navigating the stars

morgan taylor's living room

There is an emptiness that fills her life, her house and the rooms of her heart. Sounds that once permeated this space now echo throughout her pain like the sound of water falling from stalactites in an underground cave. Each drop draws into sharp focus an unbearable reality and it is only once in a great while that she stops to ponder her existence. She has become a somnambulist on autopilot from life.

I can’t help but shed my own tears for this woman, this dear friend of mine. If I could trade places...Time heals all wounds...Adversity makes us stronger... There really is nothing to say, nothing that would dissolve the hurt or make the suffering go away. She wouldn’t hear it anyway. She is so lost in that place of ultimate sorrow; so lost in that underground cave with no flashlight and only the sound of the water drops. One by one they fall. Slowly but surely she succumbs.

Only she has the power to save herself but it will take every ounce of her fiber to fight the persuasive influence of despair. It is a test of two opponents pitted against one another; her fortitude versus her pain. On the rare occasion that her conscious mind allows the slightest opportunity for moderately clear thinking, she comes to understand the battle within herself but only for the price of overwhelming frustration and terminal sadness. She flips the switch back on to auto pilot and cruises uninterrupted. Right now, right here, under these extreme circumstances, Andy Dalton’s long time lover doesn’t know how to do it any other way.

Most nights she just sits in her living room. A womb of creativity, the entire house is magical inspiration, but the living room is the magnetic north, an enclave of methodical effervescence. Deliberate planning and a keen foresight required no revisions of the architect’s blue prints. It was right the first time. It felt good.

But tonight and indeed for many nights now, too many to count, even too many to acknowledge for fear it would signal a crossing over of the precarious suspension bridge that is reality, no, tonight this room, this house does not feel good. It hurts like the pain of bronchitis as it slams against the inner walls of the lungs. And Morgan Taylor sits in the near dark, illuminated only vaguely by the glow of the television screen. The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore speaks to a vacant room advising the use of sun block for much of the country. No warnings of sudden atmospheric disturbances tonight. No flooding. No thunderstorms. No waterspouts on the ocean to capsize a float plane.

Most nights she drifts off to sleep sitting upright in the wing back chair she bought for him in Charleston two years earlier. Head cocked to the side, slumber is a welcome respite and she considers herself fortunate to be spared the anxiety of dark dreams; dreams in which she is a helpless spectator in the plane crash and subsequent drowning death of the only man she ever had or ever would love.

It is in this living room where he unfolded his aviation charts and spread them out on the coffee table. The other rooms: the bedroom, the kitchen and even her studio provided license for these two souls, these two bodies, to be intertwined in love and creativity; kindred spirits netting the power of mutual attraction, but in her living room their course was of a different nature. They sailed the same ocean under the same night sky but caught different currents. She navigated by the stars, he by a computer.

Slowly the sun rose and began to cast its early morning warmth over her life. Pain’s fire had burned all night and without mercy, taking with it the marrow of her spirit. When the smoke cleared there could be seen a phoenix rising from the ashes, its outermost edges radiating the dawn of hope.

She was becoming free enough to reminiscence for brief periods of time about their life together: their common interests, their mutual dislike of eastern European food, the secret language they spoke with their eyes. She remembered how they routinely found themselves sharing identical thoughts. He said they were on the same wavelength, the same radio frequency. It was almost as if they didn’t need to speak, and in fact one would sometimes successfully will the other to telephone just to exercise this ability.

One night, a full year an a half after Andy Dalton’s plane crashed in a turquoise green ocean leaving him in a status of “missing and presumed dead,” Morgan Taylor called to her lover on the currents of their love. Sitting in her living room, watching the Caribbean weather report, she just called to him. She thought it might make her feel at ease but more importantly, she wanted him to know that she loved him still.

On a far away beach a man sat repairing a fishing net. Nameless to himself or those around him, he heard a woman calling to him and looked out over the ocean to a distant horizon. The sound of her voice, even it its silence, bore a familiarity, one that would prove time and again to soothe him back from the brink of unexplainable sorrow. Wondering who she was and how he would find her, he sent her a message on the breeze, “Hold on. I’ll be home soon.”

Download printable PDF version here: navstars_morgan-taylors-living-room.pdf (55K).

Pug at the Beach