Paupières et roses

S’ouvrent demi-closes;

Du réveil des choses;

On entend le bruit.

—Victor Hugo


The little clay men are many and diverse, and looking of all colours and shapes they rest, lifeless, on my table. There is a light dusting of powdered clay over the entirety of my workspace. Taking up space in their varied poses, hard as statues, they lie haphazard as the thoughts in my mind.


Each is the manifestation of a single one of my actions, the incarnation of a single one of my thoughts: and all are devoted to me. I live my life in the world seemingly remote from these effigies. Yet I make these things, involuntarily, and out of love, or hate, or joy or sadness.


These figures are a gift I give to the people around me, those whom I meet, talk to, bump into on the street, or even glance at through the windows of the rushing train. Each person thus sighted leaves a little mark on my mind, and eventually is borne out in another of these figures.


Little morsels of knowledge, hungrily consumed by my mind, are in turn effused into more and more of the clay figures. More and more of myself is borne out in the clay I so forcefully shape.


On my table, they look like little men fresh out of the firing oven. Finished but not flawless: each one is fragile from the heat and the power of the flame of my imagination. I know they will serve me, because I have made them to do so. Like a god I view my creations, albeit each of them surreally abstract; I have put my love, will, soul, into them.


Each of them—no matter how distinct from any other, how different—is me.


And just as Gaia breathed life into Man, I breathe life into them, and let them go.

Author’s Note: This prose piece is a submission for the Julia Gabriel Express Yourself writing contest.


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