*work in progress*
Everyone knows that to dance, you need music. But only some know that to hear the music, you have to dance. Even fewer, and all the more precious, can produce the music for themselves or others. As much as I wanted to be one of the world’s prized almsgivers, I found myself not only mute of melody, but also impaired of rhythm and grace. I could be nothing more than a silent existence, deaf to a symphony that felt hopelessly out of my reach. The vast majority, of course, never even know of the symphony’s existence. Though I was thankful not to be a one of those who deliberately closed their ears to beauty, it might make no difference in the end…
Ivy crept eerily up the cemetery walls, almost as if it were the arteries and veins of a distant heart whose pulse had stopped long ago. Everything was so still and lifeless, that memory might have painted the picture in black and white. Even a colorless breeze would have felt like a rainbow to anyone alone in such stillness. The future of the place appeared inauspicious, with cracks deep-set in every tombstone, and vines crowding in dead rose bushes and withered wreaths. The lack of manicuring augured a timely downfall of its former, more civil comeliness. Occasional benches and numerous wooden crosses were littered throughout, but their composition was ephemeral compared to that of the more wisely chosen stone, and they were slowly deteriorating.
It was a powerful illusion, for the cemetery was neither still nor lifeless. Indeed, it was filled with souls, engaging endlessly in communion and singing. The heart of the cemetery was indeed beating, and feeding the rhythm of their infinite song. What seemed to one realm of the living to be a dismal scene, was in fact a secret place of peace for those who entered it. “Secret” only because if everyone knew of it, they would not be able to abstain from entering the peace by unnatural and ill-timed means. Yes, for the harmonic souls here, songbirds beckoned as angels escorted them, individually, to paradise.
This was not the case for every soul, though… Some remained buried in dark, empty abyss. They personified the paradox of an infinite end; their physiognomies were woven with dark fire. Even as the cold place bred frost on their graves, they laid conscious of their miserable lifelessness, trapped beneath the glittering ground, and separate from the precious exchange of purgatory for Eden.
The cemetery resided between these unjaded clouds and hopeless underworld, where every spirit dwelt before they determined their own destiny: up or down. It was an invisible world for second chances; an in-between that existed specifically for those whose lives had been cut off too early, and hadn’t yet the opportunity to decide their fates.
Here, at the center and heart of the in-between, existed the ominous sepulcher of a seemingly venerated being. It’s magnificent, medieval architecture took the punishment of time and the elements with elegance. Two women sat at the bottom of the monument, talking.
“You are new here; what’s your name?” asked one, in hopes of acquainting herself with the seemingly timid creature before her.
“Laine,” said the other, offering a trembling hand, “What’s yours?”
The woman shook her hand with sincere gratitude. “My name is Aaliyah. Pleased to meet you.”