A Yarn for Lucinda's Birthday (myrrhluz) by anahata.c ()
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Summer...evening...a softball field.
Friends and families mingling in the cheap wooden stands. Breezes filled with lilac and roses, and the quiet chirping of crickets. Mosquitoes and fireflies, fluttering in the lights...
We always sang the anthem before our games. It was a sweet tradition, because they'd always ask a child to sing it. It was game time, and a little girl---I don't know her name because they'd just moved here---squeezed her way through crowd, bounded down the stairs, ran to the mound, stopped---stunned by the lights---and looked to her mother, scared. "Go ahead," said her mother: "It's ok. You'll be fine!" The crowd silenced. And the girl took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and sang:
How do I explain? She was singing several songs at once. It was like several things were coming out of her mouth at once. We craned forward, cupped our ears: Were they anthems? Nursery songs? Was she really singing more than one song? Her mother was stunned, not sure if she should stop her daughter or let her sing: Maybe her child was just nervous. Maybe someone was playing a radio or a boombox. She looked everywhere: But there was nothing. Others murmured: "Do you hear that?" "Where are all those voices coming from?" But the girl kept singing---eyes closed, in utter composure, unaware of the world. And her songs were exquisite. Her mother took a deep breath, sat back, clenched her other daughter's hand and whispered: "It'll be ok." Her other daughter said: "I know..."
The girl kept singing.
Now, aside from praying that this child was ok---who could stop such an exquisite display---we recognized some of her songs. We heard our anthem, and the anthem of Canada. And Mexico, and Argentina, and others. Later, we were told---from cellphone recordings---that she sang anthems of every South American country, as well as---get this---nearly every Asian country, nearly every European country, ditto Australia, New Zealand, and so on. These songs were "on top" of each other: like she'd layered them into a cake. Even her mother was entranced now, craning forward, not believing her ears. And the girl was so peaceful, so blissful. No one uttered a peep.
And there were strange languages in there: what sounded like ancient languages. And songs...People studied the recordings days later, and said, yes, those were songs from ancient societies. Lots of them. Anthem after anthem, language after language cascaded out of this exquisite child's mouth, soaring like sashes mingling in the air, to where even neighboring streets began to hear her: Lights went on, people walked outside, cars stopped. Her 'song' carried for miles. It was as if she were channeling centuries of human nationhood and weaving them together into an exquisite, massive tapestry. The whole town was transfixed. They told us that, by the end of her song, her voice had carried over 100 miles...
This went on for awhile---then:
Everyone leaned forward, breathless:
The girl opened her eyes. She looked around. She was scared. Suddenly she began to cry. Her mother shot out of her seat, ran to her, and grabbed her. Others followed in a rush. In minutes, half the crowd swarmed the poor girl, hugging her, not letting her go.
A huge burst of cheers rose out of the horizon. I mean waves of them, tidal waves. No one knew where they came from, but they were tumultuous. We looked: We looked over edges of stands, into the sky, everywhere: The cheers were booming, filling the air. You could hear languages in them, you could hear countless words. We desperately tried to decipher to them, but there were too many. Yet for sure It was a din of adulations, shouts of joy which---we swore---came from all over the globe. Had this girl somehow unknowingly unearthed the affirmations of every civilization since the start of history? Or was this some grand performance, some grand hoax which we'd read about the next day: I.e., "So that's who did this!" A huge piece of 'performance art', a grand joke? We didn't know. But the cheers kept coming. And coming. And, readers: They were exquisite.
This went on for some time...then they stopped.
On the field, the little girl was swirling and gaping upwards: Everyone was gaping upwards. The air was heavy with the fragrance of summer flowers. The heat was mixed with those gifted cool breezes that summer nights grace on the human race. Little blessings abounded. The sky seemed to vibrate with leftover songs and cheers. And the girl---now completely redirected---ran to the stands and chased a cat. (A cat.) Well...the anthem was over; and, like a true child, she'd moved onto something else. She was squealing. Her mother turned to a friend: "I need sleep..." Her daughter ran behind the stands, screaming, "come back, come back!" The cat disappeared.
