Poetry


Writing

My pen scratches the itch of the fresh blank page. Ink drenching and quenching thirsty paper. I scribble after blossoming scenes before they wilt. Letters click together like Lego blocks. I'm stringing words like beads on a necklace. Painting colors with black and white. I am writing.

Brine

To take a grain of salt

With all this devotion

Starts to feel

Like drinking an ocean


Super Hero

Feel mediocre?

Lost in the crowd?

In need of something

Of which to be proud?

See the glass half full

And just realize 

This boring life

Is simply disguise

You're halfway there

To being a hero

You've already got

You're alter-ego!


Truth

Bare truth stands

Naked and cold

Shivering hands

Withering, old.

You dance in

Escapist addiction

Twirling in vibrant

Costumes of fiction


Trying to Change

Each descision I make

Feels like a mistake

These internal battles

For change's sake

Each  victory won

Is confidence lost

And still only one

Heart pays the cost


New Snow

Whipped egg whites

Frothy peaks

Whip-wind bites

Rosy cheeks


Numbers

0

Zero is the undefined god

Not truly even or truly odd

Can pass through each digit

And leave it unchanged

Or slide in beside it

Make it huge and rearranged

1

One is the basic building block

Whole, yet lonely single thing

A concept as basic yet boggling

As differentiating talk and sing

The easiest number to count and find

Its is by nature, one-of-a-kind

2

Two is balance between it all

In midst of brawling, hear her call

“Break it in half

And you’ll get me

Our share of it all

Split equally.”

3

Three is power

Its multiples cower

In its hypnotic glower

4

Four worships two

And serves her true

Four brings

The third dimension

Its equal shapes

A cube, I mention

5

Five is simple and always can fit

Even and odd find peace through it

Five is odd

But always a friend

Perfect and solid

In each dividend

6

Six hangs with the strong and proud

3 trusts only her, 9’s in her crowd

She’s never seen with the ‘even core’

Though her sisters are 8, 2, and 4

7

Seven depends on his youthful luck

For when this daredevil gets himself stuck

8

Eight’s a silent silver queen

Even tempered, never mean

But her cleverness is real

So no one would erase

Her throne or try to steal

Her high and noble place

9

Nine is hard to understand

Tries to steal 10’s command

He loathes 10…yet

Looks up to him, too

Many times he declares,

“10, I wish I were you!”

10

Ten holds it all together

An umbrella for bad weather

Always happy to help

He has never refused

To show where you are

When lost and confused


On The Beach

How classic this feels

With bicycle wheels

Twirling, reflected

On waves as they break

The moon is so full

And so beautiful

I'm blinking and thinking

It looks like a fake

A cloud could be all

Curled up in a ball

Tricking me, with wispy

Moons it can make

But iridescent waves

Mirror the sky

Like segmented wings

On a dragonfly

A smile comes fast

I exhale at last

This image is true

This image, I take




 


 


SILVER THREADS

Short story by Lilianna Maxwell


Emaia took off running across the jagged rocks of the mountain. Leaves, branches, and spiderwebs swept past her face until she saw only blue sky. Her feet didn't stop as she neared the open cliff. She barreled straight to the edge, spread her arms wide, and without missing a beat, leapt off the cliff. Excitement crackled through her veins like thunder. Wind roared triumphantly in her ears. This had to be better than flying. The ground was jumping up to meet her, but Emaia waited until she was an inch above a splattery death....to rewind time and let her heart beat calm down as she sat at the edge of the cliff, legs dangling, remembering the thrill of the fall.


He inched across the leaf on his tiny catipillar legs. He began to weave himself a cocoon even though he knew he would never become a butterfly.

