Beautiful terrible. It’s always beautiful, and terrible.

Twist the kaleidoscope. Tiny shards split and fall. If they fall the way you think you want them to, hold it still. Don’t breathe. Don’t move. If you shift and wriggle they’ll tumble again, and the world will be different.

Have you ever lain in bed and felt immeasurably comfortable? The snuggled sigh of the warmth. This is the point you should stay still. Don’t breathe. Don’t move. Just accept the formation that the shards have taken, and don’t question them.

But I can’t.

I tumble around and seek another position, another arrangement. Will this shape of fragments make me happy now? Or now? Or what about now?

Take this life of fragments and broken pieces, like some dropped ceramic plate or a handful of glass. You can move the pieces about and admire their beauty. Put this person here, and that relationship there. You can twist and watch the spilt regrets and longings tinkle down into new positions. Keep your eye on the glittering lust or maybe the warm coloured love. When you stop twisting they settle again, take up their positions and you’ll be able to observe them.

There is always a tension in their rearrangement, a pain in the fracturing. There is always a missing element, or just too much of something. Colours that clash and people who echo hollowly.

But I am absorbed by the patterns; the power of my kaleidoscope. My eye is pressed against an insufficient window. If I twist it again, will I be happy now? Or now? Or what about now?

I know I’m like a child with a toy. Playing with something that is malevolent, brightly coloured and sharp edged. But I can’t keep my fingers off it, even when they come away bright with blood. Just add that colour in, I think. Add it in.

Twisting the shiny toy in my oafish hands, I get a beautiful terrible feeling when I see the rush of plum join the rest.

This pain of fracture has a cold release to it, a permanent tint that turns a life into stained glass.



Joined August 2008

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for the Twisted Tales 46 – kaleidoscope

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