Within the evolving woman, blue specks above two white cheeks examine the solid form. The separate pieces, belonging to the great art of Diane’s body, make the eyes linger. The beating heart, inflating lungs and flowing blood are doused by pale skin and warm flesh. It is as though the absence of color has found a home in the wheel of its counterparts. Much is attributed to thin arms and fleshy legs which make up the usefulness of purity. Such fullness in beauty is disastrous to the withered. Such despair in the old, for those that play the words of envy, is for those who are never young at heart. Diane, who dazzles with the darkest mole on her arm, drains youth into a basin for her men to dine upon.
Diane tosses a casual gaze to a standing mirror, resting in a corner of this room. That baroque and intricate frame tells a high tale of dashing swordsmen, which this young woman has forever mused over. One serpent rests on the knee of a knight, while his arm is bound by Medusa’s clawed hand. Though blinded, and aware of the ensuing danger, he tirelessly fights to obtain this cold witch’s affection. What useless frivolity!
Diane catches a glimpse of her back in its reflective surface. The standing mirror calls with a proud gesture of authority, as if the eyes of this woman could naturally be drawn to its glory. Diane is that woman.
“I will examine all the softness of flesh; from thighs to shoulders. Hips as well. The gate for my breathing lungs; the rib cage.” All these words bring a new memory to the forefront of her mind. “But what? I will remember the little asp that I once held. So tiny was its head, and fragile did it appear, that it did not lash out with a bite.” Diane pauses.
Yes. All is done in memory of a serpent in its infantile form.
That same creature supposedly dug its fangs into Cleopatra’s nipple, granting a glorious woman a treacherous death. Such a bitter end to a marvelous being.
If Diane could resemble the cold qualities of the elongated green body, or even a woman of seduction, we’d fall back to our dreams, and ponder over how our blindness is equal. Yes, we will compare Diane to such things, as they are of this woman. She is the adorned soul of bleak ravens, adhering to others that represent our growing pity of hideous creation.
There is no tragedy more certain than ignorance and the dancing glow of its miseries.
Before examination, Diane dwells in listless thought. She repeats a few biblical verses. She speaks a line from a hymn. It is all at random. Some spoken thoughts are those which hold her back.
They are as thus; “Why carry the current if I am not loved? Does pure pain only dwell within? Am I, as they say, hardened? Oh, grief! Let go!”
With that final outcry, she raises herself to the mirror. Over it she prances, as a little fairy would to this glass shield that repeats the oldness of beauty.
The outline of flesh, as pale as a worn blanket, eats whole the venom spat from the serpents depicted in the mirror’s design. What could the hues of green, the shades of brown, and the tints of ivory represent, but the purities of summer, and the onset of newness?
Diane, with the ability to forgive herself, gives her belly a smooth caress. One hand folds over her belly button, as though making it fresh for fertility. Then, she extends a hand up to her shoulder. It grazes the neck. She imagines a soft kiss where the lymph nodes make their impressions.
A nude form, with a lingering sadness in the blue eyes, Diane’s emanating scent, could rival Hawthorn’s daughter of venom. Attraction shall come next, in the form of fine art, and like a wounded bird, it shall go to sea with torn sails. Diane shall writhe in her own skin, and in the murkiness of lust. What a scent of anguish! The poison of an asp is the scent of a woman. It is that venom all adore. And in this moment, while Diane gazes upon her ethereal form, there is a noticeable placement of fear, and the stagnation of trust.
Once, a garb clothed these fine golden limbs. They are now melded into the floor as a woman hurls them away. Modesty maintains no use in this situation!
The drooping of her pale breasts and the flatness of her belly welcome the open air. The scents are tragic. The love for beauty is mirthful. Gleaming shoulders and postured slender neck don the embellishments of summer. What skin! For a moment, Diane’s eyes are upon the roundness of her buttocks. She had turned around to view this part of her body, with her head turned over her shoulder. She frowns.
Frowning for the idolatry that might be torn through it, she knows nothing of the graces in purity, being ignorant of her virginity. Youth succumbs in the outlines of nature. Yet, even with this charm of ignorance, Diane is awed by this fascinating part. Diane observes the shoulders, imagines them caressed.
She observes the hips, marvels at their width.