Billions of glimmering silver threads, thin as spiderwebs, stretching farther than the small boy could see. Every life in every world, here, surrounding Rane like a giant cocoon. He was searching for a thread’s end. Or beginning. A way in. How could it all be one single string connected in an endless loop, forever cutting Rane off from the rest of life? Without connection, he had no reason to be here in the universe. Yet here he was and always had been. 
Rane closed his eyes, letting the rush of images flood his mind. Snapshots from every life fluttering like confetti. He glimpsed the image of a tree overlooking the rising, glowing moon. He touched the tree’s thread and was there. But the real beauty was hidden from him. He let it blur into a city street. People passing by could see him, but why bother talking to someone you have no connection with? It was like this always: wandering the universe like a ghost.


Emaia jumped back in time 3 minutes so she could try to sledding down the library roof again. This time she would land smoothly. She rocketed off the edge in a shower of frost. Quick thrill was all she could manage. Anything more than five minutes would be irreversible. Luckily, exciting things were fast.

As she spiraled down, she spotted a boy, probably 12 like her, wandering across the snow-padded parking lot. His eyes bulged when he saw Emaia. She quickly rewound time 2 seconds to swerve right. The path of her sled intersected his footprints in a perfect X. The cold air was silent for a moment…then the snow crunched under his boots as the boy started running away.

“Hey!” Emaia called after him, “what were you doing here? The library’s closed.”

He slowly turned around, “what were you doing?”

Emaia grinned, “sledding down the roof, wanna try?”

The boy stared at her, eyes hazy and soft like a newborn. His mouth twitched into a tiny smile, “yeah, why not.”

The afternoon passed in a white blur of snow and rushing wind. The boy turned out to be fearless, even though Emaia guessed he couldn’t rewind time if he made a mistake. Maybe he didn’t notice the danger—he did seem like he was in a daze.

Finally Emaia flopped out of her sled and lay in the snow panting. It was a lot harder to actually climb up the roof instead of going back in time for each run.

“I think I’m gonna go home and eat.”

The boy nodded and started to walk away.

“Wait! What do you think you’re doing walking away without saying good-bye?” he looked at her blankly. She asked, “Can you meet me here tomorrow?”

The boy’s eyes bulged. Deja-vu. Without warning, he crumpled into a heap, sobbing. Emaia almost screamed, wondering if he’d gotten shot.

“What happened?!” She ran to him.

The boy shook his head and gulped down the sobs. “It’s nothing. I should be used to it by now.” Another tear shivered down his cold-reddened cheeks. He didn’t look shot. “Why does this still bother me so much?” he groaned, “Look, I won’t even be here tomorrow! Just go away!”

“What’s going on??! Tell me how to help you! What’s your name?”

“You can’t. I don’t know who I am!”

In the void, a lifethread split. Rane felt it like an itch. He shifted through the glimmering silver until he found it. The thread was in some places one thread and sometimes two split threads that spiraled and rejoined into one farther down. Rane felt a jolt of curiosity to meet this person who could jump back and forth between co-existing lives. He had nothing better to do. Rane lightly touched a fingertip to the cool silver.

The whirl of colors melted into brown eyes. She had short, rumpled hair. Her skin wasn’t quite as dark as Rane’s. She looked like people he’d seen in India. The girl blinked and brushed his hand off her arm, “um, did you just appear out of no where?”

Rane’s throat was empty. He wasn’t sure if he knew how to yank the words out of his head and spit them into the air.

“Well, that’s pretty cool.” She answered for him, “who are you?”

Rane turned his gaze to a boy huddled in the snow right next to her. The girl rolled her eyes, “am I the only one who knows my own name?”

A sound slipped off Rane’s tongue, “Rane.” He’d always know it was his, but he didn’t know how. A shiver slid down his spine when the girl repeated his name out loud. No one had ever called it before.

“Rane, can you use your magic teleportation powers to bring us to the nearest café before I starve?”

“So…every day you wake up in a new life?” Emaia took another sip of her chai latte. The boy nodded, “and I’m always alone. I…usually don’t bother making friends…” Emaia couldn’t help glancing at the clock. In five minutes he’d be gone. And Emaia was actually going to miss him. It was such a bizarre situation, but Emaia guessed that’s what had drawn the three of them together so quickly. And it was such a relief to talk freely about her ability to jump back in time.

