Monday, May 14, 2007

Dew Drop

Last Friday, I woke up early with no alarm. I went out on my balcony, and had a lazy morning cigarette while I sipped my first cup of coffee and pondered my existence. (Side note: the easiest way to quit smoking is not to start in the first place - starting smoking 21 years ago is one of the few things in my life I truly regret and would change if I could.)

From the balcony off my bedroom, I have a clear view of a stand of trees that the environmentalists forced the developers to leave in order to preserve indigenous plant and animal life. I frequently see all manner of creatures roaming through the dense foliage, and I often find it soothing to sit and observe in the early morning.

I felt like writing, but frankly, I've grown quite tired of always writing about my present situation. So I resolved myself to write about the first thing that came to my mind... to just sit down and go with whatever I thought of first. The first thing that came to my mind was "I am but a drop of dew..." so that's how I started.

When I was finished, I'd written a short poem/essay/story about the life of - you guessed it - a drop of dew. I patted myself on the back for having briefly escaped the incessant painful prose that my writing has become. Then I showed it to a few people.

I noticed a couple of interesting things. Each person who read it seemed to take something different from it, but those who know me and my situation well all insisted that I had once again indirectly written of myself. I decided to get a professional opinion.

Saturday morning I had a scheduled therapy session. Ostensibly, the purpose of this visit was for my son (he's doing much better, by the way) but I have private sessions with the same counselor for myself. I showed him what I had written, and he read it. Here's the composition:

The Dew Drop

I am but a drop of dew, rolling gently down the waxy surface of a dark green leaf in the early morning. Rays of sunshine beam in golden lines as they fight to penetrate the forest canopy. Eventually, the sun will break through the trees, and I'll be gone. For now, I observe.

Around me, birds begin their morning songs. I don't understand the details, but the message is clear. They call to their mates. They call to their friends. They call to their foes. They call so the world will notice them.

Below me, on the forest floor, a single mouse forages for food. I hear the gentle rustling of plants around him. He doesn't seem to realize that he himself may end up as breakfast for another creature. Because he doesn't know, he isn't tormented by it. He nuzzles a stone over, and then moves on, blissfully unaware of the dangers that surround him. He is the lucky one.

In the distance, I can hear the gentle gurgling of a small stream. In the rich waters of the stream, I'm am certain life abounds. Small fish will soon be warming themselves in the sunlight that dances off the water's surface. The mossy shore of the brook comprises the edge of their universe. They are not aware of the world beyond, and they too are lucky.

My time is short now. I notice that sunlight has broken through the treetops and is illuminating the ground in beautiful random patterns. But in the chaos, there is order.

I spot a caterpillar wiggling his way down a branch. He is driven by a single purpose: to gorge himself on the sweet green leaves and store the energy for the amazing metamorphosis that awaits him. Does he know what is in store for him? In a short while he'll shelter himself within the safety of his cocoon. When he emerges, he'll be a different creature, and the boundaries of his world will have expanded tremendously. If he makes it, this will be a second chance for him. He is unwittingly the luckiest of all.

Sunlight strikes me, and my edges seem to retreat from the leaf as it dries. For me, it is over, but I have no regrets. My life is a short one, and this is my destiny. It is the natural order of things. I watch the caterpillar munching on a leaf, and for a brief moment ponder whether or not he observes the same things I do. Then I am gone.

When he was finished reading, he gave me a strange and steady look, then bluntly asked if I was suicidal. We talked for a bit, and he scheduled another private appointment with me for Tuesday ahead of the appointment I already had for Thursday. I'll be going twice a week rather than once for the next little while.

The frustrating thing for me is that I was really trying to do something different, but I seem to be a one-trick pony for the time being. Still, I'm really interested to see any comments or feedback about this. You can either post them here, or email me at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I took something else away from your prose. I think it shows that life is fleeting and there is nothing you can do to prolong it. Everyone has their role in life, and some get the short end of the stick, but that isn't what matters. I'm glad you're going to therapy though, I know that it did wonders for me. Hopefully you'll learn how to love yourself enough to be fine being alone. Only then will you be able to allow someone else to love you as you deserve, as your past wives did not.

I love you anyway. :)

-Your Sister