It’s an unusual closet in that it has a window. It is tiny, surrounded by very old, very dried out wood, and bits of the chalk are falling out and curling away from the glass. So much so that a single pane has been removed, either by time, or out of safety before it could fall and injure someone.
Within my closet is darkness, not a spooky darkness, I have reconciled with it many years ago. My eyes have become accustomed to it and I can see into the cracks, and into the corners. There are clothes within it, brushing against my skin, sometimes obscuring my view through the window, sometimes comforting me. They are after all my clothes, those that I choose to wear while I’m in my closet. They are fears that I have made my own, drawn in to harbor me when I fell the silence and quietness of my life.
At the moment there is the darkness of the night beyond the window, making it easier to see across my backyard and over the moonlit fences. I see all the attributes of my life lying across the grass within the fence, some carefully stacked on a table, or along the rail of a fence. Other lost articles are scattered randomly, some having fallen over the time that they were neglected, some dropped in haste while something else came along as a distraction. Some things lost their gleam and were put down out of boredom.
But above I can see the stars, a galaxy of them, shining, attractive, calling me out as one of them. They lure me to join them, convince me that I am their equal, maybe even the envy of the smaller stars that twinkle and seem to fade while others sparkle through the atmosphere, illuminating the world outside nearly as brightly as the moon’s rays.
And yes, I reach out and I touch them, feeling the pinprick on my soul, catching the flash against the inside of my eye, the heat of the light heating me inside, warming my brain to the possibility of becoming a star myself someday and joining them in the heavens.
Yet too soon the world turns, letting daylight obscure all that starlight. Even the moon is intimidated and drops out of sight, although surely to rise again tomorrow. The stars too are always there, will return. The question is whether the clouds will get here first, or a porch light will be left on and all their work will be in obscurity.
My brief exposure to the stars is a memory that may dull with the daylight, hide from the sunlight, and appear briefly as I walk in shadows. Like the stars it will never really disappear, but may not be present to recall at will, to shine back into the heavens for the enjoyment of the stars above.
I see light coming through the cracks around the door, and someone is calling me out of the closet, beckoning me to return to the daylight. The doorknob of reality fits in my hand as it was intended and I turn it with relish as well as regrets. The comforting cloth brushes my face as I emerge from my sanctuary where I focus dreams, expel hardships and bad memories, where I seek my own star-filled galaxy.
The illumination is intense, but filled with joy and happiness as the house opens before me. Family and friends greet me, inform me with their sights and sounds and smells that it is still there, it is still filled with joyous experiences and happy thoughts. There are things there that can’t be reproduced in my closet, although I seek to with a hard determination.
The wonder of the stars is great, but surrounded by a field of darkness the illuminates every pinpoint of light, magnifying their existence, yet hiding all that surrounds them. Daylight is warmed and brightened by a full sun. My skin receives it’s pleasures like my eyes do the darkness within my closet. Both give me visions that I cherish. One is an onslaught that threatens to overcome me with its wealth, continually changing, faster than I can sustain with my own speed. Even my eyes cannot keep up with it.
The other is more constant, forever within my soul as an image that gives me steadiness, security and balance until the sun rises once more over yet another horizon. It is the cycle that will repeat until I rest finally.
I touch and feel through the window and the door of my closet. It is my backyard, my library and my laboratory where it is all is assembled. It is where I contain my life’s work, my every memory, and my life’s breath.