April 10, 2010

Harper and her

The walls press upon the unwary traveller. Wherein dost she travel so still and static that time forgets her... Is she just another inhabitant of the world? Not quite, for she sees the silver strings tied to the bolts in the middle of most people's backs. They seem to her like a web that threatens to ensnare her spirit, to throttle her body. She tries to become a spider, for spiders survive the best amidst webs, but the best she can manage is being invisible... Therefore, she goes unnoticed, a mixed blessing at best.

He sees the strings as chords and his graceful fingers play them softly. His music is sorrow for all that is lost in the name of getting; ‘tis sadness for the wonders gone unnoticed and the precious things forgotten. The notes he plays are waves that fall upon those who would listen and remember. The reactions vary, some deny, others hide in anger, some laugh with hope regained, others cry in despair... His own anger is a thing so seldom invoked that it is all but a vague potential.

Aimlessly she wanders amidst the snare of silver threads, always and ever so very wary not to touch any so as not to let them know she is there. Becoming invisible does not make her intangible, and failing to creep over the web as do the arachnid puppeteers she crawls with a lowered head, beneath the lowest webs like a mouse or an insect... Unseen and gratefully unseeing.

His eyes are closed, his fingers watch the world and laugh, they watch the world and cry, they pull music from the air from the threads and voice his unwhispered heart. Winged with thought he has risen above the cords he plays, and his song and all its facets flow like wind sometimes caressing sometimes violent but always heartbreaking, always beautiful and pure. His gentle face smiles wistfully as his harper’s hands play and his graceful limbs touch the cords. The spiders are intent on their game, they do not care, they do not listen, they do not perceive. His music is played with his whole body. He is the music. He is the dancer. He dances on the silver threads spinning, leaping, gliding, flying with the grace that is his and every thread he touches, like that of a heart, hums to his song.

She is barely breathing. The threads seem to tighten around her, like the cold fist of reason on her heart. She longs only to be free, to laugh again and be seen... The sickeningly sweet music seems to crawl over her skin leaving her soiled. An unwholesome vileness that makes all that has gone before seem a sweet nothing, a malevolent cancer that would consume her… ‘tis such that her heart, whom she believed to be barren, revolts in revulsion. Her body arcs in disgust and pain and she looks up to scream defiance at spiders and their webs, the skies, at the song, at all there is… and ‘tis then she sees him and he is wonderful to behold. The marvel of him drowns his song so she can no longer hear it, although even as she watches he continues to play.

Heedless and unknowing he plays on.

Envious, she watches from below as he seemingly flies in his dance upon the and amidst cords. So pure, so graceful… She desires to rise above the web and be free, and to dance with him. Her need rings a clear cutting note through his melody and he looks down to see whence it came. His eye like mirrors silvered fall upon her, such sadness, such sorrow, and yet… perhaps the pity and pathos she see there are but the reflection of her own. Suddenly, the angle or the light reveals what self-delusion had hidden, and the silver string in her back shimmers upwards and joins the web. Tears, the first in spite of all that preceded them: tears of loathing, tears of despair, tears at the vestigial remnants of his humanity.

Impossibly, he takes pity, and would set her free. Sharp finger slashes down upon the silver cord binding, down and through… the cord and the cutter fall away. She watches from the dying depths of her despair as the falling harper finally finds his long desired freedom, fatal. In the silvered unseeing eyes of that which remains, she now sees a spider. With this she breaks free and rising above the web starts to dance the celestial music upon the silver threads tangled...