As in, a Very old Man With-
Was a story that stuck with me over the years.
I re-read it countless times
As we lay in summer beds
Soothing our beach skin
And drinking tea
With tiny chips of ice nearly
Gone away melted.
I empathized with that poor old man, sympathized, and wept for him.
I understood as strangers tried to size him up
He; dirtied and frazzled in the chicken coop.
As the people tried to make him something he wasn't.
Something they desperately wanted him to be.
They tried to mold him, prod him, poke him, hurt him, bend him into what they thought they needed.
Yet still he remained himself.
I respected that so much.
When I was younger, I wondered how he managed to do that?
How could he be so resilient in his being?
As I grew old I understood more, how it is always best to stay yourself regardless of how others try to sway or force you into being something else.
Wether we have wings to spread or simply feet to put one in front of the other, it is best to make a quick escape from those who would see you captured up in their snares.
It is dark morning here now, as I am up far too early, before the sun I hold so dear. And a very old man with enormous wings comes back to me from the past. He is a messenger for me, or perhaps I am making him into something he is not? Just like the rest?
I dust off my book, creak it open, smell the age of it, the importance of it. I feel the textured pages with my fingertips. How I cherish these physical books. How permenant I once thought they were. But time changes and degrades things and people.
The message I find in these pages changes too through my years. Different messages for different phases of my life. And though my eyes see blurry now, I read again and listen, for my message, my epiphany.
My empathy has never wavered for the old man, although now I understand the mean-ness and cruelty of the people a little more. Life let's you experience both sides the longer you go at it.
I sit with the story. Let it resonate like some ancient tuning fork picking up my frequency. I need adjusting. To find my way back to a more authentic me, without influence of others on my truth.
I sip my now cold coffee. I once loved it sweet but now prefer it bitter. Time spins me into new iterations of what I once was.
I close my cherished book. I wonder how sad it must be for someone to never have had such a tactile experience with words.
I fold my tattered wings, curl up in my blankets and try to catch a dream again before the sunrise.
And that old man, he smiles at me, from a past I used to know. Goodnight old man. I love you.