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Winter's Waltz

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Dec. 12th, 2007 | 04:35 am
music: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Winter’s Waltz

 

Follow with me the snowflake as it gently flutters hither and yon, pulled by the ever-gentle tug of gravity and blown by the gentler breath of winter’s chill. Circling high above the tree-lined open space below where stands the brooding image of the once proud guardian of logic.

 

He stands there stiffly, still leaning on the cane which had become at once his beloved savior and his hated nemesis. His eyes glare into the distance with the same intensity and challenge as they once had in life. Nothing escaped his notice then, and nothing escapes it even now.

 

The artist who created this sculpture in stone never knew the man, never knew the withering glare of those eyes, the crook of the mouth which occurred mere seconds before delivering the verbal death blow which made a guillotine appear a bloodless sport. Even so, he had somehow captured that and so much more, right down to the long, pale fingers which, paradoxically, would at their master’s command bring forth music from deep within a soul no one believed he had.

 

No one was left who knew him then. No one left to defend his rationale, his rhetoric, much less his methods. Not that he would tolerate such nonsense. Students scurried past this place, knowing but not wanting to believe he was still there, still watching them, still prodding them onward. “Climb out of your holes, people!”

 

The plaque was simple:

Gregory House, MD

Doctor

Diagnostician

Mentor

 

Many had argued vociferously over that last meager word debating endlessly as to its accuracy. Many preferring Disaster or Degenerate instead. But, this was a public honorarium, so the last small word remained. Not to be outdone, however, one brave soul had managed to tag the plaque with the simple ‘diabolique’ scrawled to one side. The statue smirked that moonless night, so say those who were there. And I believe.

 

Our snowflake friend has been joined by many others, delicately dancing along the puffs of air, falling slowly and timidly, covering the shoes, the hands, the shoulders, the head. Until toward midnight on this particular Christmas Eve, the stone of logic is covered, immersed in the ice which they say had held fast his very heart.

 

Streetlights flickered and finally failed under the weight of the ice and snow. Block by block the city went dark, leaving only the pale, full moon to light the way. The trees surrounding our little stage trembled as a small inner light began slowly to grow, approaching ever closer. Wind whipped the snow into small dervishes here and there, lit from within for just a moment, then giving up their light to the moon once more.

 

The whirls of snow returned and grew. Now one, then another. Over there, a third! Sparkling they seemed to turn and spin as to a silent melody, reminiscent of lovely, lively ballroom dancers gliding across the polished floor, quietly enticing their reticent partner.

 

One pink, one blue, one palest green. They seemed to float around our stony friend, waiting now as once they must have waited in life. His pace, his rhythm, he would decide the time.

 

The hoary old head shook, snow scattering about the base. A stomp and a shake of lived-in clothes freed him of the rest of the frozen crystals. It is now that the miracle occurs. A trick of the light, perhaps, but no, the clothes are transformed, the cane left behind. The dancers take on their own, long forgotten appearances, recognizable to anyone who had known them then. The dresses morph from ice crystals to feathers, wisps, silks and satins. The varied eyes and smiles greet their curmudgeonly champion from long ago.

 

Music of the mind spills out into the everywhere as his elegant figure, tied and tailed, joins each in turn to celebrate their freedom, their youth, their life on this the eve of that most precious of gifts. Memories fond and painful embrace them as they relive an existence hard-fought, well-written. The dance is precise and yet unpredictable as once he was and still remains. On and on they fly, they float, they spin and twirl, shimmering ‘neath the moon until the barest hint of sunrise peaks over the rooftops.

 

A blink of the eye and all is as it was. There is no trace in the snow of the lithe figures, the laughter, the delight. The stone has regained his watchman’s place, forever guarding his domain. But wait, does the eyebrow lift just a bit higher? Does the mouth try too hard to suppress a grin?

 

It’s Christmas morning, all such dreams may come true.

 

All this I saw and swear ‘tis true

For I have met those eyes of blue

Have heard the curse, have seen the smile

If only for a little while

May I be mad or merely crazed

I care not, for those eyes have blazed

My very core has seen the truth

And I require no more proof

Do not despair, for all is well

The waltz alone is what I tell

The heart did beat, the soul did soar

The ice contains it now no more.

 

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