“…I think…I can help you.” Rane had now said a grand total of seven words. The nameless boy and Emaia held their breath, waiting for his soft voice to explain. “I can see…your life threads. A lot of lives tangled together…maybe I can untangle them.”

Rane’s fingers had un-looped and worked the knots on their own. (Rane’s mind hadn’t bothered to interfere with the logical question: how do you untie a knot with no beginning or end?) Now he was in the café once more, stiffly watching the boy crying and Emaia telling him to “cheer up!” (“I am happy –that’s why I’m crying!”) Rane didn’t know what to say. You’re welcome? He felt like he was drifting away from them as they talked. And the snippet of empathy he’d felt for the boy had vanished. Why had he helped him at all? Why did this boy deserve something Rane could never have? It wasn’t fair.

Rane silently slipped out of the café bench and into the void. They wouldn’t have noticed him leave. Why would they care? He glared at the stupid, weak strings surrounding him. They would pay for leaving him out. He was fed up. His fingers once more worked on their own, digging their nails into the nearest fragile strand before his eyes. So weak….he could break them in one…sickening...SNAP

The sound was drowned out by the fear pounding in his ears. The silver light faded from the frayed thread-ends and the darkness absorbed all the string until the last glint of silver flickered out.

Flat silence went on and on. Rane realized that it would never end. He’d murdered everything. The great nothingness couldn’t even sink in past the shock. It didn’t cross Rane’s mind that nothingness in itself was something…until it spoke.

“Life trembled in your fingers. Time followed your inhale and exhale. You were created to care for it.” A voice only heard when all else was silent, leaving no ripple in the stillness. “You are alive. You can connect yourself.”

“You’re telling me now?!” regret echoed in the emptiness.

And then…with nothing else to pay attention to, the something was suddenly obvious. A pin-prick of silver light sprung up from his chest, almost blinding him, growing slowly longer until a knot at the end was revealed. The knot connected his life thread, to two more strands…that stretched farther… and into two people. Rane turned to Emaia and whispered through his tears, “please take me back.”




Shades of Blue

By Lilianna Maxwell (age 14) and Mary McColgan (age 11)


"I told you, you're not blue!" said my sister, holding a gleaming mirror up to my face.

Yes I am

She doesn't understand how I see the world. She's always yelling at me and calling me names. She's older then I am and won't accept me because I can’t see things the way she does. She’s convinced that something’s wrong with me. What always gets her really angry is when I tell her she is blue. It’s the truth; every one is colored blue that I've ever seen. They're not all the same shade of blue, though: Some are lighter and some are darker, but none are ever as light and fluorescent a blue as I am.

But my sister never believes any of that. She only believes what she sees to be solid, confident, rules of reality.

Maybe I am wrong? She seems so sure. Maybe my mind really is just a myriad of broken shards of glass, that never seem to fit together in the shape that they’re supposed to create. And the harder I try to fit them together the more I keep cutting myself on the harsh, rough edges.

“Solazul, why do you even ask me questions like that?” My sister’s words dripped with frustration. “Are you trying to make fun of me or something? Do you think I’m stupid? Well, I’m not the stupid one here. I understand what’s real and what’s illusion, you’re the one who doesn’t even understand something as basic as that!”

I don’t understand

My sister’s words shoved into me and I stumbled backwards.

Then I found myself falling…slowly…falling backwards…

It was in slow motion. I saw my sister covering her paralyzed expression of fear behind her blue hands, as she realized what had just happened. I saw the top of the window frame above me…the bricks on the outside wall…the blue sky was another blue face, like my sister, staring helplessly at me as I fell out my sister’s window and slipped through the feeble grasp of the curtains. They couldn’t save me. No one could save me. I couldn’t even save myself.

I closed my eyes, so I didn’t have to see any more fear-stricken blue faces. I waited until I was sure I had floated all the way to the ground, and then opened my eyes. I couldn’t seem to breathe right, and I couldn’t seem to move right, either. So I just waited.