Slowly, people left. The mother grabbed her daughter and said: "Let's go home." The daughter said, "no!" The mother assured her, "we'll get a cat, I promise!" The daughter acquiesced. They joined hands---the other daughter skipping behind---and walked away.
I headed home...
As I was turning a corner, someone pointed to the sky: A huge bird flew over, with a wingspan the size of a city block! It had exquisite designs all over, and massive penetrating eyes. "Thunderbird!" cried the man. "What?" I cried. "A Thunderbird!" he said: "The mythic great-bird of the Pacific Northwest!" He turned to me: "It's a Native American god or something. It creates thunder and rain with its wings!" He looked at me: "Not too shabby!" The bird let out an exquisite cry---it shook the ground---then flew away. I turned to the man and shouted: "Are we hallucinating?" He laughed: "I haven't got a clue!" And he walked away.
"Magic," I thought. "Summer magic..." I took a deep breath, bowed to the wind, and walked home...
For dear Lucinda (myrrhluz)
who's been absent for a while:
I'm so happy you're doing what you wish, and I hope your heart is singing and dancing as you do it.
Just know that your missed here: Your presence, your loving comments, your irreplaceable support, and your art
(drawings, paintings, photographs, writing)
and that wonderful inner eye you bring to everything
and your magic.
A happy, love-filled birthday! You have so much to be proud of!
You've taught me so much about family, history, love, and the sheer wonder at so many little things in life
I wish you all those things back, many times over!
With love, joy and big hugs,
Artwork Comments (19)
Faemike55 () 8:01PM | Thu, 02 June 2016
You did it again, Mark! I was transfixed, entranced, thoroughly captivated by your narrative. While reading it, I could see what happened, almost hear her voice as she sang. the world anthem.
truly a gift from the gods and the world. and now you have passed that gift to Lucinda and us. Thank you for your gift. I know that Lucinda will love it and treasure it forever.
oh yeah! you were very lucky to see the Thunderbird - powerful magic there my friend. Treasure the moment.
Freethinker56 () 9:24PM | Thu, 02 June 2016
WOW! You shore now how to get the heart racing Mark Amy Winehouse was going though my head as I was reading this extraordinary Yarn as you called it ..You truly have a gift yourself to be able to express oneself in beautiful words..lovely dedi
Richardphotos () 9:50PM | Thu, 02 June 2016
what a great story. I do not have the gumption to type that much nor the imagination
wysiwig () 2:46AM | Fri, 03 June 2016
Quite a story and exquisitely told. But then I’m not surprised. I have believed for a long time that little girls are very special. Little boys are creatures of the earth, all covered in dust and mud and bandages. But little girls are creatures of the sky and the moon. Ethereal and mysterious, they know secrets and see things we mere mortals cannot. You know, magic.
anaber () 9:38AM | Fri, 03 June 2016
What a stunning story Mark:)!And i believe in all that i read!! All this can be so REAL to me!! You do magic with your words, Mark ! Lucinda does magic also, when i have the luck to read her, in a simple comment or a story in a mail ( i feel it, deeply) and all your words about her are so truth! I 'felt' Lucinda 'portrayed' in this story...and i also felt my heart bursting while reading it, because i almost could listen to all those fantastic sounds of this universal song, through your words! What can i say? It is a Terrific present for a Terrific lady and friend! Two giants in Heart and in Art! Thank you very much to both and i wish for Lucinda the most wonderful and lovely day and that each day ahead, can be filled with all her wishes always. Happy Birthday, Lucinda!!!:)
photosynthesis () 9:56AM | Fri, 03 June 2016
When I got the ebot, I thought it said "A Yam for Lucinda's Birthday" (the "r" & the "n" had seemingly merged into an "m" due to a combination of a font that squeezed the letters very closely together & my faulty eyesight) & so I was initially disappointed that you hadn't posted a photo of a yam. But I loved this piece of magic realist writing that combined lyrical descriptions of common reality with exuberant fantasy. You have a gift for writing with passion, Mark, & the way I felt reading it reminded me of how I felt when I discovered the magic of Ray Bradbury's storytelling when I was a young boy...
helanker () 12:01PM | Fri, 03 June 2016
Well, I wasnt disappointed at all, when I expected some yarn for knitting, but got a wonderful and very touching story instead. On the contrary. OH! Mark, you are writing the most lovely and heartwarming stories, one can wish for. And your sweet words for Lucinda. I dont know her very well, but I do believe you are right in all you said.
durleybeachbum () 1:50PM | Fri, 03 June 2016
Funny, I too saw 'Yam', like Claude.
