Blue Poorman was feeling rather unlike himself as he walked through the park, despite the shady clouds moving in on an otherwise fair Saturday afternoon. More would follow, of course, and darker, giving way to needed rain, which somehow always seemed to make Blue feeler bluer despite the fact that he had nothing personally against rain. Why would he? He’d often reasoned with himself, Rain is absolutely necessary and good, so it should actually make me feel good, unless we were caught in a monsoon or something, which is impossible here in Splinterbit.
The clouds moving in could not quell Blue’s uncharacteristic upbeat mood this day, though. For the first time in a long, long time he actually felt inspired. He’d delivered what he considered a fair-to-fairly good sermon Sunday ~ which most of the congregation actually judged good-to-very good ~ and he’d had an awesome conversation with his newfound, younger friend, Able, at his favorite Chinese restaurant. (Forget for the moment that the other two were no more than tiny drive-thru, holes-in-the wall…) And they’d talked on the phone a couple of times since ~ good, hearty discussions ~ and he had been invited to fill the pulpit at St. Gianna again this Sunday.
Blue looked at the magnificent oaks and hickories, the poplars and tulips and all the beauty of nature around him and thought, for all these years working on my ‘magnum opus,’ I’ve missed the one most important element of all in discussing ‘the soul of humanity.’ Blue just shook his head, realizing that his utter and deeply felt disappointment with his still-in-the-works book, The Chords of Cecilia: Aesthetics and the Soul of Humanity, had everything to do with its lack of soul. It was dead, period. Three hundred-fifty pages of scholarly reflection, all nice and neatly tied together, addressing an important subject … but it was dead; no “if, ands or buts” about it.
Able Dilettante had really proven the means of his epiphany. Here was an outstandingly bright, artistically talented, young man from an exceptionally narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned, legalistic background; rather naïve to the ways of the larger world … yet in and through his art, Able expressed some of the most magnificently poignant, stunningly deep and clear aspects of life. Of course, Blue realized that some of the greatest works of art, music, literature and so forth had arisen out of prisons, from within totalitarian regimes and various repressive situations; however, he had never actually met and known someone who could paint so vividly, passionately, and authentically in and through his own world, out into all of life and the total world that even some of the most erudite people fail to appreciate and understand. Yes, Blue thought, he plays the Chords of Cilicia. Long ago Able somehow tapped into the very Soul of Life.
Now this bright, young man was free and in an environment where he could flourish even more, and, indeed, Able Dilettante was flourishing. He was not only maintaining an average GPA of 4.0, he was boldly offering his work to the public. Already he’d sold three of his charcoal sketches and nabbed second place in the Pencil and Charcoal Sketch Division of the County Creative Arts Festival. Far from world renown, at least his name was out now and in an confirmatory way. The Splinterbit Journal, a mostly upbeat features’ weekly, had also retained him for at least four pencil sketches to be completed within the next four months.
Here I am with all my education and, I guess, knowledge of some sort, Blue pondered, yet Able has struck down into the deep soil of life itself with wisdom and discernment. It’s just an astuteness and intuitive insight that has always managed its way through his art, yet not quite to the surface of his heart, mind and soul. It’s always been there, the profound stirrings of the Soul of the Humanity of which we are all part, and which is part of each of us … but for Able it has found, thus far, only one potent outlet. Ah! But Moxie! Blue reminded himself. This Moxie Keener, whom Blue only knew from a distance, is slowly but surely persuading it out of him in other ways, too. I only hope her loving coaching and support doesn’t derail his passionate, psychic-spiritual, life art. That would be tragic … no matter how valuable the romance!
The breeze picked up, scattering leaves and bringing a few drops of rain. Blue’s stroll through the park would soon come to an end … or maybe not. The old, popular song, “Dancing in the Rain,” came to his mind and he laughed, thinking about himself actually dancing anywhere, anytime, much less in the park during the rain. All of this turned his thoughts back upon his own life, but now with an altogether fresh perspective. Maybe his life had not been wasted, after all. Maybe he was not such an absolute failure and perhaps so many family members, who had distanced themselves more and more over the years, were not quite as right as they thought. Just then a silly little ditty popped into his mind that Blue might flesh out into a song later on:
No, I’ve never been up to the stars
But, yeah, I’ve sat in quite a few bars;
Never made that million dollars,
But I’ve worn quite a few collars.
No, I haven’t always been right,
But I’ve never been out of sight.
I’m still here, still walking, still talking;
I’m still dreaming in this bit of a town;
I’m still here, still learning, still burning
As days roll on and I’m not looking down.
It would take some work, for sure, if it were even worth the time and trouble, but it really expressed how Blue felt no matter how silly the ditty. He was still here, and he was still walking and talking, dreaming, learning, growing and, once again in his life, burning inside his soul. It felt great; dynamic, in fact, and this would actually make its way into his book as well. Blue realized it would have to, that is: the whole very personal dynamic … from the first person. Blue smiled. Never before had it occurred to him that he might even be worthy to write himself into The Chords of Cecilia: Aesthetics and the Soul of Humanity, but why not? He was as much apart of the Soul of Humanity as anyone, and really and truly he’d been playing “the Chords of Cilicia” almost all of his life!
The rain came more steadily now, so Blue opted for a nearby gazebo. No storm was on the way in, just this nice gentle rain, and so he decided the outdoors was still more appealing than his apartment … more real, more alive, more inspirational; more like he felt right now, and that was more than good. He felt almost whole, and that felt awesome!