more thing to share, my oldest daughter and her boyfriend got engaged yesterday! Very exciting for our family! I finally figured out how to get a son, the girls just have to marry them!
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