You Can’t Be Contained by Micheline Ludwick

topic: Boxes

“Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky” ~ Malvina Reynolds

I visited you yesterday. It had been a while, I know. I didn’t even bring anything, which I realize lacked thoughtfulness. I figured someone else would fill your vase, and they did. I felt guilty and then I didn’t and now I do again. I’ve been too lost in my own world lately. I’ve been in transition. The kids. My job. You know that. I have a box full of excuses, piled up like old letters. Like the notes we couldn’t bear to throw away from middle school. Yet the excuses don’t reveal the real reason I stay away. There’s something I need to confess.

I don’t like where you currently reside. It doesn’t feel like you. All the houses look the same, encased in their cold, glossy stone. The wind blows endlessly there. Blows away all signs of you. Where is your singular light? Your cozy warmth? It’s not a comfortable home. Not for you or for those who visit. I hope I’m not offending you or anyone who claims to enjoy going there, but I need you to understand why my visits are rare. That place does not represent the true you. It’s a little too modern. And you know me, I love modern. But that’s not you. There’s not much character. And you? You’re quite the character.

But I have a hunch you don’t hang out there very often. Perhaps the reason I don’t feel your vibe in this new place is because you don’t really connect to it either. You’re there when you should be, to bring comfort to those who need to visit you at this familiar location. And maybe you can sense that I don’t feel very comforted there. It’s not your fault. You shine in so many other places. Places outside of the box.

Like that ocean near your old home. The one that we once shared. Like books set in the South. I can read one and you’re right next to me, your voice in my ear as I come across some classic Southern name. No one could do an accent quite like you. Like the songs that you sang in your confident tone. You’re a star in my world. I see you on a clear night in an opening between the trees. You cast your brilliance down on me and I feel right at home.

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9 Responses to “You Can’t Be Contained by Micheline Ludwick”
  1. Deidre M. Murphy says:

    As always your writing is wonderful, thoughtful and beautiful.

  2. Autumn Skye says:

    Aww, I love this piece, Mich. Gorgeous prose, and a lovely way to express your sentiments. To carry the theme, it was a bit like unwrapping a present…realization of what you were writing about as the gift box at the heart of it. ❤

  3. Richard Wiseman says:

    No spoiler for the other readers… stunning writing; masterclass stuff. Impressive; gently nudging the reader along like a not too fast flowing stream, words drifting along naturally like flotsam and all gathering at the end, as if caught on a tree root, and suddenly the meaning is clear. Some talent!

  4. Krissy says:

    One of your most beautiful pieces to date! Some talent, indeed!!!

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