December 31.

The clock chimes twelve against the backdrop of bated breath.

Silence, overwhelming in its vacancy.

Deafening, in a way that you hear only the sounds of what ‘should be’, the pounding music that never reaches your ears, the raucous shouts that never leave their lips.

Heavy breath marking the seconds in thick, syrupy drops.

There is fear, this inexplicable terror, that flutters away too quickly for you to understand it.

If you were fast enough, you would know that it is a fear of disappointment, like that moment just before you blow out the candles on a birthday cake, or wish on an eyelash.

That fear of realizing, that there is no magic in the passing of time; only cold, stark gravity.

But you do not think of any of this, because the fear passes too quickly for thought.

Or perhaps because you do not want to.

An infinite second lies suspended while the old year passes into oblivion, sweeping into that space where all worn time goes.

This moment, it is the signal for the collective forgetting of past transgressions; a sweeping, desolate canvas, in equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.

You sit by the tomb of dead time and weave your next identity, one thread looping into another.

You shatter the mask that has served you well for the past year, this mask that has felt the coolness of your tears, and the warmth of your laughter, this mask that you have both hated and loved, with equal ferocity.

A tender caress and it implodes within itself. The pieces fall like glass petals.

A time for both celebration and mourning, of the dreams you have lived, and those futures not realized; of the masks of the past, and the veil of the future; of the passing of yesterday, and the inevitability of tomorrow.

The moment is gone as quickly as it came, and that is it.

Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash


85 thoughts on “Cynosure”

  1. Reading this felt like experiencing a brook running gently over a stone, smoothing it, carving it into something yet to be fully known but nonetheless shaping it into a unique object. Wonderful writing.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. That’s such a unique take on it… looking back at the piece, it does eerily resemble something like that. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for the nomination. It truly means a lot. As I’m trying to keep the page an award free zone, I’m afraid I won’t be able to put up the post to accept it. I appreciate the gesture though. Thank you, again, and congrats on your nomination! ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I sometimes postpone starting to read your pieces (after receiving an email notifying me that another has made its way into existence), because I know I will need a fair few focused minutes to fully indulge in the fudgy fidelity of the story, the imagery, the broad originality; that is, there is nothing left to cliche or trodden paths, and so it feels like a ship’s hull beaching a new land, and I need to set up camp for a time, to ensure my map accurately depicts its thick discovery.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It takes great command over a language to turn a good phrase (the tomb of dead time);
    It takes considerable experience to be profound (the feeling that for now… anything is possible);
    But it takes genius to place morbidity and hope in the same work and communicate, effectively, the sorrow of living and the beauty of death – and that is Cynosure in its entirety. Brilliant.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Wonderful! A mix of feelings. Don’t let me return to the mundane! 😀 Here are some thoughts opened to me after reading. I often wish we never invented time. The river is continuous. It’s humanity that add locks and dams, interrupting flow, constraining constant change. As I read you, I can’t decide if I’m a negative or a positive person. It seems that way for me, as is one of my struggles. I’m not sure how the world stands with me. I’m not certain I’ll ever know. But letting go and finding the natural currents of motion and change might be a good start. One thing I do know is that we don’t take good care of each other, in the world. My best to you!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I like that idea: finding the natural currents of motion and change. It paints a very soothing picture.
      I hope 2019 will bring a different world to light, though change is never that abrupt. Each year does bring new hope though, and that’s the only thing we can clutch onto.
      So, I wish you a year filled with hope, and perhaps a discovery of what it feels like to ride the natural current of motion. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Natalie,

    Great imagery. Yes, letting the past with all of its mistakes, illusions, and closed doors is a reliqushing for something better. New Year is a mindset that maybe we should start each day with.


    On Tue, Dec 25, 2018 at 1:34 AM The Midnight Ember wrote:

    > Natalie Swift posted: ” December 31. The clock chimes twelve against the > backdrop of bated breath. Silence, overwhelming in its vacancy. Deafening, > in a way that you hear only the sounds of what ‘should be’, the pounding > music that never reaches your ears, the raucous” >

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love that idea… wouldn’t we all be so much happier if we woke up with the same clean slate we gift ourselves at the beginning of every year? I guess it’s much harder to put in practise than simply say it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy New Year. Yes, “Amidst the cheer and laughter, you are disappointed, though you try not to acknowledge it, as if you can somehow ignore the feeling into excitement.”
    We are captive to time. It passes. Man’s life is 70 years, possibly 80 if strength and providence wills it. The clock is ticking and eternity beckons us. Have we made peace with our Creator? An accumulation of debts, sins over the years conscience can not deny. How to come to terms with reality. Life is a gift of God, too often squandered as I had done for 33 years, experimenting, but one season, brought change. He who saves souls wooed me out of my descent into increasing depravity. Plucked me out of the miry swamp and set me on the Stone. He’s alive, He arose and conquered death. He opened His hand and I came to His table. There I found forgiveness and over the years He has restored my youthful love for His creation. Yeshua is His Name. He is calling to you, come to Me and I will give you rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding. He is the Ancient of Days and will give you living water and an abundant life.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. You captured just how I felt on New Years Eve, made all the more poignant having been diagnosed with cancer late last year. This gave me a whole new perspective on New Year and your mix of anticipation, hope and fear summed it up beautifully.

    Liked by 4 people

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