portrait of an artist by a landscape.

She knelt on the shore, tracing the shadows of the clouds upon the grains of sand. It was as if the sky and sea all appeared to conspire to draw her here, if only to sympathize with her restlessness under the unforgiving sun.

It had been awhile since it had even occurred to her to come here, but last night’s dreams left her unconstant and unsettled. She had never felt an ounce of regret–ends justifies the means?–but recent events made her realize how so much of her current laceration had spiraled back from this moment. Conversations, hesitations, silences all seemed tethered to this singular constant in time.

She longed to whip out a pair of scissors, slash through and watch them float up through the atmosphere, but they were so entangled and intertwined, she wouldn’t know where to begin. She had dedicated her life to accumulation and it would feel so damn good to let it all go.

Every look, a chasm.

Every breath, an ocean between them.

I heard the fatigue in your voice, she thinks. And I get it.

She wonders if she has tortured herself enough, concludes she hasn’t, but then relentlessly lets herself off the hook one more time. And always for the wrong reasons.

Sure, grace is amazing.

But not when we’re holding Her hostage.

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