The warm grass smiled at me and snuggled against my cheek. The healing sun lent me strength until I could get to my feet and start walking. I didn’t know where I was walking, but I needed to do something. I thought maybe somehow, something would lead me somewhere. I needed to find something that would help me understand this confusing world. I was so confused.

I walked along the giggling cobblestones and wandered through the streets.

Wandering and wondering.

I wondered why I was so different. Why was my image in the mirror such a luminescent shade of blue and everyone else such deeper shades of true blue? And why couldn’t those blue-blue figures see what was dangling right in front of their eyes? Why didn’t that woman see the poison that was spilling from that man’s words? Why didn’t she see that her hand was soaking up the venomous liquid as she shook his hand? Why didn’t that mother try to blow away—or even notice—the stormy grey cloud that was whorling furiously around her little boy’s head?

As I walked, I saw a little calico cat on top of a low roof. It was hesitating, afraid to jump. Why didn’t it realize that it had beautiful rainbow wings on its back? If the kitten trusted itself it could learn to fly.

My thoughts drifted drowsily toward the strange dream I had had last night. For as long as I can remember, my dreams have always been filled with a kind but overwhelmingly bright, pure light. It pains me to be near it in my dreams, because I want so badly to become a part of it, and even though it’s all around me, at the same time, I can never reach it.

But something was a little different last night. I saw a blinding white light like usual, but this time, I also felt an unfamiliar aura. I saw all the colors I could imagine and many, many more that were brighter and more vivid than any colors I can name, swallowing me up in their wonder.

Then I woke up and saw a floating, misty figure beside my bed, holding a sphere of pulsing gold light in her right hand. Then it faded away before I got a good look at it, and I fell asleep again.

Maybe that dream was an omen of that indescribable feeling that was simmering inside of me. Something about me was starting to bang on the walls of the translucent tunnel I traveled. Something was changing…very slowly. But something was coming—I knew.

Yet, aside from this strange intuition, things looked the same.

I was still frustrated by how different my way of seeing things was from others. No matter how many times I tell every one, they don't believe me when I say that we go everywhere in speedy giant hollow jumping snails, traveling the winding roads. Everyone else says we ride in cars. I've asked what cars are, and why they are not speedy giant hollow jumping snails, but no one ever believes that I seriously want to know. They laugh and explain teasingly. All the descriptions sound like they're the same thing, so I know I'm the only one who sees things differently.

Past the road were rows and rows of houses. I diverted my gaze from the house with the peeling grey paint. Each glance at its shriveled vine strangled walls wrenched my heart with shadowy memories of the house’s distant past. Instead I listened to the chipper whistling of the stout little brick house with glossy green shutters and the sighing of the rickety old apartment building with crumbling front steps leading to the faded blue door. Some houses were fresh and new, and hadn’t developed any personality at all yet; just blank canvases waiting hopefully for stories to tell. I saw Easter decorations and kids riding skateboards and bikes around gardens. In the gardens were all sorts of plants—unfortunately including turnips. I hate turnips because they have little mouths. So when you try to eat them they bite you. And if you feed them too much, they grow and until they are practically house-sized. It’s the same with donuts.

I used to have my eyes checked over and over again when I was younger because of all the weird things I’ve seen. Now my mom thinks I’ve grown out of my “insane imagination” but it’s really that I just don’t bother telling her what I see anymore.

The wind gently ruffled Zopato’s silky fur. Zopato is my puppy. His name means shoe in Spanish and he is a six month old aussiedoodle. His fur is soft white—like marshmallow fluff—with patches of brown, and black. He's so furry his fur covers most of his eyes.

We passed the witch's house and a gnome garden. Mom says the witch isn't a witch and that she's just not the nicest person around. I know she is wrong because I saw her working on her most recent potion, and she lives in a gingerbread house and I've heard the story of Hansel and Gretel. She is also one of the few people that aren’t quite blue. She’s more of a quirky shade of turquoise— suspicious. As Zopato and I walked by, we saw her cackling to herself. I wondered what creepy scheme she was planning. As we walked, the little beady eyes of the gnomes followed us until we were back to the side of the road, drowning in sounds of giant snails.

