A. Kathleen Collins
By the Hand of a Bygone Love
Finally we are alone; it is just he and I. Softly, I hold him.
As the cascade of light is dimmed toward moonlight, I curl over onto my side. I admire his spine; I imagine his face. He lays waiting beside me. For without me, he remains silent.
With a whisper, I awaken him. To myself, and with his gentle phrases, his hushed clauses, and with each tender pause, I grasp him. Over and over I repeat his words; for he never minds. His ideas flow freely into mine. We are private; we are intimate. He is daring; I am indulgent. We are discreet; we are a secret. Together we share the tranquility of an evening. Again and again, I cherish him.
He murmurs to me a confidence, “Originality is a tedious journey. If you, the writer, pose a notion closely in front of you, and you consider that notion with boundless love and unceasing devotion, you will know that notion better than anyone else has ever known it before. It’s every beauty, you distinguish. To its every flaw, you give passion. What has been unsaid about that notion, you speak. The unimagined about it, you think. In that notion you envision the unforeseen. As a gift from it, you offer the yet unshared. About that notion, you celebrate the unadmired. You applaud what has lain unappreciated. What has been ignored of that notion, you highlight. And with that notion, you want to reveal anything oblivious to everyone else.” This is the way a writer becomes original.
With the allure of a smile, I embrace his inspiration. We are a couple. We are an enduring relationship. Until tomorrow, I shall scheme on his prose. Gently, I lay closed his buff linen cover.
As I nestle into my pillows, I bemuse to myself. Even though he composed this well over a hundred years earlier, he has awakened in me the sensation that this man of long ago will be the man of my dreams.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
Where lay beauty?
a turn, a curve, a stroke;
a sparkle, a luster, a glow;
a tint, a shade, a tone;
a tweet, a twinkle, a twilight;
a fragrance, a flavor, a feel;
a whisper, a murmur, a trickle;
a caress, a breeze, a shower;
a cluster, a couple, a flock;
an honesty, a clarity, an original;
beauty lay in sensation.
Emerging from the kitchen, the garden and the sewing room, my whisk, my rake and my shears have been swapped for a pen, some paper and a basket full of propositions.
As an active equestrienne, long ago in the 20th Century, my work appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse and Hounds Magazine (UK).
Awhile back, though not at all recently, both my prose and photographs appeared in both The Daffodil Journal and Fusion Flowers (Scotland).
Enjoying a long span of peaceful anonymity, the last four years have been occupied by my having composed a culinary memoir.
My husband of fifteen years and I live our lives between two culturally diverse heavens: Bucks County (PA) and Collier County (FL).