Tag Archives: colors

Ennui

When Heather was a little girl, her mother took her to nurse a witch doctress in a nearby village. Heather would not have known who this woman was except for the whispers of the working girls in her house; for Heather’s mother said nothing as she walked determinedly through the arid street, Heather’s hand clasped firmly between her cool fingers against the dusty African air.

Heather’s curiosity toward this strange woman grew, for Heather learned from the working girls that this woman was not only a witch doctress but had an infamous reputation as a great seductress who had been the lover of many great men. Heather wondered why her mother would choose to help such a woman, but the intricasies of her parents long ago ceased to be a source of consistent perplexity to Heather. She did not question but obeyed.

Inside the hut Heather worked quietly beside her mother, but was startled in the few moments when the doctress suddenly slipped to consciousness. During these moments the woman stared piercingly at Heather, and seemed not to perceive any other person in the room. Heather trembled, for in her childhood she still sensed a strong and frightening connection between herself and the older woman; something great and terrible in this look that she could not understand.

The witch doctress died that night, and when Heather tottered home beside her mother the sky was very grey.

Heather forgot the witch doctress until ten years later, in her first semester studying at Emmanuel University. At that time the Emmanuel church received a visitor, a woman famous in its circles for her Biblical studies but greatly controversial due to her pastoring her own church.

Heather watched the woman wonderingly, but felt a strange sensation when the woman’s gaze turned to her and seemed to pierce into her soul. The frightening sensation sparked some memory of repetition that Heather could not quite explain.

It was not until Heather lay in bed that evening that she connected the woman pastor’s look and it’s strange sensation to the look of the woman in Africa. Just as she was drifting to slumber the connection came to her, and she knew in her last minutes of consciousness that the looks were the same.

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Michigan

California is beautiful to look at, but you can’t be a part of it like you can in Michigan.

Jennifer Granholm 

Michigan is obsessive and compulsive with her weather. I realized this fact the summer I turned twenty-one; the sun glared threateningly upon endless layers of intense green, and my sister visiting from California commented quietly that Michigan is very wasteful with her colors.

California masterfully moderates it’s climate. She is content to sit most years in sedate browns and dry yellows, and only asks for a few slender months of deep blue and wet green. Quiet and unobtrusive, California is pleasant. She never surprises her residents; she never causes them to squirm.

Michigan’s irresponsibility with her weather is a rather ironic reflection of Michigan’s economic instability; she always spends more than she can afford during good times and pays rather harshly for her wastefulness during bad times. Michigan passes from a bright, fresh, impossibly pure spring into an intense, colored and heated summer; the rain and sun battle angrily and each day passes in either passionate downpour or beating humidity. Summer culminates into an explosion of fall; colors compete for initial domination as Michigan’s intensity climaxes. The denouement leads to winter: in bitter, quiet months, the sun slips softly away and silence surrenders to a grayish white – supreme in intensity and dominant in cruelty to every other color.

And what people would choose to live there, to feel the constant struggle; to live in good days that are too strong and bad days that are merciless? Some people can appreciate the acid of winter, can see beauty in it’s tragedy because they understand that sometimes broken days are the most beautiful. They know that to live intensely and experience sunburns and frostbite is better than to live quietly and unobtrusively with flawless skin and mediocrity.

Tuck said it to Winnie the summer she turned fifteen: “Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don’t have to live forever…you just have to live.  And she did.” – Tuck Everlasting

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