Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dénouement


Detail from“Girl Reading a Letter in an Interior” 
by Peter Vilhelm Ilsted

And then he came back. Like a quiet lightstorm. She saw him. From the distance. Coming up the driveway. She watched. From a window. His arrival. As if from some invisible realm. His return.

She opened the door. Stood there. Clenched fists. Curled toes. Frozen tears.

She heard everything. The crunch of tires on the gravel. The car door closing with a gentle thud. His tentative footsteps on the pebbled walkway.

She waited.

Time seemed to move like it does in hospital waiting rooms.

He stood in front of her.

He smiled. A gentle kiss on her open heart. Her heart that twitched like a phantom limb.

She smiled. Hesitantly. Skirting the well. Skirting. But not plunging.

He held her. "I'm home."

He said.

That night they lay in the dark. Together. She on her back. Her lips caressing the air. He on his elbow. His breath caressing her face. She told him of herself while he was away. The waiting. The pain. The isolation. The loneliness. The madness. The emptiness.

She told him of the news.

"They said you were dead."

She said.

"And in this whole world everything was grey."

48 comments:

  1. Time seemed to move like it does in hospital waiting rooms.
    That was an awesome line...this entire story as always is so full of expresion, peeling back the layers just keeps revealing more...this is one I think everytime you read it, you will find a new and unexpected layer....

    love it;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. A poignant and moving vignette. There's a level of physical and emotional detail that reminds me of Anita Brookner. But in everything else it's entirely you: a narrative that leans against poetry, in terms of beauty and pace.

    Steph x

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is a certain patience to the writing and the story that really caught me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you had me.... I felt like a read a whole book in just a few words...

    beautiful story

    ReplyDelete
  5. Outstanding! Thanks for sharing your gift.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh what an ending. Maybe soldier's wives have that happen, it is indescribable, except by a master such as You!

    Secretia

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually shivered at the end. Beautiful piece.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Made me think right away of that well known quote attributed to Samuel Clemens... "New of my death was greatly exaggerated." Or to that effect...

    You have cast another spell...

    ReplyDelete
  9. "And then he came back."

    I just love the way you are thrust into this one, like being dropped in the middle of a chapter. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the short, clipped phrases. Like time is tumbling over itself, trying to catch up to the present. Emotion submerged by shock, yet moving like a tidal wave beneath the surface. It's in these instances where the slightest detail can make us break. For me, it was her lips caressing the air, while his breath caressed her face. Like even there, his reality was brushing, gently, against her former emptiness.

    This style feels very different from you, Nevine, but extremely assured. I really loved it, heart and soul.

    Is that a Wyeth?

    ReplyDelete
  11. It seemed rather incomplete. Isn't she happy? Has she formed a comfort-zone without him? Why does she not sound the way she ought to sound when someone she believed to be dead is alive. The story seems to start mid-way. I thought there would be something before: "And then he came."

    Whatever the thoughts, I like your way of expressing the untold emotions.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Another wonderfully eloquent piece, that identifies the need within us and that which fulfills our need.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nevine, how I loved this gem!!!
    I spotted this:..he smiled , a gentle kiss on her open heart. How wonderful a smile compared with a kiss.!!
    Your powreful writing made me envision the whole scene!
    hugs

    ReplyDelete
  14. Steven – Keep peeling, my dear friend!

    Stephanie – I’m very humbled by that comment. And I’m happy it read for you somewhat like poetry. I wrote it with a certain lull in my head… :-)

    Earth-ling – Thank you for the visit and for your kind comment!

    Christopher – Maybe it was the patience that the main character had to endure that caught you? By all means, I’m glad you were caught!

    Reaper – Wow! What an awesome comment! I’m truly flattered.

    Mark – And thank you for coming by and reading. I’m glad you liked it.

    Secretia – You said it right. It is a soldier’s wife who sometimes must endure such an agonizing experience.

    Eva – Thank you for the lovely words. :-)

    Owen – Casting spells is not my strong suit, but I suppose I try, sometimes... :-)

    Bard – Well, I was at the dénouement, so I thought it would be good to just start right there.

