I was here.

Today is one of the bad days.

Today, I spend an hour over the page, spelling out my name onto paper, over and over and over again until it’s all I can see.

A curve here. A line there. A dot. Repeat.

A tear drops onto the ink and leaves a speckle of blue that wobbles when I breathe out.

Pulse rising, heart pounding.

It’s all wrong.

It isn’t me.

The paper cackles as I crush it, mocking.


I feel like a mirage, as if I’m made of smoke, fading into nothingness.

A cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’d be gone, only two sets of nails and thirty-four teeth swirling in a spiral down to the ground.

And then, just as quickly, they’ll turn to dust and ash, blown away in a gust of grey.

Maybe someone will look up as I billow past them, a look of distant incomprehension on their face.

Maybe another will mouth a perfect ‘O’ as my hand fleets right through their arm, grasping for a berth.

The moment will be forgotten as quickly as it came.

I’ll be forgotten.

I could have never existed.


Memories are dust. I’d lean on words any day.

On the desk I write on is etched three words and a date.

S.R. loves J.D. 2007.

If I close my eyes, I can look up and see two pale, shimmery shapes rise up from the letters, hands clutched together, eyes shining, a tender glance, a subtle kiss. I love you. 

No one can refute that now. It’s evidence. Evidence that they existed, that they lived, that they loved.

I would like to have that, I think.

Decades later, I would like for a hand to run its fingers over my carving, sharpen the edges, perfect the letters. I would like to become a part of the wood, to live forever through it.

And if my name is on the page, if my name is scrawled on some distant pillar, I tell myself: I can’t disappear.

I was here.

See?

I told you.

I told you I was.

That’s my name, I was here.

I rip the page and start over.

The paper cackles as I crush it.


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

PS In May 2019, I will be moving to a new web address. I’m shifting to a personal domain and I’m so, so excited for you to see it! Buying my domain is giving me so much more freedom for new features, design, and I can’t wait for you to get started there.

But on the downside, all those of you who’ve subscribed to my blog here WILL NOT be notified of new posts anymore. I’d hate for you to miss out just because I’ve shifted addresses, but WordPress doesn’t offer anything to straighten this out.

So to make sure that the change is as seamless as possible, I’d be so grateful if you’d enter your email ID below so we can stay in touch. You can opt-out any time, no hard feelings. I hate spam and I’ll only be reaching out every two weeks or so for blog updates, I promise.

Thank you so much for all your support. ❤

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180 Comments Add yours

  1. myspace says:

    Natalie…. Beautiful as ever…. Going into oblivion is a fear all of us have deep within us… Though it’s a fear it can bring out the best in us that can not be matched with time or let’s say travel through eons of time in the form of art, music or a post like yours….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thank you so much! That means so much to me ❤

      Like

  2. Sara Garg says:

    Lovely

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you liked it, Sara! ❤

      Like

  3. Wow, this was great. I really love this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Darrion! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. DaniTheHami says:

    Beautiful. This resonates with myself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  5. Hauntingly beautiful, Natalie. You have a gift.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That means a lot to me, Brooke. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. inhiscare753 says:

    Beautifully penned 💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Warden of the World says:

    Another superbly elegant piece. The “cackling” paper is a stroke of descriptive genius. I will note that “The paper cackles as I crush it, laughing at me.” might sound better with “mocking” in place of “laughing at.” Also “Like a cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’ll be gone, only two sets of nails and thirty-four teeth swirling in a spiral down to the ground.” I’ would remove “like” and change “I’ll” to “I’d”: “A cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’d be gone…” Also, while I’m talking about this line, I think it’s great – direct, physical, atmospheric, and slightly esoteric, with the specific, numbered references to teeth and nails. I hope these comments serve you well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. First off, thank you so much for such a constructive comment! I’m truly grateful that I have readers like you around here. ❤
      Oooh, I'm loving the "mocking me", though I can't believe I didn't think of it. Definitely a bit jealous. 😉
      I love the other change you've suggested as well, I feel it would help heighten the evocative aspect of the piece, and I'll update it shortly.
      Its surprising that such small tweaks can transform how that line reads, isn't it?
      I just hope I can learn to identify these changes myself, before I publish, though I guess I'll never be able to replace having a reader's perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow!!! What a stunningly awesome post!!! I love your title and have that thought often myself. Especially, these days with my three score and ten approaching at the end of the month!! Really a super!!!
    Bellisimo, Natalie, Bellisimo!!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! That really means a lot to me. And congratulations, with an advanced happy birthday! Its definitely a milestone, isn’t it? ❤

      Like

    1. Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  9. That one captures a strong emotional response for we all live inside those thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. d_analyzt says:

    I love this ..would need your assistance please . how can I reach out to you .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You can reach me through my Divulge Your Thoughts page:, it’s right over here: https://themidnightember.wordpress.com/contact/

      Like

  11. You have such a beautiful writing style – how long have you been writing for?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! Well, personally: almost all my life, but I’ve only started publishing my work for about 4 months now.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, you’re great at what you do, so I’m looking forward to seeing your future works 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. sanjspeaks says:

    Amazing post! It’s haunting. Loving your work

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  13. thorsaurus says:

    And yet, it all disappears eventually. Beautiful, haunting script. Well done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True… thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  14. Wow this is Beautiful =)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  15. sanamunir says:

    You have a unique way with words, Natalie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot ❤

      Like

  16. ahmaddagher says:

    Amazing writer
    I wish you the best of luck

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much! You too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Erica/Erika says:

