Cyber Beach Backdrops

Reply to the WordPress Daily Prompt Jan.7, 2015

Oasis

A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.

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I awakened this morning to the routine darkness of this time of year, irritated that I had to get out of bed earlier than the daylight decided to. I stepped outside to the usual grey skies, today blurred by a thick layer of fog that pulled the gloom even closer to the earth (in case I needed a reminder that it was there). I gathered the firewood that provides my only true sense of emotional warmth in this cold, small town I live in.

I’m sitting here watching the flickering flames, comforted by their earthy smell of combustion, and mesmerized by their calming performance, as they dance while draped in colors of heat. I suppose my love of fire comes from our shared dichotomy – possessing the power to draw others in with our hypnotizing uniqueness and warmth, while at the same time possessing the equal power of destruction, should they forget our boundaries and stand too close.

With the visible flames of orange and yellow gracefully fluttering in the background, my attention is now turned to the contrasting blues and greens of the computer-beach in front of me – teasing me as the inspirational backdrop to my 27-inch screen. I remember the days of non-cyber beaches – staring out at the soothing beauty of cool-toned colors, while the sun hugged me with its warmth from behind.  Toes being separated by the sand and water as I slowly sunk into the softened earth. Being tickled by underground critters, as they scurried out of their hidden sanctuaries that I was now crushing.  Having a front-row seat to the orchestrated music of this comforting yet equally powerful monster that I reclined on, as it hummed me to sleep with its heartbeat of passing waves.

With my inner reserves long ago used up, I find myself longing for that thrice-yearly oasis I was blessed to have experienced in my youth. Now I am left with only the memories of the contagiously cheerful greetings from the people who lived in the paradise I was so happy to visit. Today I see only bitter weather, matched by equally bitter and weathered residents, who would rather look the other way from visitors who don’t fit their narrow-minded mentality of believing grey is the actual color of the sky.

Today my sanctuary has become a destructive pattern of escape routes, in desperate search of the hidden path of peace and quiet, among the congested traffic in my mind. My oasis has now become a cyber-beach backdrop, as I spend my cyber-money on my cyber-imitations of the real thing. Today, as my stress-receptors misfire at the slightest aggravation, the only fix is a quick one, as I swallow down my pseudo-paradise. And while I’m waiting for its chemicals to take effect, I stare longingly at that computer-beach, wishing for one more deep breath of its calming organic breeze.

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