Friday, September 14, 2012

WOE: Sending the Souls

Picture prompt:

Source: flickr.com via Tina on Pinterest



"Hurry up!" I heard someone call as they ran past my open window. "You will be late."

Buttoning my shirt, I grabbed my scroll and raced out the door.  The air swirled with crisp leaves that chased us down the street to the wide, green, expanse known to everyone as the Launch.  A small crowd had already formed, and the Guides were having difficulty handing out the umbrellas in the crush.  I knew that it was one umbrella per person, and I fidgeted as I waited in line, anxious that I would not be able to get one. I did not want to wait another year!  A somber Guide finally handed me an umbrella, and I released the breath I had been holding as I went to stand on the Launch with the others.

Today was the day.

I wrapped my scroll around the curve of the umbrella handle, and as I waited for the call of the Guides, I thought of my father, the soul I would release today.  I thought of my anger over his suicide, my incoherent rage at his inability to face life.  I had held onto that anger for years, tethering my father's soul to the earth as punishment for his abandonment of his family.  Of me.  It was my right to do so. Tethering the souls to the earth was the traditional punishment for suicides.  After so many years of anger, however,  I finally understood that my own anger would kill me, my own form of suicide.

I had to let go of my father's soul so that I could live as he never had the courage to attempt.

The sound of the Guide's prayer rolled over me, a wave of forgiveness.  The Guides moved through the crowd as they sang, stationing themselves at intervals to help those who were unable to place their scrolls.  Woven into each scroll was the soul of a loved one; not everyone was as eager as I was to say goodbye, but there would be no going back for any of us.

Today was the day.

The prayer ended. All of us snapped our umbrellas open, and as one, lifted them above our heads.  Let the winds guide all souls home, came the call, and the crisp fall wind gently lifted our umbrellas.  The souls rose, weightless, high above us, pulled by an unseen hand, until we could see them no more.  I felt the invisible cord, the one that held my father chained to me for so long, give with an audible snap.

I could hear the sounds of sobbing around me, but my heart felt too light for tears.



22 comments:

  1. Wow! Great writing. This really touched me.

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  2. This is amazing - I love the idea of souls being tethered to us - my favorite line "I finally understood that my own anger would kill me, my own form of suicide."

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    1. That is a hard truth to let go of, but necessary.

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  3. Absolutely loved this post! A beautiful piece that expresses the price of withholding forgiveness, and the reward of letting go. Very well done!

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    1. Forgiveness is difficult for me, so I think about it often.

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  4. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I so wish I had more time to read your posts. xxoo---Liz

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    1. I wish you had more time, too. Mostly for margaritas!

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  5. Wow. I just got chills. What lovely imagery! This hit home, as my father died unexpectedly a couple of years ago from a stroke, and I have many, MANY unresolved feelings about his life. Thanks for sharing this.

    (Here from WOE.)

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  6. What a compelling image! I love the idea of releasing souls into the sky. This short piece really opens a whole little world. I loved it.

    - barbara @ de rebus
    www(dot)barbaragildea(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that you liked it.

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  7. Just beautiful. I love that it was a cleansing experience.

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  8. Great piece. It gave me chills and a smile.

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  9. Very compelling. I enjoyed this a lot. What a great link of releasing the umbrellas to releasing a loved-one's soul. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. What a beautifully drawn image. I think so many of us can relate to this in some way, needing to let go of a weight that is tying us to something doing more harm than we know.

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    1. Thank you! I have difficulty letting go, and that was on my mind when I saw the prompt.

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  11. So beautiful. Forgiveness is hard, and tethering souls... I think we all do that more than we know. I'm glad the umbrellas were to free them.

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    1. Thank you! The image of the umbrellas rising made me think of setting them free.

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