The sequel to A Contented Mind
Available November 2012. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Wings To Fly .
The novel within the novel.
It wasn’t that Madelyne hadn’t tried. The truth that only she knew, was that she had spent her life – trying. Tired, she sat on the wooden porch swing behind her home. Unable to move, she didn’t set the swing into motion. Instead she felt her mind, emotions and body shut down.
Since a small child, Madelyne felt set apart – alone, as if one foot was grounded in the world around her, while one foot remained elsewhere. To this day, elsewhere held promise, the world around her held isolation. Her only comfort was when what lived inside her spirit found its way onto a blank canvas. With every brushstroke, she watched the images form before her eyes like long lost friends taking shape and gathering for fellowship, laughter and comfort. Every painting brought with it peace of mind. Yet only moments ago, using thick, black strokes of oil, Madelyne brushed over and blackened not only the canvas in which her friends danced upon, but with every stroke she brushed over and blackened her soul.
Her husband’s latest words, critical and accusatory in their intent, were the final shove that pushed Madelyne deep within herself. If one’s heart is not allowed to live fully, expressing itself in its truest form, then it dies. The day Madelyne stopped painting, her spirit inhaled its last breath. It is a far greater loss when one loses their desire to live yet is forced to remain alive, then when one is given the chance to die as a whole.
Duty to her beautiful daughter required Madelyne to wake, to walk and to talk. What was left of her, was given for the purpose of raising Meg. It was through her daughter’s eyes that she was able to glimpse the beauty of the world. And it was that beauty, seen through those eyes, that caused a natural smile to form across Madelyne’s face whenever her daughter was near.
It had been months since her daughter asked the question that played like a skipped record inside Madelyne’s mind. “Mom, how come you seem sad?” Like children do, her daughter asked what seemed like a simple question. But Madelyne knew the question only revealed that the demise of her soul had become evident. Evidence only noticeable to those who see with more than their eyes. A mother’s pain rarely goes unseen by their child. Not only did Madelyne choose her words carefully when answering her daughter, while taking the long car ride to Buffalo, New York, but she had thought about it ever since.
People choose numerous paths when it comes to protecting oneself from pain. Madelyne chose to die inside; to isolate every part of her not required by her daughter. A death she felt would only be seen and felt by her and her alone. And in the process, she would no longer be open to the pain and disappointment inherent to life. Madelyne’s hope was that somehow this internal death would release her from torment, and strengthen her efforts in raising Meg. But that one question proved her attempts had failed. Instead of liberating herself from pain, mourning privately within herself, she was forcing her daughter to live a life suspended in continual grief. The grief felt when watching a loved one die while still alive. A child hears what’s being said without one word having been spoken.