As I walked, I looked at the birds, squirrels, stray cats, and dogs, and noticed none of them were blue and some of them even glow.

Why? Why, why, why!

So many hidden things that only I could see. I didn’t understand any of it.

I don’t understand anything!

In frustration, my tears turned suicidal and threw themselves onto the grass. The clovers sympathetically rocked them in the breeze as the teardrops glittered in the sunlight.

The sunlight.

I stepped out from the shade and let the sun touch me. She gently stroked my wet cheeks, drying them with her warm smile.

You’ll find it, Solazul, don’t worry. It just takes time.

The sun’s whisper echoed soft encouragement, and for a moment, I was happy. The sun was so familiar to me, like a mother. She reminded me of the light that always surrounded me in my dreams, only less overwhelming.

Then the sun started to fade again like a slow exhale, and I swallowed my smile without thinking. Once again, I was flattened by the exasperating weight of my questions.

Why can’t I just be a blue person?

The blue people seemed so sure about living…they must understand. Maybe I could understand if I was just…bluer…?

My eyes slid over to a small bucket of paint.

Blue paint.

A paintbrush lay invitingly next to it. Without even thinking, I rushed over, lathered the brush in glossy paint, and started blue strokes down my arms.

The paint burned cold against my skin and the chemical smell was suffocating me, but I couldn’t stop. The desire to understand was so strong and controlling, that I couldn’t even slow down. I watched as each bit of skin showing was slowly choked with a blue that was much thicker and darker, and artificial compared to my natural hue. Even when all my skin was covered, my hand was lifted in a desperate trance to my head and the paint started to seep like poison from the brush onto my hair. And even though my skin had repulsed this paint that was smothering me, this other part of me, my hair, soaked it up like it had been thirsting for this easy answer forever.

I could only stop when the paint began to harden, and I could barely move my limbs inside my deep blue shell. Every bit of skin showing was now a much darker shade of blue.

“I’m a real Blue Person now!” I cried to no one. “But I still…I still don’t understand anything!!!”

I was really crying now, so hard that I couldn’t see past my tears to see the face of the voice that answered me. A warm voice that said quietly, “Don’t do this to yourself. You just have to trust that you’ll find it in time…for now, let yourself fall back on confusion, take a breath, and trust that someone will catch you.”

Who?

I couldn’t seem to get the pathetic question out of my throat, but she seemed to hear it anyway, because she answered me.

“I will.”

* * *

I was falling into sleep, sinking from the small arms that held me as I cried. I could feel that overwhelming light that always, always filled my dreams. It pained me to be near it, because I wanted so badly to become a part of it, and even though it was all around me, I could never reach it.

Again, something was different, and the faint aura had changed from last night…

The bright glow was dimmer, and I could see faint whorls of color swimming before my eyes, growing more and more vivid by the moment. The brightest was a blue the same shade as the blue bucket of paint. This blob of swirling blue was growing bigger and getter closer…too close. It was going to paint me into something new.

A Blue Person.

Wait! Was this really what I had wanted? I wasn’t sure anymore, but the blue was coming too fast for me to change my mind. The other colors were gone now, and so was the light. All that was left was an icy glow of blue with hypnotizing crackles of blue thunder snaking around its hazy outline.

Suddenly, it shot forward headed straight for me. I wanted to run, but some desire inside of me was holding me to the spot.

Help me.

Then a sudden burst of white light split the blue into little blots of color that wriggled and faded away. When my eyes adjusted to the brightness, I saw that it was a little fluffy, glowing dog (he looked kind of like Zopoto) with a little orb of liquid light somehow clenched tightly in its teeth. As it trotted towards me, little drops of light rolled down the orb and slid down the edges of the dog’s snout, splashing onto the floor in a spray of shimmering crystals, which drifted back up to rejoined the orb of light. I had never seen anything so beautiful. I reached out to tenderly stroke its soft fur, but suddenly, as if hearing a sharp whistle, the dog stopped short. Then it turned around slowly and faded from my sight.

