Excerpt — Short Story — “Scenery’s Grief” — Tale of a Mourning Painter

How is pain felt? Is it not like the storm gathered in its heaviest gray? Would the gray remain for long, before letting loose what it has carried, being of its rain?

Are we not the same in what we dispassionately yearn to be rid of?

It is that brief moment of logic where we can say it is time to drench ourselves, in that flood from our bereavement.

When the storm tires itself, does it not sleep into a relief, a calm, still so frightful?

Grief is never so much a thing to conquer, as much as being merely felt. It is like a leaf that had strayed from its branch. An Autumn departure from a stem nestles itself upon our shoulder. Staying there, it does not vow to escape.

All falling tears, so much like the fallen leaves that are despondent merely in their viewing, are the lightness from the weight. A load that we let off, being of a repetition. The storm. The cry. It is repeated, though emanating from a singular source, of a well we wish would dry.

All memories carry not weight, though force. We are not weighted by our memories. We are pulled by them. It is like the most alluring form of seduction. We do not cry, unless we remember. We do not remember, unless we surrender. To such memories, we bow ourselves. For such heaviness, we unpack ourselves.

In memory’s direction, we run. We want to feel pain, because pain is all to feel.

What have we, of a man that needs no name? Just a mere man with torment to his eyes, listlessness to his breath, and fault to his stagnant gaze?

What have we, of the man whose solace is to unleash, as an artist?

Here is a painter of no words. No rhymes, no pages, though many images. They are images that have never decayed in his mind, yet have found themselves onto the canvas, during many a hopeful hour. Torrents of confusion, dwelling at first in his head, have soon been shaped into a scenery of sense. They have been formed about blankness, made as wash of curves or tumble of scraping lines.

For as we see upon the walls, beautiful designs of portraiture and landscape, cityscape and desolation, reflecting the fullness to the emptiness of all expression. Canvasses, as multiple in coming, framed and gilded, walled against the shadows and light of this feeble flat. An apartment, in a city that, too, needs no name, houses this artist of repetition.

Here, upon a day when all weights can ensnare him. Winds come from a hollow so deep, that he extends his arms down to reach the roots. Sweetness of scent in those winds, driving memories to his sight. Bereaving, as they are, though sink him to the contemplation of racing thoughts. What winds, coming from areas so deep, raising sighs that are grieving, granting opportunity to this artist to search for roots? What winds, besides that of the most obvious fault to any human?


Pain is not the toxin, though the truth of a person. For as any truth shocks us, we are even stunned to see, or feel, our own. To display anger, and then, to withdraw our words from the receiver of that wrath, is done in such shock. We say always, “I did not mean” to speak such words. Yet, “meaning”, by way of truth, is equivalent in exacting definition. We speak truth, through rage, for it is the same as vulnerability. Our truth simply is withdrawn, out of realization that perhaps a lie would have been more comforting.

Though, of depression? Alongside rage, there it is, just a dark spirit that never rests in any stagnant position. We toss, in it, waking from sleep with pounding chest. To this artist, there is nothing more to his likeness, than what darkness rides the waters of his mind.

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