25 July 2011
A painting I did for a friend
Life is a bus. Time is the driver.

One day, somewhere between Here and There, the bus driver was droning on and on about the sites, which we passed too swiftly to get a good look at. 

"To your left, you'll see Untapped Potential, to your right, Unformed Decisions." 

Then the bus started up a hill and slowed just enough that I could see the pale blue sky, the bare trees, and the brown grass.

"Excuse me," I lifted my voice. "Mr. Time, I'd like to get off please."

The bus driver looked at me in his rear view mirror. "We aren't There yet. This is Between. Nobody gets off in Between."

"Well, I'd like to have a look around. Smell the flowers, you know?"

Father Time didn't answer, but the bus slowly ground to a halt and the door squeaked open in the way that bus doors do. Suddenly a bit nervous, I walked down the aisle, down the stairs, and stepped onto the brown turf outside. I took a deep breath and turned back to look at the driver. "There'll be another bus?" 

Father Time smiled. "There's always another bus." Then he gave me a nod and headed for the peaks and valleys that lay ahead. 

I walked over to an old park bench, brushed away the leaves, and sat down. There was something quite magical about the place between Here and There. It looked a bit like the mild days between winter and spring. 

I stayed there a long while, with my memories stretching to the left and forever to the right, listening as the Winds of Change rustled the long grass. I watched the birds fly overhead and the butterflies saunter from flower to flower.

"I think I'll walk the rest of the way, Mr. Time." I said when at last the bus had come back around. 

Father Time blinked at me. Then he turned off the ignition and climbed out of the driver's seat, his silver beard spilling down the front of his robes. "I've never liked the fast road myself," he said. "Shall we?"

Dedicated to Ingrid Palmer


Anonymous said...

I like Between. And love your story. Very sweet. Its the deep breath so many of us need:) Thanks for sharing!

sonje said...

Well, you know I love that painting. I've already told you that. :)

I found your story interesting, particularly when the narrator wants to know there will be another bus before she (or he, I suppose, but I'll just say she for simplicity) gets off although ultimately she decides not to take the bus again. Sometimes we think we need the thing that we don't even want; we can't let go of it.

Joelle said...

Love the painting even more with the story narrating it. Simply thought provoking. Read it twice. Thanks for sharing.

Kristan said...

AWWW. I loved the story, and it matched the tone of the painting so well. Thanks for sharing both with us!

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Time would have a beard, wouldn't he? Love this. xx

Stephanie Mooney said...

Sonje, I hadn't even thought about that. But you're right. When you make a decision, there's always that fear of letting go of the other choice. It's funny how other people can find truths in your writing that you didn't consciously put there.

Laura, Joelle, Kristan, and Sarah, thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Ingrid said...

Aww, Steph, you went and made me cry. Love the story. Love the painting. Love you, girl! Thanks for dedicating it to me. I'm definitely "Between" right now. Here and there. Happy, sad. Big changes on my road. Y'know. :)

Jessica said...

You're giving this girl more stuff to think about... timely read. thanks for it!


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