Don’t leave…

I opened my eyes.

“Are you feeling better?” asked the voice of the one who had comforted me. To my surprise, it was a little girl no more than seven years old…and she wasn’t blue at all. She didn’t even have a pale trace of blue like I did; her skin and hair were as pure white as the little dog in my dream. A peaceful glow emanated from her too.

“Were you the dog in my dream?” I wondered out loud.

Her laugh was like silver wind chimes singing in a soft autumn breeze.

“No, silly, I’m not a puppy. I’m just like this. Or a bunny, sometimes…”

She was silent for a moment, just looking at me with wide amber eyes. Something about her gaze intimidated me, and I looked down. I noticed that my arms were their original color again. This girl had washed away the paint.

“Blue isn’t understanding,” she said suddenly.

“What?” I was startled.

“You thought if you were a true Blue Person, you would understand, right? You wouldn’t. Blue people are farther away than you from understanding.”

“What?” I asked again, still not getting it. “I’m the one who can never understand. Blue people can see things clearly, like my sister. I wish I was like her; she’s so sure of everything.”

“That’s because she trusts rules. She lies to herself.”

“How do you know?” I didn’t even have to wonder if she was wrong. It seemed impossible for this mystical girl to speak a word of anything but truth.

“Because I understand.”

She put everything so bluntly. It was too simple for me to comprehend.

“You want to see, don’t you. That’s how you understand, right? Seeing things. I always needed to listen to understand. The music tells me everything. Anyway, just look at the world through your sister’s eyes and you’ll see, that she is lost. I’ll wait here for you.”

I didn’t need to ask her what to do; I just…trusted her.

“And before you go, you should know; my name is Melody.”

I nodded and stood up.

* * *

A little while later, I peeked through the door to my sister’s room. She had fallen asleep in front of her mini TV. It suddenly hit me that the color of her skin had changed. It had paled from the blue of the drowsy evening, to the blue of a crisp morning sky, like my skin. Why did she change color while she slept? I would have to let Melody explain it to me—after I did this.

See through her eyes

My eyes drifted to my sister’s glasses.

I carefully slid them off of her nose, and gingerly placed them on mine and walked outside. Everything was so…still. And lifeless. The lines of everything were perfectly straight. The images were perfectly in focus, not hazy at the edges, and they didn’t shift around.

I walked slowly feeling oddly balanced.

The colors were…wrong. They were all so grey and depressing. The dappled shades of sprightly greens on the leaves of the kindly trees had sunk to a single, flat, grey-green. The golden sun’s honey-thick rays of warmth had dimmed, and no smile adorned her face. Actually, she had no face at all, just a blank circle of orange. The charming red bricks on the houses looked melancholy. The soft cashmere soil in the garden looked hard and grainy and the friendly sprinkling of multicolored flowers growing in it looked plastic.

It was all fake.

My sister didn’t understand. She thought she knew everything, but she was just living in her own lies, which shaded her from the wonderful colors of truth It’s so depressing. Why can’t she just forget her stupid, precious rules of “reality” so she can see what she was missing?

I removed the glasses from my aching eyes, and breathed a sigh of relief as I sank back into my beautiful colors and let them gently lead me back to Melody.

* * *

I must have been almost seven years older than Melody, but I still ran crying to her as if I was the toddler and she were my mother.

“She really can’t see anything!! It’s so depressing!” I cried.

“That’s only because she won’t let herself see. She blinds herself with rules because she’s afraid of not understanding. Unlike you. You accept that you don’t understand everything, and that’s why you can learn to understand much easier.”

“Melody…will you teach me?” I asked nervously.

“Of course! I’ll teach you everything. Why else would I be here? Come with me and I’ll tell you everything right now.”

She slipped her small, white hand in mine and led me down the street.

