This simple dream-like landscape stood out among all the other pastels. Standing before the print in the gallery, I see myself. The contrast between the glowing earth and the turbulent sky reflects something back to me. I am the sky and I long to be the earth.
The storm carries me. What I want and where I am are as different as field and sky. A hole in my clouds casts autumn’s orange light on the earth below.
The artist watches over her prints as if they were small children. Her face is eager, open, longing for a connection. I chose a small happy print and splurge, spending $5 I don’t really have. I do not chose a print with a turbulent sky, or the colors of melancholy. Pretty little ruby-crowned kinglets chirp at me.
“Take us home,” they say.
“We promise to brighten your day.”
I complement the artist. I do not tell her that I am the turbulent sky. That is ‘crazy talk.’ It is something I can not say. Her pictures ripple and change like reflections on a lake stirred by a tiny breeze. Life is but a dream. I am but a dream. Her art is safe. It is innocent. I am neither. I want to be as happy as tiny birds who know of nothing else, other then their singular bird existence. I want to be the autumn light on the landscape, caressing the earth with my soft glow. I want to be the sky and hold all the storms and all the sunlight. I want to be the backdrop for the stars in the heavens. The violence of the universe exists within me, under me, all around me.
Inside my head I shout for no one to hear, “I am the turbulent sky!”
A polite smile is painted across my silent face. She encourages me to take her card. I have already slipped it in my purse.
Dreamlike, I float away and out into the sunlight. The air hints of smoke from a distant fire. The world is tinged with pale-tangerine light. The sidewalk below my feet feels solid. I am real. I am turbulent sky and I am the earth.