Beneath the Willow Tree

The sky was a deep blue, and soft white clouds dotted the expanse.  The warmth of summertime ran through the light breeze.  The water in front of us dazzled as the sun shone on it, as if it were made of hundreds of little stars or precious diamonds.  When I looked up, I saw the branches of the willow tree swaying in the wind and the light shining through them, just as the tall grass in the field moved around us like the waves of a great ocean.

As I sat there, my back against the trunk, I felt an unusual sense of contentment and comfort. This silence between us, rather than being the usual deafening silence of the sterile indoors, was filled with the sound of birds and rustling leaves.  Ordinarily I would have felt the silence but this time my mind was clear, and I had no thoughts.

Just then, as I closed my eyes for a moment, I heard her sweet and gentle voice.

"You love me, don't you?"

My heart leaped and, in that moment, in that brief hesitation, my mind rushed through all that I had dreamt of before.  Was I really that bad at keeping secrets?  Perhaps I should just lie.  No, of course I don't love you!  Not like that, anyway.  And, plus, you don't love me back, so why even bother?
I said yes, and she laid her head on my shoulder.

This is my second short prose piece. The inspiration for it came to me in a dream. Lest you think I put no thought into the composition of the piece, I will briefly explain some of its features.

I wanted to spend the first part of the prose dwelling on the beauty of the environment and the imagery, describing it in great detail just as if you were there yourself. The purpose of this is to show the protagonist is not particularly occupied with any thoughts of his own, but only the world around him, the present moment, which is implied to be a rare occurrence for him. Then, that moment of thoughtlessness and comfortable silence is broken by the girl, who we learn the protagonist is in love with. We then see his former thoughtlessness and comfort contrasted with, now, his anxious mind. His lack of confidence is exposed at this moment, as he doubts his ability to keep secrets and considers lying rather than risking the embarrassment of a love unreciprocated. However, in the final moment, in the moment of decision, he dares to say yes, and is met with an immediate, positive reaction. The story ends there, and the protagonist once again returns to the present moment, which has been made even more beautiful.

This prose piece is short like the last, but I do not feel compelled to write longer than this right now. My goal is not to tell a story per se, but to illustrate a moment in time or a thought, or an interaction, and to capture the emotions, the mood, the tension, the conflict, the beauty, and its aesthetic value. I do not want the reader to feel as if they are reading some novel or short story, rather, I wish the reader to feel as if they are reading an experience, or more precisely, that they are part of the experience and are placed into that moment themselves. Whether I am doing this well is another question entirely, but it is what I am attempting to do. I hope to continue to try at this and hopefully improve my style and abilities at creative writing. Perhaps in the future I will try my hand at a short story or poetry.

If you liked this post and others here at The New Utopian, consider liking this post and subscribing so you can receive email notifications each time an article is published.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s