We reached a little café wedged snug between two apartment buildings with peeling paint. Then Melody started walking up invisible stairs to the roof, a flat glowing circle appearing briefly on the air beneath her feet with each step she took. I smiled and hurried after her.

We sat on the roof shingles, feet dangling off the edge.

“Why here?” I asked.

“You need to see things to understand. So I thought it might help if you could see the big picture of this town to help you visualize the big picture of your world that I’ll be explaining to you.”

“Oh. I guess that makes…sense. You keep mentioning how I see things to understand. How do you understand?”

“I listen. I’ve always been able to hear that quiet music of everyone’s subtext of thoughts and emotions and intentions. Everything sings to me.”

I nodded.

“Hmm, “ she continued, “I should probably start explaining now.

You’re name is Solazul, right? Yeah. So…the Solazul that is listening to me right now is actually only half of who you really are. Your soul is split when you are born into this world. Half of you is placed inside a sheer blue shell and born into the world to live, fail and succeed and grow strong and learn who you are. Let’s say that this is the “Azul” part of you, since azul means blue in Spanish. Isn’t that cool? I love coincidences.”

She giggled her silver-chimes laugh and I couldn’t help joining her. It felt like the first time I had laughed in a long time.

“And you know what’s even cooler? The part of your name that’s left is Sol, which sounds just like Soul, as in your other half soul which remains a part of the Glow, connecting you to it until you’re strong enough to be on your own as a whole. The Glow is understanding. Hmm…the easiest word to describe the Glow would be love or something, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Oh! Another coincidence! Sol also means sun in Spanish, and the half-souls inside people kind of look like little suns!”

I looked down at the Blue People below us, and when I looked closer, I could make out a faint light shining from within like a tiny sun behind a blue cloud. And they also held a shocking resemblance to the sphere of liquid light that the dog in my dream had held in its teeth.

That reminded me…

“Melody, do you know about dreams?”

“Of course! You dream of bright light, right?”

“Yes!”

“That light is the understanding I was talking about. Since even Blue People can’t worry about rules in their dreams, everyone is closer to understanding in your dreams. That’s why your sister was light blue when you saw her sleeping. In her dreams, she sees like you do, so her blue rules don’t block out her light when she sleeps. It’s like a dark blue candle-holder: when the candle inside is bright, the lines shines through and makes the candle holder look light blue.

And since you already see like that awake, you are so close to understanding in your sleep, that you can already see the Glow.”

“Oh. But sometimes I see…other things too.”

Melody grinned proudly,

“I visited you once!”

“I knew your aura was familiar! But there was also a dog…”

“Did it look like your dog?”

“Zapoto? Yes.”

“Sometimes, the spirit of an animal you are close to is entrusted with bringing the other half of your soul to you to be reunited. Having that dream means you are very close.”

We sat in contented quiet for a moment. I was so happy not to be alone.

“Want to go to the fountain? We can pet pink dolphins while we talk!”

Melody led the way, following the music of the gurgling water, and chirping of pink dappled dolphins.

“Oh, I forgot to mention,” Melody said as we walked, “You know those shards of glass you pictured in your mind? Fitting them together would then leave no room for imagination. Just scatter them on the ground and let trust be the cement that holds them into a beautiful mosaic.”

* * *

I can’t describe how long I continued to travel towards understanding with Melody’s guidance. I’ve never understood time very well. I just know what’s “now” and the memories of “then.” It seemed like I had known Melody forever, but at the same time, all my time with her seemed to be part of the same precious day.

My skin was barely blue anymore and had a soft glow now, and it was growing stronger everyday as the light of my soul grew brighter and closer to understanding.

* * *

I looked at Melody with bittersweet gratitude and wondered,

What would have happened to me if you hadn’t been there to catch me?

“You would have caught yourself,” she replied unfazed,

“You’re strong, you didn’t really need me. I just made things…easier for you. I just didn’t think you deserved to suffer alone.”

“I do need you Melody.”

Melody looked at me. She seemed doubtful for a moment, then suddenly hugged me—for once acting like a child: small and needing affection. Without letting go, she murmered; “That really means a lot. Thank you.”