The long strands of her great mass of dark curls are brought down in an earthy downpour. These brown tresses are something the common poet would wish to capture for study, for they ask for verse, as they ask for richness. The oils are saturated in a wild mess of curls. One loose lock has a ribbon tied around its end.
There is much Diane could observe with the lustrous frame of her silk. However, she pauses here, for her eyes are drawn to a closet. Within are the numerous designs she has obtained throughout France. Haute couture is the ordinary dress and dreamy design of the woman. Many differing pieces mingle and dance in cloudy disguises. Some with reds. Others with blues. Yet, among them all, are the dark hues which stands out. She cannot want for a mask to cover her nature, for she possesses that pride peculiar to all women. Even so, the idea of revealing oneself is evident.
Diane begins to sift her hands through petticoat upon petticoat. Some give off the shaded colors of violet, and others, shiny reds. Where one lady weeps over the sight of such elegance molded over her form, two weeps at the sight of their beloved gifting them with it.
“I would try for a caraco and petticoat.” Such a choice! In the former, blue is prominent. With the latter, threads are embroidered with purple ruffles. “I desire this. Ismael will become the one I fall into.” Another strip of dialogue is weakened by the choking of tears.
She says, “I knew of his disgrace, else it’d be my shock to witness his hands at play with my love! God is very cruel to me. I will curse the one above, as Ismael once did to me.”
Who is this Ismael? One of nobility? He most certainly is. No mask. Nothing to hide. Since Diane is, from birth, of a poor upbringing, a caraco and petticoat will make her appear as the working woman. A working woman symbolizes lowness. Diane knows this. Ismael will enjoy it. After all, who else who rendered themselves with high esteem has never looked upon amateur beauty as if it were exquisite? It might be due to that innate desire to explore that which is seemingly the opposite; a noble to a servant, for there are numerous tales written in that light, revealing the contemplation of boredom for all things worldly.
If he has merely been the tempted, then he has now become the tempter.
Giving the temptress and her resolve for the loathing of desperation, a drink of pleasure, only prolongs the inevitable strain of tension. That tension is the absence of something true, and rare. Such is the continuously concealed. The flowers adorning the gates of Heaven shall pour down their dew, as those gates are flung wide.
Who might Ismael be but Diane’s lover? The great stain of red ink upon her soul, the loving grief involved in all instinctual attraction.
Diane gives her silver tears back to the worn clothing.
The two pieces have been sitting atop a shelf. Lavender, that green stem with tiny purple petals by the countless multitude, appears upon the shelf, clashing with the blue embroidery of the petticoat. There are even ruffles in the collar of the caraco.
Fragrances will unite and clash in this pale contrast. The smoothness of Diane’s skin, combined with the now worn usage of the garb, etches a rigid mark on the soul of this wondrous damsel.
She quickly dons the two pieces, making certain to dispose of undergarments. Oh, modesty! If only you knew of the expressions women put forth, there is nothing but concession in the garb, like a smile smeared with rouge.
This caraco is cut low, directly beneath the underarm. Long strips of leather wrap over the arms, and all that is revealed is the paleness of Diane’s round shoulders. She is radiant; gleaming from the heat of this early summer day. At the last moment, Diane decides to take a knife to the knees of this ordinary attire.
With the final touches of red to her lips blush to her cheeks, and hair flowing neatly to her neck and shoulders, Diane makes for the door. Like one coiling asp, tresses strangle a slender neck, making it appears an African were making love with Diane.
Nevertheless, Diane’s aim is to burn a kiss into Ismael’s neck.
She leaves the room, closing the door as she exits. Stretching to the right and left are the plastered walls of flowery wallpaper. They appear ornate, baroque. In the corner, to her right, is a single tall table, with a lone tulip in a glass vase. It is just beginning to wilt.
As Diane enters the brownish Parisian streets with the bleak carriages and their white horses, she begins to reflect. Her features fall back into a smoothened sadness, while the looming sun casts a shadow from every dark tress upon her cheeks. Such latter detail heightens this depressive mood. Her mind drifts off towards excessiveness. She starts to walk loosely, with a solitary hand twisting the locks of her hair. She grabs a strand, and pulls it toward her mouth. Its taste is that of her own. She sulks over the poverty being expressed in this shameful form of her attire, though her blue eyes twinkle rather delightfully. Even in such a mood, a certain charming glee can be perceived in this woman’s appearance.