    I like your story on many levels. Coincidentally, I have been reading about Parallel universes and how we can exist in more ways than one. I am a very new blogger navigating this new world. A huge learning curve, although fun. Thank you for make me stop and think. Erica

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mmm it’s such an intruiging idea, isn’t it? I’m so glad you liked this piece, Erika! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. KeciaJoy says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful words which capture how I often feel myself. I look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you thought so. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤️

      Like

  19. Faith Fruits says:

    I know you said Old Woody to Anna, I know you well…. you are my beautiful sister and I thank you for gracing me with your ‘follow’ on our brand new blog birthed about 22 hours ago. Last time I poetry lasso’ed me was through Anna and Fynn, I explain here https://christasus.blog/2015/07/04/woodys-words-to-anna/ Peace ☮️🍇🕊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The desire to be immortal snuffs out the poet’s attempt to make it so. For some reason – and I’m not quite sure why – I think of Beckett here. The absurdity in the desire/compulsion; the recognition of it; and yet the necessity of the follow through and so, a return to where it started, the contemplation of the absurdity and the compulsion and how it complicates/inhibits the act. Now, I think of Eliot: Between the conception … and the response … falls the shadow. And how difficult it is to make a mark now in an age of such profusion, an oberabundance of words and an infinite blank screen on which to write them. The universe expands and we become lost amongst all the stars. Yet, still the need and the compulsion, the must do, can’t do, must do, can do – again again, on and on – until we can’t and so – don’t… Nice work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beauitfully said! I simple loved the way you put it. You’ve managed to express that feeling so vividly which I was struggling to get across in my own piece. ❤

      Like

  21. KT says:

    I saw up there someone said, “Don’t crush it.” Nah, do. The best of you is yet to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you. I think that’s my worst fear these days: that I’ve reached a sort of limit to create. Have you ever had moments where the words itself start to lose their magic, their power; and each one feels like it’s just a string of letters, one after another?

      Like

    2. KT says:

      Listen… with the pen, the mind, the energy, and the universe that you’ve got… all you got to do is lie there and breathe. It’s that good. And I’m a damn picky reader. Dickens still has yet to be beat, but you’re right on his feet. Only, yours is non-fiction and poetry and, as much as I love you Dickens, you better run.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. An extravagant compliment, but I’d be hard-pressed to turn it down: thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me.

      Like

    4. KT says:

      Do I ever worry the words will fade? Yes. But, they weren’t mine or yours to begin with. Just recorders in the universe, you and I.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. A comforting thought: that you can only bring to life the words that have already been written out for you. There’s neither blame nor pride in that. Only the welcome toil of churning out one word after another.
      I might just steal that philosophy of yours.

      Like

    6. KT says:

      You steal it. Go ahead. It’s not mine either and the words it brings to you it wants heard. Toil and churn in solitude with the gods and the ferns and whatever else… the universe is always there to keep you company. Speaking to you, word by word, letter by letter: speaking to us.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. jessijem1 says:

    I enjoy reading your posts. They clearly express your meaning while also pulling me into the feelings behind the words.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. You definitely were, are and will be here. But not us with mediocre ramblings.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’d say you’re selling yourself short, but I guess that’s how we all think about ourselves…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words! NICE!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. wow, this is an incredible piece of writing! I can’t stop scrolling through your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. That means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. “Memories are dust. I’d lean on words any day.” This is the most beautiful line. I love the analogy – words are stable and eternal while everything else fades to black.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. It never ceases to amaze me, how warped and twisted our memories become with time. I think the only thing we are capable of remembering accurately are our emotions, and let’s face it, those aren’t the most stable of foundations to build your history on…

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Words are certainly your brush. I see detailed images in my mind’s eye, and they come about effortlessly and naturally. Your blog is always a journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. You’ll never know how much this means to me ❤

      Like

  28. This is the third work I’ve read of yours, Natalie, and the last one I will have time for tonight.

    I think most poets tell the truth as they see it.

    I think some fewer can do it with grace and beauty.

    And I think a relative handful can speak the truth in grace and beauty while being honest.

    You put me in mind of the poets who can do the latter such thing.

    You are like that woman – one of a few — who I once knew and who made me want to take sides with a mammoth to bring her his tusks so that she would have some token from me for all the worlds she had shown me in herself, shown me through herself.

    I’m too old to fetch tusks these days for the men and women who help me see further and better — but I have here on my desk seven Lifesavers, and one of them is my favorite flavor, cherry. You can have them all. All of them stringless, no-obligation tokens of my appreciation for the truth, the grace, the beauty, and the honesty of your gifts to the world, and to me tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so sweet, Paul.
      It’s been a long time since I’ve smiled this wide reading a comment. You just made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Then the gods have been kind to me, Natalie.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. WilNaKo says:

    Hi Natalie, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award, if you’d like to join. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the gesture, though I don’t think I’ll be able to put a post up to ‘formally’ accept the award. You are free, of course, to nominate another blogger, if you want to. Thank you for thinking of me. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. WilNaKo says:

      No worries! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Sometimes I think daydreaming without any apparent direction is our way of giving the mind a break and getting the batteries recharged. I sometimes sit in the garden writing individual words down and looking for connections.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. My best ideas sneak up on me when I’m not thinking about them. You can’t open your mind to new connections unless you stop obsessing over old ones…

      Like

  31. Phdifestyles says:

    Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Nina says:

    These words have made their mark. You are definitely here, Shreya~! So heart-wrenching and beautiful ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nina. This means so much to me<3

      Liked by 1 person

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