But this is spellbinding, I was gripped from the very start. What talent!
npauling () 9:15PM | Fri, 03 June 2016
A very touching and beautiful story for Lucinda. You really have a great talent. I couldn't stop reading until I came to the end which is a real talent, to hold everyone's attention. You have a great widespread talent that really shines through in this work. I love the sound of the thunderbird he sounds an amazing sight. Beautifully written Mark.
romanceworks () 9:19AM | Sat, 04 June 2016
I was truly transfixed and transported by this wonderful story, Mark. So beautifully written, with great imagination. I wasn't really reading your story, but rather feeling it, which is the gift of a great storyteller. How perfect that this little girl, the symbol of innocence, sang all the anthems of the world. Music is the language of the universe, and connects us in a way that speaks to everyone. She was like an angel, and yet so human, chasing the cat, bringing us all down to earth. This story touched on so many emotional and spiritual levels, with an ending that soared on the wings of that Thunderbird. Wow! A very fine piece of creative work, Mark, and as I've said many times, the world needs your writing. So glad you shared this with us.
Wolfenshire () Online Now! 8:28PM | Tue, 07 June 2016
This was well written and with so much emotion in it. Well done.
myrrhluz () 2:32AM | Thu, 07 July 2016
“And there were strange languages in there: what sounded like ancient languages.” Did you know when you wrote those words how they would awaken a wonder in me, a longing? I was already fully drawn into your world, into the amazement of the crowd, into the confusion, fear, and awe of the mother. But then you began your fifth paragraph and what had sent my spirit skimming across the globe, now sent it sailing through time. Ah, that is a wondrous experience, Mark. Well written words, and yours are very well written indeed, have such power. They paint images in the mind, give voice to truths, and sometimes go straight to the heart of our emotions with such power that we are carried on a tide of understanding that is hard to pin down into words of our own. When I read your words, I felt like I was there, hearing the voices coming from the young girl as she sang. I felt like I was touching the souls of ancient peoples, feeling their distinct flavor even as I felt one in the similarities all humans share. I think I have told you of reading a journal of a young woman who lived during the American Civil War and feeling almost like I knew her, like I had stepped back into her time. I had a feeling that surely she must know me a bit too, even though my mind told me that was silly. Most of the time, when I read history, there is a distance, but sometimes there is a feeling of stepping into the past and actually being there. I had the same feeling as I read your story and I thought, what if. . . What if joy of community, of beautiful fragrances and cool breezes, of a perfect moment . . . what if that joy caused a collective heightening of senses that allowed humanity to connect across the distances of time and space. What if these connections are all around us, waiting for us to be attuned to them? We live in a world of disconnect. When we feel connections it is like a kiss from God. There is a line in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, Renascence; “The soul can split the sky in two, and let the face of God shine through.” I don’t know what a soul is, but it seems to me that when it is functioning properly, it is breaking through the disconnect and forming connections. I love your story. It sent my thoughts a wandering on a fascinating journey. The connections I felt were potent and emotionally satisfying. The presence of the Thunderbird was exciting, as the sound of rain and thunder are very evocative for me. Thank you, Mark, for this wonderful story, for its summer magic, and for your loving birthday wishes. I will also thank you for the inclusion of a cat in your tale, though with cats one never knows. Did you place him in the story, or did he wander in of his own accord?
beachzz () 2:08AM | Thu, 05 January 2017
I don't think I have words to truly express how amazing this story is. I could hear those voices, and feel her power. For that's what it was, a power that found her and gave her words she didn't know she had. Just add superlative endings to every positive word in the dictionary and you might, you just might come close to describing how wonderful this little tale is. WOW!!!
And a a very late birthday wish for Lucinda; can't believe I hadn't seen this before~!!!