Shhhh….

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Daily Post Writing Challenge – June 9, 2014

Living Art:  One day, your favorite piece of art — a famous painting or sculpture, the graffiti next door — comes to life. What happens next?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE:  From the moment I saw the above graphic, I was captivated.  Who is this woman?  Where are her clothes?  Why is she “shhing” whoever gazes upon her?  I have used this graphic as my profile photo on Facebook, it is currently my screensaver on my smartphone, it is very much a part of me.  But what would I do if suddenly, the image on my phone became a living, breathing, person? ]

It’s a typical Monday morning and I am on my commute to work.  Due to a recent work schedule change, I am able to take advantage of my city’s public transportation system and usually plug in to my iPod and tune out the noise of my fellow commuters.  But today was going to be different – I just didn’t know it yet.  I noticed a buzz in the air, a certain electricity that was normally absent, but I attributed it to post-weekend “jet lag” and “Monday morning blues”.  My iPod was silent as I contemplated what I wanted to listen to as I checked my Facebook account to see what was going on in the lives of my friends and loved ones.  As the train pulled through a tunnel, I heard a whisper in my ear, “So, how are you today?”

I looked around to see who was talking to me, but there was no one sitting close enough to me – or even looking my way – on the somewhat deserted train.  I shook it off as my imagination and returned my attention to my iPod playlist selections.  Again, I heard a whisper, “Oh, so you are just going to ignore me?”  Ok, this is getting spooky and more than a little weird.  Imagine my surprise when I look to my right and there she was – the lady from my phone, just sitting there, on a seat, by the window, across the aisle from me.  She is not naked (thankfully), but is dressed in a beautiful halter-top styled maxi dress that is made up of wonderful swirls of color.  Her natural hair style is wild and seemingly untamed, but on closer inspection, you can tell this is artfully contrived to look like controlled wildness.  Her skin glows from within and there seems to be a golden aura surrounding her.

“Are you talking to me?”, I ask nervously.

“Do you see anyone else nearby that I would be talking to?”

I glance around to see if anyone else on the train is seeing this, hearing this – but no one seems to be paying any attention to me and my unexpected visitor.  It is as if we are in a bubble of our own making – ok, her making – and the only people involved are she and I.

“What do you want?”, I ask.  “Are you here to do me harm?”

She laughs and the sound of her laughter is like wind chimes brushing softly against each other in a warm summer breeze.  “Honey chile, do I look like I would do you (or anyone else) harm?  That ain’t what I’m about.  I only have a short amount of time to be here, so let me be quick.  I am here to remind you that you are here for a purpose.  That there are things you should be doing that you are not, and that your time is running out.  Life is a gift and you are wasting yours.  You have talents and skills and knowledge that were given ONLY to you for you to use – and you are wasting them.  Snap out of it!  Do better.  Make a difference.  Stop wasting the talents given to you.  Use your fear of the unknown, the unexpected to help you mold the world in which you are a citizen.  By stepping out, in faith, you can make an impact.”

I heard her words, but I wasn’t really listening.  I mean, c’mon.  This had to be a dream from which I just could not awaken.  I mean, I don’t do drugs or take any other mind-altering substances.  I had not fallen and bumped my head on something.  And everyone knows that images on your phone don’t just become living, breathing, talking, cognizant beings.

“You are not crazy”, she continued, “you just need some affirmation.  The tools you need to do the things you are here to do are all within you.  You just have to believe in yourself enough.  Stop listening to the voices of doubt and the haters who are jealous of your talents and gifts.  Follow your heart and step out in faith.”

“I have to go now.  It’s almost time for you to change trains anyway.”  I look around in surprise and see that she is correct.  “Just remember, whenever you look at your phone and see my image – I’m not “shhing” you to be quiet.  I am reminding you to “shh” the voices that are stopping you from living up to your fullest potential.  Go forth and conquer.”

And with that, she disappeared.  Not abruptly or quickly.  It was more like a scattering of golden pixie dust.  I looked at my phone, and there she was – only now it seemed like she was winking at me … in encouragement … to move forward.

I gathered up my stuff and moved to the door of the train with a spring in my step and a new purpose in my heart.  Let’s see where this takes me.

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