It begins with a bird on a branch in my backyard.

I open my drawer and pull out my camera. Several soft clicks, and the screen clears; focused, meditative. Snap. Snap. The sound is startling in the day's-end cool silence, but it catches in the glass of the windowpane, and leaves the bird unfazed. She turns her head several times, searching for something. I relax my posture, lean on my elbows and wait for the perfect picture of flight. Stillness. The light fades in little increments, like someone is removing the sun, strand by strand, from the sky. I wait. Minutes yield nothing and my arms start to grow tired. There will be other birds, I tell myself. My feet shift, preparing to leave. But something in the air reaches out to pause me. It's as if God is telling me to linger.

Compelled, I allow my thoughts to slow; I melt into the pace of the approaching dusk. Particles and worries dissolve into the evening's stillness, leaving me grateful and pensive. The camera still aimed, my eyes drift elsewhere.

Unexpectedly, the bird takes off. My senses do not react for a few moments, and when my finger springs to the shutter release, it's too late; the branches are empty. Strangely, it doesn't bother me much; as I place the camera on my bed and return to the window, I am keenly aware of something greater than me unfolding. I know I am alone in this: surely, no one else is standing like me at their window, peering out from behind the fog of their breath into this mudane darkening, into this thickening night descending upon the city. No, nobody but me is watching this moment, and I feel as though I'm sharing a precious secret with God; witnessing something that no one sees but us two. I pick up a notebook and a pencil. The quiet grows quieter.

I draw my notebook near my chin and rest it against the windowpane to write. The words are growing dimmer, I strain harder and harder to discern the graphite from the page. This is not some magical, pink-tinged dusk. It is progressive colourlessness; a dim grey drinking up light and hue. Yet there is a certain iridescence to this dullness -- a tinge of comfort in this twilight's milky diffusion.

I watch the slow crawl of headlights as they light up the road in small, shifting patches. I listen to the coldness, and to the stillness, and feel the almost-touch of the light that emerges from the doorway of a farther room. The cold white frame of the building across the street. The flickering lamp on a neighbor's lawn. Earth covered in dead leaves, winter's debris. Candlelight through a curtained window.

This is real beauty; tangible, yet untouchable; this is the stream of poetry that runs between the paragraphs I write. These words are only a distraction, but they are all I can produce: scribbled sentences, breaths that catch upon the scratches on the surface of the sky.


ShutterflyH said...

What a BEAUTIFUL article - you are totally amazing with words. This is expressed perfectly!! God bless your day!


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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