I let my tears wash away all the blue in my heart.

When she finally let go, she exclaimed softly,

“‘Azul! Both of us…are glowing brighter…

Every time you welcome someone in to your heart, like real family, the Glow inside each of us swells bigger.”

We laughed together, and for once, that unreachable light of understanding didn’t seem quite so far away.

“Follow me,” she said, “I want to bring you somewhere. I think you’re ready now.”

I didn’t bother to asking questions, she would explain everything in time. She led the way, and I followed curiously.

I found myself unable to keep track of where we were walking. Each time I blinked, we seemed to be somewhere different, or the places would just kind of fade in to the next. Our travel abandoned all simple-minded rules. It was such beautiful imperfection.

Finally we arrived in a lush forest of miss-matched trees; palm trees side by side with blue spruce and the great redwood trees and lovely weeping willows. Melody led me to the trunk of a tall Baobob tree. It was unnaturally taller than even the redwoods.

Melody squeezed my hand and we soared up towards the breezy blue sky, through the plush wind and plump white clouds. We landed in the very top branches of the tree and I gazed in awe at the incomparable view of the forest from above. I felt no fear; this peaceful place welcomed me…home.

I wanted to stay forever, wedged between these sturdy warm-brown branches. Comforting rays of golden sunshine streamed through the deep green leaves, which gently stroked my cheeks as they danced and twirled with the wind.

“Here.” Melody’s voice somehow spoke without disturbing the silence. It simply sent slow ripples through the peaceful waters into my mind.

She placed a small collection of acorns in my hands.

“These are going to become pieces of your soul, to call the other pieces of your soul to you. Just relax, and do what first comes to your subconscious mind.”

Melody began to sing.

The song was beautiful, and so familiar to me. It felt as if she was collecting my soul and weaving it into music. Then she tossed the acorns into the air and the music pulled them this way and that and swirled them around until they were six glowing pieces of my soul.

She reached out and plucked five of them right out of the air. Then she gave an authoritative whistle and the sixth shot up into the air and disappeared into the summer sky.

I felt a sharp pang as that piece of my soul departed from this world.

I doubled over in quiet shock from being separated from a part of myself so suddenly.

Pressing the remaining five soul slices back into my chest, Melody reassured me,

“It’ll be back. I’ve just sent it to find the rest of you. Now you should rest while we wait for it to come back.”

I took a deep breath and nestled into the branches.

Slowly, the sky tenderly tucked the sun under the horizon’s blanket of trees and Melody fell asleep beside me up in the top of the bao-bob tree.

As I gazed up at the stars that sparkled with hope, I reflected on all of the amazing things that Melody had shown me. She was the first to ever show me kindness that was sincere. Everyone else had just tried to shove me into a narrow tunnel of rules. Melody was simply guiding me towards breaking through my own tunnel’s walls of translucent crystal. I could always see outside the tunnel of reality, but only Melody had encouraged me to break the barrier to finally reach understanding. I am so thankful.

Melody shared her light with me and is teaching me how to light my own candle. I think, when I understand, I would like nothing more than to be able to spread that light with other’s like Melody did for me. I want to help that warm glow continue to grow and fill every Blue Person’s heart with understanding…

As soon as that thought slipped through my mind, one of the stars seemed to wink at me, momentarily gleaming brighter than the rest. In that moment, I knew I’d struck the right answer.

I watched, still as ice, as the star grew brighter and brighter, and I realized it was falling.

A shooting star.

The warm light descend gently through the deep, velvet-blue night sky, coming closer and closer until it was as radiant as the light in my dreams.

“Sol,” I whispered in wonder. My soul.

Suddenly I could feel my two pieces bonding together to become a shining whole. The feeling is so hard to explain, an indescribable, overwhelming feeling of fulfillment from becoming everything I’m meant to be.

Through the blinding light, I could see Melody smiling at me through her glimmering tears. I smiled back graciously.

I was filled to bursting with joy, because finally…finally

I understand