Guarded, quite guarded, and one can only guess what lies behind the strong walls and locked doors. The large bricks hide what I cannot see, just as the clouds cover the sun.
Greenery climbs above, going over the roof of where I am trying to imagine. It adds a sort of life to the grey, lifeless rock of the wall. Manmade, strongly fortified that wall is, yet lifeless, though made for the protection of life. Great effort was taken to make this wall, great desire to finish. Whether well or not, only the builders’ minds know such an answer.
The rippled roof proves the foreign architecture. Unfamiliar and exotic, the pattern reminds me of Spanish-like houses seen in the City.
Near the doors, two large pots of decorative plants sit. The pots are of the same, quiet color scheme as the wall. Not quite a perfect, pristine white, but not the grey of the stone beneath or next to it. The plants inside are slightly off-balance with the heaviness of the pots.
When was this built? I cannot say. The beauty of the aged stone (not smooth, but slightly bumpy) makes me think it has indeed been some years, decades upon decades perhaps.
My eyes wander to the means of entrance. The doors are a heavy looking wood, green like the plants, yet obviously thick and able to withstand much. Hostile, private, secretive, the lock knows what I do not. Curiosity seems to gnaw away bits of me like hunger. Would that the lock could talk!
Oh, what I would give to find out for myself!
No soul is near to tell me of life here. No soul to answer my numerous questions. I sigh as I realize that I must content myself with my imagination of what it must have been like before that lock was placed.
Perhaps this is the outer wall leading to a magnificent house. No doubt, behind these doors would be a large and beautiful courtyard filled with water fountains, fruit trees and hundreds of flowers. Maybe a mosaic graces the center sitting area. Accomplished young women would sit with their mother on the steps overlooking the courtyard. Beyond them, their house rises high. Singing would fill the air with the warmness that only this unknown language and culture can provide. The doors are open, and perhaps a son is preparing for a trip into town.
Yet, as I think more about this, I realize that perhaps this was not a private residence at all. The thick walls and two sets of doors make it appear more like a communal place. Maybe this was an opera house, school, or maybe a convent. Simpler, more structured and prudent lives would have lived in this place as a convent compared to the rich family.
Well, whatever this wall guarded, it must have been quite dear to someone at some time. Though it is not the most welcoming of walls, the sweetness of the vine and lamp deny any possibility of this once being an extremely unpleasant place. Hearts went through these doors with peace or perhaps uncertainty for what was ahead of them. I once again feel a yearning. But this yearning is for the secrets and sights these walls have seen.
However, as I come back the present reality of my life, I see the light bulb, covered and protected in its simple lamp. The light bulb reminds me of the modern age that I reside in. It reminds me of the cloudy haze that I look through on everything, proving my imagination of days past wanting and pathetic. Until someone can be asked, I mustn’t speculate so.
No doubt my footsteps around this wall would crunch lightly on the uneven ground of rock. A strong smell of rain coming, present, and past would fill the air, and wind would lightly kiss my face. Looking, I am alone. Seeing and imagining proves only more that I travel solely by myself. At this moment, the wall and I are alone. We are alone with the sky, with the exotic roof, with the trees and grass.
We are alone with the locks. And we are alone with our secrets.
I stare at the wall, and at the locks.
What sort of person would this wall be? He would be quiet, protective, strong, tall, and guarded. All fine qualities in their place. Those doors, guarded so well, would be the eyes. Hiding and knowing everything, perhaps confused at the sudden and extreme intrusion. I imagine these eyes would bore into mine, trying as hard as I am now to figure out what was behind them. Just as the eyes hide everything from me, I would hide everything also. We would walk away with the satisfaction of secrets kept, but with the disappointment of none learned or shared. Not quite enemies, but certainly not friends.
I am done looking. I am done seeing what is here. Gone are the silly, uninformed speculations, with their brother imagined visions.
No, now I watch. I watch what was, is, continues, and will one day be dust. I watch what is captured forever, saved in the form of a card in a small box that steals moments claiming to help one remember. I watch what is left behind.
This stolen moment moved from that little card to another box – a special box that opens and sends and takes and stores.
Today, I opened this box and saw this stolen moment, and I will see it again tomorrow.
For, you see, these mortal eyes of mine see. This mortal mind of mine watches, speculates and imagines. But they all only see, watch, speculate and imagine a moment never experienced. Like the box with the card, I have stolen this moment and made it my own. Thief I am, but have no guilt.
I steal one last glance.
Guarded it was, stolen it is, and guarded it shall forever remain.
My stolen moment, the picture.