by Cynthia A. DiTaranto

My expansive and uplifting thoughts are so intense long, reaching wings sprout from my upper body forcing it upwards wanting to take flight.  My ordinary human feet rivet my physical form to my resting place, a stump whose connection to the earth has not been obliterated; its roots still intact. I remain grounded yet pulled in different directions. No longer are my physical, emotional and spiritual bodies united. A battle rages as I plead for mercy even though my heart is filled with happiness.

     “Release me from this torture,” I beg. This is not my first encounter with such suffering. Yes, suffering, for I know that happiness is transient. When the pleasant feelings fade, I will fade with it. Just like when I doubt my lover’s sincerity and think of finding a replacement pleasure---an ice cream Sunday. I am weary of seeking only to fall off a cliff in the end. The euphoria of bubbles floating past me becomes dashed as they burst. Until more come my way, I live in despair filling myself up with binges while I wait for happiness to return.

     Soul searching contemplation brings me out of this dilemma. In the stillness of the place I repose, I look for answers in the sky. The firmament provides a platform for my soul to answer. “The wonders of the world surround you.” The voice inside me whispers. “No matter what life brings your way, joy remains constant.” The voice shouts.

     I feel myself expanding and free of entrapment. My happiness is replaced with joy. My physical form allows me to experience such delight. My humanness grants me the grace to be one with joy. I realize that disappointments and suffering are a necessary part of also being capable of connecting to what is greater than all of us. Joy remains constant and lives beside agony. “I am at peace with myself.” I shout to the creative forces.

     I become a one year old plunging my face into a whipped cream iced birthday cake. I raise my head. My eyes shine in amazement as I lick the white frosting that spreads across my face. In seconds my brain registers this ecstasy and I go in for more. I am unaware of the joy I provide for the onlookers. “A child’s first encounters cannot be described in words,” I declare.

      I become a child who sees his first shooting star blaze across the midnight sky. My sense of wonder expands ‘til I feel like I will burst. “The world is filled will such beauty and mystery and I am privileged to behold it.”

      I become a teenager walking through a butterfly sanctuary. A monarch butterfly alights on my shoulder. I marvel at this delicate creature and its companions that are fluttering their wings all around me. “Life in all its glory is a miracle.”

      Now a young adult, I am mesmerized by the sight of an Alaskan glacier calving an iceberg. I hear the ice creaking as if it is in mourning. Then it falls making a thunderous splash into the water which is already littered with other monstrous floating pieces of blue ice. “Nature is spectacular.”

     I close my eyes and see a haze of lavender fading to a peachy orange-yellow turning to the color of the inside of a ripe cantaloupe before the sun begins to sink below the horizon. “I am the sunset.”

     I am filled with joy.

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Writers Bio

 Cynthia A. DiTaranto is the author of two self-published, color-illustrated children’s books. She has written for various goat journals and has been published in Narrative Northeast Literary and Art Review, Goldfinch Literary Journal, Down in the Dirt magazine and Synesthesia Literary Journal. Cynthia is a member of Women Who Write in N.J. and a former volunteer at a N.J.battered Women’s shelter.

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