He was skipping stones in the river, while I was moving the castle across on the chessboard. We were back at the summer house, the one by the lake with the wide pine verandah that spanned across to the pier. It was nice to be here again, a change of scenery- a break from the city, an escape from the garden.
Will and I had been talking again. Not that we hadn’t been talking before- just that we hadn’t been alone with each other, willing to let our hearts speak. We had been focusing on our work as always, and finally last night we sat down with a bottle of wine and shared it as we watched the moon hide in the woods. It was comforting to know we wouldn’t have to go chase it. We had our own moon, sitting on the cheeseboard, in front of us and we were breaking the bread apart like hungry bears to finish the cheese as the moon slide down the sky. We had this chance to be together again- the wind was warm and humid.
I didn’t realise how much bitter wine I’d had inside me, but out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth spoke. I was being poured out like the lake in high tide. It’s just that I hadn’t really seen Will in so long. I’d been working at the university finishing projects and I’d become so tired. The semester was ending and I’d been so tired- being stuffed around by the red tape, yellow warning signs and the demands of publishing my articles.
I’d come to the university with so much passion to get my experiments done. My standards for myself and my work were so high but just recently I’d found myself sucking up to the bureaucracy- excepting advice from everyone just in order to get work published and moving through the university. I was being moved around as a pawn on someone’s chessboard. My chances to stand strong on firm boundaries were sliding without having people like Will here to support them. My standards were being tested and the towers I’d built were beginning to fall.
My work was stagnating- as abandoned skyscrapers, until I’d let them fall down, crashing into stone- like the stones Will was skipping on the lake. And I talked to Will and I’d roll my eyes, frustrated- wondering how I’ll start again. Thinking must I take these stones and start again? And the construction continued, thinking every day how we are building these towers to our names, when I’d much prefer to be a stone in the hand of someone trust worthy- someone who can hold me, smoothen my edges in the sea and create a rippling effect with my life. Why do we want to build towers – so easy to cave in, when the stone that built those towers came from a cave?
And night became day and he’s skipping stones around the clock. I’m passing the time on keeping my mind active on the chessboard, passing through time wanting a short cut, not wanting to go the long way around.
But there are no shortcuts in building and I’m going to need some support beams as I continue.
Here Will returns, hands cold from the stones and brings wood to start a fire. This is one of my favourite things about being here by the lake. I throw my building material that I’d gathered over the day in to the fire and set my face like flint.
When I get back I’ll be okay. I’ll be building with stone after the fire. And I’ll stop playing games and I’ll keep myself in check, making sure the chessboard won’t take my towers or put me in check mate.