She says, “Who could be the Ismael to which I am called? What should be his forsaken purpose in guiding my stricken longing? He grew upon me once. I know that well. But, I cannot remember his words. Oh, this annoys me!” Then, she adds, “Such remembrances shall do me no good. If sorrow is all that is to watch over me, then perhaps my yearning will be all there is for me to love.”
Many dashing smiles crease her rosy lips. She ends with, “He will love me! Do I not know this? How can I tell?”
Then, she frowns. One tear drains the remaining color from her face, until she appears deathly pale in this season of growing warmth.
Soon, she stands before her man of wild enamoring.
He cannot notice her in this state, nor with the air of inferiority accompanying her scented garments. The approach was merely a glide atop her soles, passing him by as a sweetened wind. Diane stands with her feet placed firmly beside one another. It seems Ismael’s location is a garden, though neither at this moment have any interest in its whereabouts. These moments become fleeting as Ismael sits upon an elongated worn bench, the wood having been eaten away by termites and other infesting pests.
She then sits beside him, so that her side is to his face. The curve of her back is as elegant as the curve of a swan’s thin neck. This is all merely enjoyment for Diane, as much as it is torment. She is pierced by a grief for love, which echoes as nothing but tragedy. Perhaps tragedy is also the colorful garb she wears.
At length, not wind, but a passing breeze catches the odor rising off Diane’s shoulders. Only she has noticed it. With her back to him, she imagines that he might be allured by now, if only there is a reaction. She envisions his endearing smile. Then tranquility sets in upon her.
These are the moments that name themselves the future, but instantly become the distant past. Each second, like a raging war, brings torment to both sides. And Diane cannot understand any of it. Who would be the one to satisfy her, were it not for Ismael?
So, Diane is still ignorant, remaining the same as a child in some ways. One can tell by her countenance; such as the lines drawn on the cheeks which have grown in prominence; the reminders of stress, and of pain. Yet despite this unease, joy seems to fuel her. Through a flood of tension, Diane is seeking some strength through happiness. To what extent?
Diane is the tool, and is still a seed. Like Ismael, she is lifeless, belonging in nature’s cradle. Such sadness she feels cannot be surpassed, nor exceeded. It cannot be outdone, nor outmaneuvered. It may only be unraveled. It will also be comprehended. Who shall understand the great depths of Diane’s longing? Those who study the arts? Would he or she place the stresses of yearning on the canvas?
Most certainly. But Diane is the only artist for herself. Should she ever find herself in loving hands, there is the opportunity to admire the beautiful, and to make it an art form. If the painted canvas had passion of its own, it might desire to be patronized, while concealing that with pride.
As Diane sits beside Ismael, she looks towards the clouds, without a fathomable idea for this day’s outcome. What she lacks, is completed through Ismael’s thoughts.
Indeed, he should find her attractive, as that is the prelude to instinct. But Diane does not know of forwardness. She knows only of happiness when in the embrace of her lover. Perhaps it is that dominance which Diane has captured from God. To share such a perception with Ismael, is good for this woman.
Was it a mistake to come here during daylight, only observing the sounds of children? How can Diane expect passion, when in full view of the public? So, what will be Ismael’s own finality, when bound by the fatherly nature of God?
What a cross to have fall, as the sighs become eternal! The triumph Ismael takes with him feeds the ignorance emanating off Diane fragile form. Yet, that same twinkle remains, reminiscent of youth, in this feminine lover’s blooming vision under the golden sun.
Right now, though Diane is concealed, and appearing as a common harlot, she is subtle in her physical closeness to Ismael. She only sneaks a slight touch of her fingertips to Ismael’s leg. Once she throws a scornful glare at him.
She then watches the people passing by. Those that have seen Diane have twisted their faces in confusion. It is as though they question Diane’s sanity. This wooden garden bench, and its wide form, does not hold two fleshly bodies. It holds one.
In fact, Diane is placing her love in the solid heart of a statue. Ismael’s expression in the sculpted pose shows himself to be writing in a journal. A perpetual smile never leaves his lips. Whatever deceptive words Diane had picked up were, of course, stemming from the imagination. Whatever dialogue she is hearing leaves the poor despicable woman in thought.