    Sarah – I think the style feels different because I was in a different mindset from my usual when I wrote it. This is a piece that I developed from notes I was taking while my husband was away on a deployment for six months. I started a journal during his absence, and when I read some of the entries now, I think to myself of how disjointed my mind was, but how vividly I expressed my feelings. It was the eternal waiting that created that, especially waiting and jumping every time the phone rang. The art is detail from “Girl Reading a Letter in an Interior” by Peter Vilhelm Ilsted. I do need to remember to credit the artist… :-)

    Shadow – I hope you’ve lost that chill by now… :-)

    Susan – I think she’s still trying to catch up with his unexpected return. I can imagine that being informed of someone’s death and then finding out they’re alive would throw you off entirely. The story actually starts at the dénouement, which is the resolution of the conflict. I started it right there deliberately, so that we did not need to know what had happened before except through subtleties. I’m sorry it felt incomplete for you.

    Martin – I thank you for the “eloquent”, though I felt stumped as I wrote this. :-)

    Betty – Smiles are like little kisses that brush against us. I’m happy you enjoyed this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Each beat is like an arrested breath, and then in the next beat one can breath again. You have a great facility for setting up the rhythm of a piece, and even when it's not poetry, it feels like poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  16. how wonderful of you to allow us all into the chambers of your heart - beautiful story so beautifully written! again and again, nevine!!! marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fits in well with the image at the top. Light streaming in is a metaphor for many things.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Not too fine , nope... maybe tomorrow.
    just to let you Know I love and appreciate your support.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This one was sort of melancholy for me but it was a grey day here. I like it nevertheless.
    Warm regards,
    Simone.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry... I did not comment on this so ingenous post before...My queen, your mind is unique!
    Love
    Dulce

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nev- Is anything grey? or just outta focus? Interesting read, as always. ~rick

    ReplyDelete
  22. Judith - I do appreciate your commenting about the rhythm. Rhythm is born inside the soul, as was this piece of writing. Thank you for that.

    Jenean - The chambers of my heart they are. Though this story is fiction, the skeleton is the product of tortured heart and mind and soul.

    Anil - Yes, I did like that image because of the light beam. I felt like the light reflected his return home.

    Dulce - Thank you, Sweetest, and I hope tomorrow something Sweet will drip from your heart. I wish you a better day, truly.

    Simone - It was melancholy for me to write, too.

    Rick - Your question is intriguing. Outta focus could be right, too. Truth is, when you're in the middle of the haze you can't make out grey from outta focus...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm a day late here.

    GREY
    Between night and day
    All are shades of grey
    And as some Peeps say
    It's time--now let's play!

    Nevine, thanks for visiting mine again. You always, ALWAYS write the nicest most uplifting words, like music in a major key.

    ReplyDelete
  24. i neve get used with the idea that a man can be so important to a woman ....i should take this as a huge consideration instead to .... you know , just look to my own issues .
    you always find a diferent way to write , and sitll , keep your style ....

    ReplyDelete
  25. I started to figure it out when her lips were caressing the air. This is so poignant, and I love your form. The short sentences really help to build a nice tension. I feel her heartbreak...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lovely lovely. This was light, and not in content, but in touch. I love the heart as a limb. Farking brilliant there.

    I have been in the middle of grey. You can't will a colour to save you. They have to simply come.

    I really enjoyed this one.

    xo
    erin

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm struck most by the trauma. It seems like an entity of itself. She doesn't rush at him, throw herself into his return. He may have done absolutely nothing to cause this trauma, but now it's there, like so many of our ghostly little walls. Can she overcome the damage?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Amazing how one person can bring color into a life or the absence of their presence can drain the chromatic world to shades of grey. Grey is a shade most associated with isolation, lifelessness. In essence, the waves of emotion she revealed to him. So I learned a few things today thanks to Nevine. The word Denouement. Very intriguing to say the least. As well as the beautiful image. Looking at it in its entirety captures the time capsule you scribed so well. A beautiful painting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Steve – A day late? No such thing as being late around here. Love your little poem. He he he…

    Caio – I don’t think we ever realize how important we are to others, or how important they are to us, until we’re no longer there, or they’re no longer here. I like to experiment with my writing… glad you like it! ;-)

    Cat – Yes, even though this is a supposed resolution, there is a new tension – mainly, that of trying to rediscover one another in light of his reappearance, and all of the dynamics that are attached to that. Thank you for understanding where this was coming from.

