Day by Day #36: Suspended in Beauty

Dear journal,

I woke up this morning crying my eyes out. I felt numb. I still do. You would think experiencing something like that would make you happy.

I’m not happy at all.

I suppose I should tell you what I saw last night, before I go into any more detail. Oh, it’s so weighing on my chest, journal.

I saw death. Well, I saw something like it. A beautiful death. Ah, I can’t describe it and give it justice. I saw life in a flash; so closely, I felt like I would die. It just zipped through straight to its end. It was mine. Mother, Father…I miss them so much. It’s hard to think that I am the same man now that I was when I wasn’t a man. That I was a baby in a womb at one point. But seeing it all put before my eyes that quickly, I can believe almost anything now.

Call me a liar, call me anything. I saw visions of the future. And it looks shockingly like the past. I see another child on the lap of someone who looks like my mother. It is my daughter, happy that she finally got the baby she always whined about when she was younger. I remember my wife coming to bed one night, with tears in her eyes.

“Honey. Our daughter…” What about her? “She is so old…” The words gutted me like a fish. The age she was then is the age I was when I met my wife.

And, in a moment, she is now as old as I was when that happened. I hardly needed a vision to tell me that life is short. But last night only cemented into me the finiteness and beauty of it all…I suppose it’s glorious that you can see the whole world from on top of a tall mountain, or that you can enjoy some laughter and wine with your wife, but it ends so quickly…

I am now an old man. My wife has past on and my daughter will soon get an opportunity to become older than me. I caught a glimpse of…something last night. What was it? I don’t know what. I know it was beautiful. I know it is indescribable. Something made to be described using a language that does not currently exist where I am. I had my eyes open to a world that only exists here in faint indescribable glimpses.

It’s beauty! What? No! It’s gone! That was my favorite feeling! It reminds me of how my wife’s red hair curled in the summer. I don’t know why it did that, but it always made us laugh and look into each other’s eyes.

My son, he is twenty, and has become greater than I. The least of these; he is greater than the greatest. I wish the best for him. He came out perfect.

What are we? A smudge on a grand canvas? Maybe I am just a mistake; a little swoosh of a brush that the creator will later regret. What? You’re not going to paint over me, God? Should I really be here? I’ve looked around, but it doesn’t seem like I belong. It’s all too good. I add nothing.

I forgot about the time that I went out to go paint out on the sidewalk. Every time I tried, it would start to rain. The children would stand at the doorway and bite their fists while laughing. I suppose it was funny, but it didn’t amuse me at the time.

This painting I am on. Will it get left out on the sidewalk to dry? Will it get rained on? That would be the death of me. My colors would run into everyone else’s and, in a flash, I am something else, mingled together with someone else.

I once left out a painting on the sidewalk. I guess that’s why I brought it up. The colors ran. I worked on that painting for a long time…it looked so much like me. I painted a picture of a beach; the time I went to the beach at midnight with my wife. We stood in the Atlantic and got our hair tangled with the stars. That was another time I felt like there was something above me.

I brought the painting into her. “Look, honey. I made this for you, but it got rained on. It was going to be a surprise, but…” She smiles. “Oh, sweetie. You painted a beautiful dusk for me.” Ah, I suppose I did.

I suppose I did.

Despite my passing, the story goes on. That is the realization it takes a lifetime to figure out. I am not coffee and a cigar. I am just the coffee. I will turn to dust. And that dust. It will furnish trees for my great grandchildren.

What is this? Come here! Don’t escape! Just one more glimpse! I want just one more glimpse of this!

Beg for just one more glimpse and you will fall off the cliff. You will die.

I suppose, for now, I have to live with being mortal. What a pain, knowing that there is a top to the night and a final note to the bird’s song, but that it is a death away…

I hoped that seeing my life in front of me would make me more contemplative. Now I am begging to God that He won’t make me more contemplative. I don’t want to fall off the edge. I want to be here for my daughter, who is looking more and more like my mother…

Stay here, my friend, until your body can’t take it anymore. We are somewhere in between being a thought of God and being in His presence.

“Somewhere in between the waxing and the waning wave. Somewhere in between what the song and silence say. Somewhere in between the ticking and the tocking clock. Somewhere in a dream between sleep and waking up. Somewhere in between breathing out and breathing in. Like twilight is neither night nor morning. Not one of us would dare to break the silence. Oh how we have longed for something that would make us feel so…” – Kate Bush




  • Josh The Younger

    Simply beautiful. I felt like I was reading a poem through the whole thing. Of all your contemplative fictions, this is my favorite. 😀


    • Thank you, Josh! That means a lot to me.
      Out of all my contemplative fictions, it took me the least time to write. I didn’t really feel like I was writing, to be honest. My fingers were caught captive…


  • “We stood in the Atlantic and got our hair tangled with the stars.” That is a great line, Caleb.


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