Friday, July 23, 2010

Writing Prompt for Magpie Tales July 23, 2010




A quick survey finds me still and empty this morning, like the little attic room in Norway. Where every time you stood up, you bumped your heard on the low slanted ceiling. Norway, land of imagination, of fjords, and northern lights.

Today is a day filled with memory, of all that you have been and continue to be in my life. And the little attic room so far away. Our souls were closely intertwined then. That night we walked the streets until long after mid-night and the light was a lovely shade of pink, I don't think it ever really got dark there. We stopped for cold drinks in the harbor, where earlier that day the fish mongers with their arms in black rubber sleeves, sold their fresh fish from stalls along the pier.

And we watched the pageant played out in the harbor,on the water, sailing boats -- all about the ones who left for America. And how the ones left behind never forgot, but held the memory as strong as iron, forever longing. It was a scene painted with the colors of Van Gough, blue, black, maroon, green and red. And there was music and dancing, laying a trap for thoughts of long ago, a labyrinth that could not be escaped. One that circled in upon itself, all thoughts were one thought, held by the community.

I see your face, your funny smile. When we arrived you were all pushed out of shape, but then you fell under the spell, and you fell in love. You were at home in the little attic room. Days filled with art, music, poetry, so much to see, the underground cavern, and the boat ride on the fjord, mystical land.

The artists came and took us to a special place by the sea, it was a long house of white stucco made long ago and they told us of the vermillion burials that had been found there. They looked out to the sea, and pointed to the horizon, and said, "Look there is America!" I looked but saw only an empty blue sea, and an empty blue sky. I realized our experience was so different, as Americans we did not go to the sea, look out and say, "Look there is Europe! There is Norway". The immigrants came, changed their names, and forgot where they came from, who they were. Sometimes they forgot the families they left behind, and they were lost for all times.

And yet still today, the the People of Stavanger, would get together and read poetry and speak of their feelings of loss. Love and longing laid out in long strings tied to their hearts, that reached all the way to America, and to the loved ones who went away, leaving holes that could never be filled. They said sometimes the young men when to California, and were killed in their search for Gold, no one ever knew what happened. You might have thought it all happened only yesterday.

You reached for my hand and promised you would never go away. We did not know then what was ahead. For then we were happy in the little attic room, where, we laughed and loved along life's journey.