my name is ra.

copper lemons

I wish I wrote the way I read: unforgivingly, relentlessly, visibly. I trace my fingers over letters, mouth the words, gasp and cry. I slam books shut in a way that only other readers understand. A slow, two-handed slam where the letters press together hard enough to send a poof of scented air toward my face. It smells like the story, aged and fantastical, and I always open the book again. I’m stained, you see, and stains return to stain.

I’ve told a thousand stories to myself the last ten days, some to soothe, some to repeatedly and achingly wake me from peaceful slumber. Those stories don’t stain my conscious mind, just my dreaming one. I am forgiving and clumsy in the way I tell tale. I am invisible in the way I write. The ink is scrawled on the inner linings of my heart and you can only read it when life gives me lemons. The juice spills over me and suddenly I can read my story and oh how I read.

I read voraciously, unforgivingly, relentlessly, visibly, and my story stains me twice. I slam the book and it wakes me from my nightmares,
scenting my day with lemon and a copper that could be blood.

There’s a lifetime in that burst, and every story is all mixed together. A younger version of me picked a basket of lemons from below a tree, and washed them in well water. My hands gently pressed over the rind, rubbing the dirt from the pores. I had perfect balance in this effort, they didn’t slip or bruise. I have good hands for some things. Later, I would ask my big sister to sort them, and my little brother to free them of leaves. Later I would watch my big brother slice them with cool efficiency, and watch my baby brother and baby sister squeeze them into a bowl for him with more enthusiasm than a human body should be able to hold. My hands weren’t right for the other parts of the process. My hands aren’t artistic, aggressive, or discerning, but they washed that lemon well, and they loved that lemon as it was.

In that moment, I felt as if everything was right with the world. It seemed as if the right things for me might just simply fall from trees, land at my feet, and guide my path. My hands felt capable– fearfully and wonderfully made.

I laughed into that well, the happiness of it shaking like pennies into its pit, and maybe it was a wishing well, and maybe my laugh sounded like a heart-born plea for more because I’ve certainly had my share of lemons.

I’d like to think I still hold them well. I’d like to think they are given to me because my hands were made to hold them.

It is a story I tell myself, just another I write with invisible ink, just another dream I write with forgiveness.

I wish I could write that tale more boldly, the way I read. I wish I could give you the sentences that wake me up, every 10 minutes, every 5, every 25, but who’s counting.

I wish I could make pages of words you could slam together, the way readers like me do. It would poof towards you then, and you’d scent my quietest tales. The ones that smell like copper, like wishing-well pennies, like blood. The ones that smell like a lifetime of lemons, and the miracle of a thousand perfectly-made hands.

But then you’d be a little stained by the stories that wake me, and the lemon juice might make visible your secret stories, and your senses might stop being able to tell the difference between wishes and bloodshed, too.

It all smells like copper eventually, all of it. The dreams, the nightmares, and even, mysteriously, the lemons.

44 comments

  1. Who says you don’t write that way? And, as a fellow reader, how could we stop even if there was a price. A price… A reward… A love… A lesson… A journey… Only the reader decides. <3.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. All I can think is of big copper kitchen pans and the beauty and gleam of them as they wait for those lemons, to transform them with effort and love, into something utterly delicious – tart and sweet and wonderfully good, still imbued with the blue skies and sunshine the fruit ripened in.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Reading is pleasurable, and sometimes it tears me up. Lemons fill the cuts and give a good, memorable burn. Pages can give paper cuts. I try not to move too fast, but sometimes moving, thinking, acting happens on its own. Lovely reflection. I never thought about it, or I don’t think I did, but lemon juice and blood, they both have a similar taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stains and all, that should be the name of a book! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, lovely. How’ve you been feeling? I’m sorry I haven’t checked in, my head has been everywhere except present. โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow thanks for asking Ra. My broken finger was healing up nicely but then I got it caught on my steering wheel and sprained the ligaments a couple weeks ago, and then just two days ago I smashed the fingertip of the same finger when closing the door. It just sticks out and gets in the way! I need to be wrapped in bubble wrap, LOL! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It occurs to me that one of the methods recommended for cleaning copper is to cut a lemon in half, sprinkle salt on it, and then use that to scrub the tarnish off the copper and make it gleam.

    It also occurs to me that tears have salt.

    For what it’s worth, I think you write the way you read. To me, anyway.

    โค *hugs*

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s kinda amazing how many way these seemingly random elements intersect. The universe is a jumbled, tangled, beautiful place. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for being a part of mine. โค

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny- but you’re already there- you’ve achieved it. I remember reading Sack Nasty in one long draught-I was incapable of putting it down. I finished at 2am with a houseful of sleeping family around me, and just closed the book slowly on the last page and just looked at for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, Lauren, that’s the sweetest. Thank you for letting me know. Writing a book was an odd feeling to me, like blogging into a vacuum. Big hugs and love to you!

      Like

  6. “I wish I wrote the way I read: unforgivingly, relentlessly, visibly.” Oh, but you do, Ra… you do indeed.

    Sent you an email, inviting you to the annual list of 50; hope you’ll stop by. Happy holidays to you and yours. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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