Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week in Seven Words #50

It takes me a few seconds to register that the sky is full of smoke, a great expanding cloud that thins out with distance, mixing into the mild peach sunset. As I get closer, I see large flames several blocks away, trembling insanely, tall as a house. Later on the news gets out - an apartment building destroyed in a five-alarm fire, thankfully no one killed or hurt. There are however over a hundred people who lost their homes.

The first time I arrive at the building complex, someone walks me through the corridors, shows me how they're interconnected and which staircases I should use to get to the third floor. The next day as I arrive, someone asks me for directions, and it's my turn to be the helpful guide.

She wishes I would confide in her more, but there are reasons I don't. I tell her little things, here and there, some offerings of opinion and thought, occasionally a deep feeling, but nothing that would make me too vulnerable.

He doesn't seem comfortable with public speaking. This is hardly his first time in front of a crowd, and he does just fine, but there's only so much of himself that he can master - he can't help the flushed cheeks, the hands that tremble slightly, the voice that stops and starts.

Gray brown slush, messing over everything, as if the sidewalk has spit up and forgotten to pat its mouth clean.

I don't want to be resigned, to walk a rut because that's the most comfortable way. I say this not because I'm one hundred percent certain I won't betray myself, only because I hope I won't, and I'll work hard not to. There are things I can't compromise on and give up on, not without a sense of crushing sadness.

I love how the trees are outlined by snow, a crisp network of branches. Each bare limb is traced in white, sharp and elegant.


Claire said...

Reticent was marvelous. I want to know why you don't tell her things! Is it for her own good? Why don't you want to be vulnerable with her? Of course, I'm seeing this as a little story.

As for Tracery- I passed a tree the other day and I marveled at how perfectly spaces the branches were. In the ice you could see every slim finger, silhouetted by the sky. Aren't trees lovely?

naida said...

I'm awful at public speaking and used to dread having to get up in front of the class in school. You capture those feelings perfectly with 'roughhew'.

Anonymous said...

Tenacity. A little discomfort is a small price to pay for walking your own path. Vas-y!

John Hayes said...

I agree with Dick--be tenacious, please! "Tracery" is beautiful, & "Conflagration" captures the horror of an actual house fire. When I was a child, a small home burnt on the hill near our house. Back then the road up the hill was dirt & it was quite isolated. I remember my father took us in the car to watch this & I've always had a sense of horror of housefires from seeing that as a child--probably 4 or 5 years old.

Cottage Garden said...

I love Imparted HKatz. The sharing of knowledge, and in so doing giving one confidence and indeed power. Slurry is just wonderful. Some words just fit don't they!


Lucy said...

The title of 'roughhew' is striking.

They seem an especially intensely felt, vivid group this week.

Relyn said...

tracery is my most favorite thing about winter.