It was my own fault, finding myself on Mars like this. Such a strange and hostile atmosphere. The thought of two moons rising trumped common sense, and decent air. I can only take short breaths.
I followed him here, you know. What difference did it make? I was lost to begin with.
He opened the door, but I came and went through the window. It seemed easier that way. The air inside became as strange and hostile as the air outside, only more toxic. What I gave freely, and what was taken away, cannot be recovered. I get that.
But, I shouldn’t have announced my leaving, knowing it would serve no purpose, and would only fuel his rage. “If you go, you can’t get back in,” he’d say. Again and again. For all my threats, I’d come back in through that damn window, again and again. Inside was the known damaged and damaging atmosphere. Outside was the unknown damaged and damaging landscape.
Out the window I went, clinging to the ledge, ready to jump. I’ve done it so many times. He slammed it down before I cleared the sill. It closed hard on my knuckles. The blood lubricated my hands, and I pulled free. My fingers were scraped and bleeding; my hands, throbbing. I could hear him curse me through the window.
I took shallow breaths, trying to form words – a curse, a prayer…something. It was like a bad dream, when you try to speak, but no words come out. A line from an old Townes Van Zandt song, “won’t you lend your lungs to me,” played itself over and over in my head, “mine are collapsing…”
Every door locked. Every window shut tight. There was no concern with hope or salvation. There was only now, this moment, and the desire to take a long, deep breath, impossible in this red and angry place.
– Toni Tan, “Phobos and Deimos” ©2014
Here’s to life…in all of its pain, its beauty, and its color.
A Dr. Who episode, “Vincent and The Doctor,” brought Van Gogh and his vibrant paintings (like the ones below), to life. It is a beautiful, sci-fi treatment of, and homage to, a sensitive soul, his life, his work, and his posthumous fame.
Remembering Vincent today, on his birthday…..born March 30, 1853. Touch the stars!
VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR (Series 5/Episode 10)
Van Gogh: Hold my hand, Doctor. Try to see what I see. We’re so lucky we’re still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It’s not dark and black and without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there! Lights are blue. And blue in through the blueness, and the blackness, the winds swirling through the air… and then shining. Burning, bursting through! The stars, can you see how they roll their light? Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
The Doctor: I’ve seen many things, my friend. But you’re right. Nothing’s quite as wonderful as the things you see.
You can read more of the dialog from this Dr. Who episode, Vincent and the Doctor
Our wonderful friend and writer, Re Harris…not only has exquisite writing chops — she is a musician too. Her work is up on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord. Give a listen, dance because you’ll want to…. You can download her tracks too.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day…
“Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me,
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall,
Confident that we have built our wall.
You can this photograph and more of my work on zenfolio