April 2012 - Comments Off

Selfless Creation

Jess Joho '14

Shackles lose their grip and quiet descends upon a fire lit room as the word Anonymous is signed onto fraying parchment. In one decisive sweep of the pen, foundations where cathedrals, theatres, laboratories, and libraries stand on, collapse. Beauty is emancipated. For once in her existence, Beauty lies bare, without all those men clambering to snatch her from the air, clip her wings, and sell her on the black market. The voiceless, for once in their lives, manage to issue a single, harmonious note from otherwise stifled throats. Those who stand outside the locked gate facing a mountainous cement wall suddenly realize how vaporous they are, how climbable that wall is.

Somewhere in the world, a woman stops. Her brisk strides falter on a cobblestone street with the inexplicable, unmistakable realization that she is being known. Someone—just then in that moment—has cupped her life in their hands, has created something monumental from the thin material that is her identity. She watches a disembodied hand with sinewy fingers and calloused palms write the word Anonymous across a page. “That’s me,” she exhales, release flooding her muscles and tears trailing her cheeks.

Something is shared universally—almost unanimously.

And that remarkable being—the emancipator of beauty—sits in an upright wooden chair, smiling wearily down at words which no longer lay dormant. The words will quite certainly be buried; with no owner to latch themselves on to, these words will hide in shadow of the act itself. But who in the world can care for legacy or endurance at a time like this—when a human being, for once in our existence, favors love over glory.

Tiny hands clambered for attention at Anonymous’ feet like the voiceless begging to be heard again. The children demanded immediacy because Catherine had pulled Sally’s hair and Sally had pushed Catherine into the dirt. And so, wrapping her irate children into her arms, Anonymous wipes the soot from a porcelain face. Rocking back and forth, she once again smiles down wearily at creation which had once been within her, is now without her, and will remain immeasurably beautiful forever.

Jess is a literature student and definitely not selfless enough to write anonymously.

Published by: in Prose, Volume 68

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