The Garden of Darkness and Light #18


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Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself. ― Deborah Reber

The Hospital

The Hospital

I saw Sonia in the lobby before she saw me. She was looking intently at an old painting hanging on the wall that showed two Victorian lovers in a park.  She turned and smiled. I was expecting much less. I found myself smiling back at her, forgetting to mask my strong feelings for her. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #17


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By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ― Confucius


Reflection in Water

I sat with the open journal in my lap, my feet crossed and propped up on the glass-topped coffee table that, days earlier, held our drinks as Sonia and I enjoyed our time together on the small balcony of our hotel room. Sophie wrote in her journals in German, English and French. I could read the German and English without much pause. I didn’t speak a word of French. It would take me years to decipher the beautiful prose she wrote. She felt that her deepest thoughts deserved the romantic expression of the French language. Even I could see the wisdom in her choice. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #16


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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Library

In the darkness of the mind’s library, one finds the light.

She looked up through a dream and out the open window into the translucent blue sky as clouds marched by so slow you could watch them change and not know they weren’t the same as before. The young man sat beside her on the bed, dressed in a black linen suit, white billowy cotton shirt, and a red silk bow tie. He moved his arms with marked excitement. His cuff-links jingled in harmony with his wild waves and trumpeting words. She thought his boyish face, encroached upon by whiskers, and not so neatly trimmed, made his madness adorable. John Keats enthralled her. He coughed again into his sleeve and struggled to regain his voice. His days were numbered too. Her voice drifted up to him to please continue. Continue reading

My Mnemosyne


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There’s things that happen in a person’s life that are so scorched in the memory and burned into the heart that there’s no forgetting them. ― John Boyne


My Mnemosyne

My Mnemosyne,
My Mnemosyne,
You came to me,
In my dreams.
I was sick,
I failed to thrive,
But, from your love,
I came back to life.
I knew you not,
My mind too thick,
I could not speak,
I could not think.
I remembered your smile,
Your cool touch,
Your soothing scent.

Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #15


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Klaus’s Story

True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself. ― Henry Miller

The Priest

The Later Years

(Monochrome Watercolor adapted from the original photo and memoir of Alastair White in Episkopi 1957)

Joachim and his wife came to meet us in the garden carrying a complete coffee service on a large, ornate silver platter. We moved to a large stone bench where Joachim placed the platter on the bench and greeted us with a warm welcome. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #14


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And he knew, also, what the old man was thinking as his tears flowed, and he thought it too: that a loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, of one’s work, and of devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart. ― Albert Camus, The Plague


The darkness of dreams holds the secret of light

I stared out over the steering wheel of my rental car through the dew covered windshield down the narrow winding cobblestone street. The old sandstone buildings on both sides rose straight up like the great walls of some labyrinth, swallowing my thoughts and forcing the ache in my chest to hang closer to my heart, afraid to venture away from me. The door opened and a lithe muse floated in and lightly perched in the seat. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #13


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At this moment she wasn’t ashamed of loving him, because her physical desire had gone and all she felt towards him now was pity and a profound, almost maternal tenderness. She forced herself to smile. ― Irène Némirovsky, Suite Francaise


In those last days at the tower, the sunsets gave up their secrets and the garden fell into ruin

I dreamed of her last night with me every night for the first year. Each time, I searched my sub-conscience for some clue to her departure. I’d hoped she whispered it in my ear as we made love or as she lay beside me while I slept. The dream faded in time, corrupted by my desire to understand why Sophie abandoned our veracious love for one another and slipped away. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #12


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A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare to the jeweled vision of a life started anew.― Aberjhani

Garden 12

As one bloom ceases, another finds its day

In the cool, dark early morning, questions raced across some boundless stormy sky in my mind, illuminated against the boiling clouds that obscured reason, swallowed by what I didn’t know, and lost to me, until I could summon these thoughts repeatedly and some clear answer, true or false, gave me respite. The constant voice of these thoughts in my mind never ceased as I considered where this was all taking me. I could only let time drag me forward, toward Sophie; to see her, to put the years long mourning of her loss aside and turn to my future as the past finally released me to live again. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #11


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Always remember… Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.” ― Ziad K. Abdelnour

Garden 11

Where there is hope, there is life.

Sonia lay sound asleep, her cheek on my shoulder with her warm breath flowing softly against my neck in a rhythm that matched my own. Her leg was tightly wrapped around mine as if to make sure I wouldn’t slip away from her grasp while she slept. I looked up into the black ceiling as she slept and played the words she spoke earlier through my head. Sweat collected between the tight contact of our bodies and slowly ran down my side in concert with the images in my mind as they danced, melted away, and reformed.  I stroked the long slender fingers of her hand on my chest and tried to make sense of what was to happen next. Continue reading

The Garden of Darkness and Light #10


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When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet.” ― Eve Ensler


Rage, Hate, and Anger consumes the Innocent and the Demented alike.

Sonia and I got up the next morning and had breakfast in the room. Sonia was deeply troubled. She had this way of suffering quietly, never wanting her trouble to invade the peace of others. When I tried comforting her, she looked at me and said she should take care of me, and not the other way. This threw me off, but before I could continue, she told me it was time for her to tell me everything. Everything. That word left a deep ache in my chest. I could no longer pretend that not knowing what happened to Sophie wasn’t eating me alive, like fire burns old newspapers, slow and hot. Continue reading


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