    Erin – It seems we can’t will anything, sometimes. When color wants to abandon us, it just does. I’m thrilled that you liked this!

    Jason – No, she doesn’t rush. She has a new dilemma – he’s home. What to do now, after she thought he was never coming back? It’s a crazy hand she’s been dealt. And he has a handful to deal with, as well. Like Cat, I thank you for understanding their psychologies.

    Sharla – I love the word “dénouement” because it captures exactly the meaning of what happens in this moment. “Resolution” is a good word, but it doesn’t enfold all of the nuances of “dénouement”. There’s something magical about the word that allows it to explain exactly this “unfolding” or “unknotting” that happens. And that painting just lodges in my heart! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I Nevine I am so happy to be back and reading your posts! What really catches me, in your writing, is the rhythm you give the narration or the poem. Is like being on a roller coaster that will bring me to Heaven

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  31. you drew me in to the passion of the moment with absolute precision.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow. Your writing is so incredibly graceful.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "He smiled. A gentle kiss on her open heart. Her heart that twitched like a phantom limb."

    Those words really stood out to me.

    ReplyDelete
  34. this was wonderful. it reminds of a story i've been working on for several years.

    much love

    ReplyDelete
  35. I mentioned this some weeks ago a propos one of your poems, but the images you invoke when youw rite are those of the world of dance, and more pertinently, contemporary dance, my favourite dance form. This line for instance:

    'Time seemed to move like it does in hospital waiting rooms.'

    I can visualise that waiting time, that impatience. Now that he's here, is afraid to lose him again, this time forever?

    The final exchange almost brought tears to my eyes. It's so beautiful. Many thanks. It's ironic that your poetry, vignettes, short stories all carry a heavy dose of romanticism inside them and yet they're all so different.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Lorenza - Welcome back! It's good to see you, here. And I'm happy you enjoy those roller coaster rides!!!

    Laura - I appreciate that comment tremendously! Thank you for your visit.

    Tattytiara - Thank you for the lovely words, and for the visit.

    Tom - Those are key words... you got it!

    Stacey - I'd love to read some excerpts of your story!

    Cuban - "It's ironic that your poetry, vignettes, short stories all carry a heavy dose of romanticism inside them and yet they're all so different." You can't begin to imagine how much I appreciate that comment. My writing comes from inside my head, so it often reads and feels very similar. I feel like I'm repeating myself, so I do appreciate your mentioning this, Cuban. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is so good, Nevine! Tho' the word good is an understatement There were many lines that stood out as extra brilliant and overall so wonderful.

    and you know I am partial to the words and meaning behind Shades of Grey :)

    thank you for your kind visits while I was away :)
    Calli

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you, Calli! And welcome back. Yes, I do know you're partial to everything grey... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Beautifully written, as usual Nevine. The
    nuances of love, time & waiting are perfectly
    and fearly captured.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you, Cynthia. I do appreciate your kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  41. That first part - wow! Well, the other parts too of course...but that first part. mmn, mmn. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Akka, happy you enjoyed it. I hope you will visit again...

    ReplyDelete
  43. Nevine, you offer such uplifting energy here. When people move from place to place or dimension to dimension, this process is greatly facilitated through the use of sound. Trust your impulses. This can save the body. Instinct encourages you to recognize when it is time to leave some place and move on, to some new place in this world or beyond. There is life on the other side of death and also in every transition. It is a true experience of allowing as you permit the earth to do what it needs to.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I went back and reread this...I found this line incredible...

    "Her heart that twitched like a phantom limb."

    ReplyDelete
  45. Liara - Your words are so true. I do think, though, that the experience of allowing is a challenging one that we must develop. It's difficult for our earthly minds to consider such "beyond the ordinary" levels of existence. But with our minds and spirits being as strong as they are, I do think that we can train ourselves to this acceptance. It is, like you said, a matter of "allowing". Your comments do leave me thinking, Liara. I like that tremendously.

    Stacey - You're too sweet. That's how I feel sometimes when my heart twitches and I have no control over it. It's scary... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.