The Gift: A novel

My project for A man finds himself alone on a paradisical island where has has no need to work to support himself. His life is spent transforming the island.

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, United States

I am an awkward, stubborn, slightly insane woman who would rather talk Plato than Prada, rather watch Frank Capra than Carrie Bradshaw, and rather listen to Norse myths sung in Icelandic than anything currently on the radio. Yeah. Told you I was weird.


Monday, November 29, 2004

Chapter 30: Benedictus qui venis

In the center of the chariot, standing tall in the light of the rising sun, stood the figure of a woman. Her sculpted robes flowed around her form, as green as emerald and smooth as milk flowing from a jar.
Her head was crowned with a wreath of golden leaves; they caught the light of the sun and tossed it back in dazzling rays.
But neither man could look long on her garments once he had looked the figure in the face. The artist had labored long, it seemed, to create the color and tone of living flesh. Only her eyes could be seen, however, for she wore a veil of flowing white, which obscured the lower half of her face. Her smile, though, could be seen in her eyes, and they both felt touched to the very marrow. Tears poured down each man’s face, though neither one noticed it.
With one hand, she extended a open scroll. Upon it were written these words:
"Look on me well, for I am she
Who guided thy quest here to the peak;
Who am but a symbol, an allegory,
Of that true thing which every man must seek.
And here I stand, a symbol still,
A human woman, frail and weak;
So look beyond me, to that higher still."
His tears flowed freely as he affixed the crown of gold. She stood before him, a sculpted form, reminding him of the living lady which she represented, but recalling her more by the absence of life than by the presence of form. He had carefully set the statue in the chariot he had made, and written her speech upon the open scroll. He knew that he could do no more, and any attempt to make her more than she was would destroy the image.
But he felt the emptiness within him, and felt hollow inside. She still had not come, and he still could not see.
He did not know how much longer he had to live, but knew it could not be long. His bones creaked, and his joints stiffened; even breathing had begun to be tiring.
He walked to the stream, and looked out to the horizon. He could see the sand spread on the beach, shining in the sunlight, and beyond it the dazzling blue-green ocean, topped with white foam. His heart stirred within him, and he walked along the stream until he came to the edge of the crater. He stood, feeling the wind on his body, smelling the sweet and familiar smells of the island. The sand looked to him like the gold background of an illuminated manuscript, while the sea looked like an inset of lapis lazuli. The mass of green below him, the roof of the forest, reflected the light like the facets of an emerald. The rising sun was like an eye of fire, seeing and revealing all it saw; he could feel its fire touch him, and he felt his heart stir in response.
He heard a soft laugh behind him; a laugh that was as free as a bird’s song, as rich as notes from a French horn, and as light as the air. Hardly daring to turn, for fear that it would be another phantom of his imagination, he turned around slowly. She stood there in the sunlight on the far side of the stream, shining as brightly as the tropical sun itself. His heart seemed to stop, and he could do nothing but stare, eyes dazzled by the light. She was dressed in a dazzling white dress, and her lower face was concealed behind a veil; he knew she smiled, for her eyes were visible, and the joy in them nearly blinded him.

copyright 2004 Elizabeth J. Weaver


Post a Comment

<< Home

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by