A few weeks ago, the folks at IndieInk did me the honor of posting one of my essays. I felt kinda bad, because it was something I'd written for this site. So to assuage my guilty conscience, I volunteered to join a bunch of IndieInk'ers for the IndieInk Writing Challenge. It's a pretty simple idea; one writer throws a conceptual gauntlet at the feet of another, and it's on, as they say. I'm excited: recently, writing feels like work to me. Work that I love, but work nonetheless. This is my chance to play with words.
My first challenge, issued by the lovely and talented Fina, is pretty straightforward: "Head to IndieInk's latest art entry. Tell a story about the day/scene in 500 words or less. Link your entry to the page so that people can find the photograph you describe." So. Click. Keep it open. (It's a lovely picture, no?) And:
Consider the speed of light. When you look up at the night sky, you look into the past. The light from those stars is old beyond reckoning. By the time you wish upon it, that star, the one that you hope will bring you happiness, or prosperity, or even just a little peace, will have collapsed upon itself, its dust spreading out across infinity. The microscopic ruins of a star drift and swirl around the Universe, and will eventually become a part of something else - a comet, a moon, perhaps even a new star. But tonight, and every night, the stars that we see are just memories. Only the light remains.
Consider rain. You stand out in a late winter shower, the clouds billowing over the Pacific, a gray redoubt. Arms out, palms up. There's a reason you live here, of course; as a kid you lived through too many winters, too much cold, too many ghosts. At the warm edge of the continent everything is renewed every day. The Endless Summer. The rain: always cold, coming as it does from the heart of distant oceans. It feels ancient, as it should. Water is forever. It falls, is absorbed, evaporates, returns to the sky. The drops that fall on you fell on Magellan as he looked for a shrouded horizon. They were born from the icy depths where bowhead whales fed lazily, unaware of the harpoons awaiting them on the surface. The same rain carries the metallic taste of a U-boat's periscope and the hot smell of a sea lion's blood. The clouds cover the skies and the rain brings the ages down on you.
Then, it stops. The clouds break.
The raindrops become prisms.