Further, we could never know what Ismael is writing.
Diane has imagined him to be wearing brown straps over the shoulders; straps of overalls connected to a pair of blue trousers. Everything is simply a gray, anatomically correct piece of art in the green of this Parisian field of lust.
Behind the bench, trimmed bushes stretch about four bodies skyward. The overgrowth of the twigs has been allowed to sprout decadent flowers of pink. A path splits into two, and drifts into the backend of the garden. It will remain unknown what dwells in that furthest end.
Though Ismael is simply a delusion, there is still the enjoyment that gives the moment its rawness. That instinctual attraction, preluding the complete instinct of mating, is expressed by its metaphorical value. The colors of the garden are lush. She is instantly thrusted towards it. The fragrances rouse Diane’s senses. She trembles in sight of their lively nature. A slight quiver of her hand, when reaching for a blossom, causes a sudden pain to surge under her skin. It tingles, and prevents Diane from reaching further. However, through some straining will power, she reaches once again. It is a primrose, glistening as it does in the warmth, by a recent sun shower. The happiness of her heart raises to the surface, and hues return to her pallid cheeks.
But what a stern smile Ismael pulls up! Diane watches this, with the fantasies of delusions. She puts a few petals in her hair, and a vine of honeysuckle around her arm. She does not pay mind to, or perhaps ignores, the gathering crowd around her. There is even an artist with his brush throwing the strokes down on his blank canvas.
She walks over to Ismael. Whatever frustration she has felt has been hurled aside, and is replaced by ongoing joy. This minute of loneliness lifts Diane’s cheeks to a lovely pink. What a wonderful day to be in love! Her appearance is almost ghostly, yet radiant through every color upon her full form.
When before Ismael, she asks, “My love, what have you written today?”
There is no response, other than the passing wind over the vine curled about her long arm. To Diane, Ismael has given her a barrage of responses.
She then says, “Your writing, I would like to read it sometime.”
Again, there is no response.
Then, as though her delusion has reached its peak, she witnesses Ismael stand up from the bench. This startles her. Not due to the action itself, but because of the attention it has created. Many become awed at Diane and her contorted watchful gaze looking upon what seems to them an apparition that does not exist. She quickly darts her head to the crowd, then back to Ismael. She says, “My love, where are you going?”
“Hush, my dear,” he whispers. “Meet me at this garden tomorrow, and we shall resume.”
“This very spot, again?” she inquires.
“Yes, the very one. Now, no more questions. I must go.”
The vision walks off, and Diane is left with an air of sadness, heightened in tension by the gazes of the crowd. Such a moment of dissatisfaction leaves a haunting humility in the woman. Diane ponders over Ismael’s spoken words as she places herself upon the bench.
In her situation, her mind is now truly vacant.
If she were to analyze the meaning of those words, they might confuse her, and leave only a greater feeling of dread. She must obey, for what else should be the choice? It is that freedom which a woman both abhors and adores. It is but a mixture of every known grief.
A whole thirty minutes pass, and Diane still sits atop the bench. Many have retreated to their daily activities, save for that one painter, who has caught the opportunity to capture Diane in idle sadness. One thing that has come to her thoughts is a reminder of how a nun takes the vow of obedience. The meaning is essentially to obey. To obey God is, as we know, to obey all which seem to us superior, and are indeed objectively superior, unless we are otherwise deceived. Such acts of obedience are in their truest form, rare. As it would be, to be solitary, and amongst books, is the wisest course of action when wanting to understand the workings of a certain philosophy. Diane has the desire, but cannot fly to it for its beginning.
The artist, who was described as present in Diane’s distress, has moved his canvas to the corner, down the path, and is facing her back. She has not noticed him.
Her posture is studied, replicated in its delicacy onto a canvas as if it were another statue, one which is feminine in form. Another, which is masculine in form, is wedded to it in this young artist’s premature magnum opus. He studies the frozen nature of this woman’s back. He sweats droplets onto his lap, attempting to capture Diane’s grace.
All at once, the texture of Diane’s skin is frozen to a marble texture, with specks of the pink, akin to the vine of honeysuckle, about her right arm. She poses with her head rested in her hand, gazing across the street in simple disappointment.
What a strange turn of events!