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The Air to Her Feathers

By Iman All Rights Reserved ©


Chapter 1

"I don't know what to do," he said, staring distantly into space.

I studied his profile carefully. He seemed perplexed, upset and distraught. I just wished that he'd pay more attention to the present moment and stop stressing over problems that haven't even arisen yet. He thinks too much, usually causing himself to lead a very overwhelming life. If only he could understand that fussing over petty issues was not going to help him in any way.

I picked up a sandwich and handed it to him.

"Here, eat this," I said. "You'll feel better."

He accepted the stuffed bun and stared at it skeptically, as if wondering if this non-permanent object could really be the answer to all his problems. He took a small bite, chewing slowly, extracting every single cell of taste, analyzing each molecule, just like how he analyzes everything.

I looked around me. It really was a beautiful place. The sky was a clear blue, the kind you hear about in songs and read about in books. The crystal blue of the sky hugged the emerald green of the grass, and if you looked really closely, you could just make out a thin sparkling line of lake. It was gorgeous.

A lazy butterfly fluttered past and I reached up to tease it.

"Do you know what really bothers me?" he asked.

"What?" I replied absent-mindedly, thinking of how I was itching to paint the enchanting scene in front of me.

"I just love her too much."

Love. A four-letter word synonymous with joy, pain, heartaches, rainbows, storms, rollercoasters and clouds. An elastic that two people stretch to keep taut, carefully as not to break it or let it drop. A ladder to climb and wait for your partner. A room where each person respects the other's space. It's funny how such a small word carries so many levels interlaced like a spider's web, woven in lines to be read between them. How many people have written about love? Scientifically, it has concepts, theories, and experiments. Mathematically, it is a series of equations and problems. Artistically, it is drawn, painted and photographed. Musically, it is a harmonious symphony and an endless composition of lyrics. Poetically, it is verse and rhyme; a union of words and time. Biologically, it is the rate of the heart, a case of clammy hands, a disease that slowly eats away at the heart and brains, prescribed frequently though the treatments vary and remain partly unknown. Love is a battlefield in the art of war. Psychologically, it has been proven to transfer even the sanest to an asylum. Geographically, it is the flow of rivers and the strength of mountains. Astronomically, it is a pattern sought in the stars; a series of cosmic phenomena to be demystified. Chemistry-wise, it is a heterogeneous mixture made homogeneous upon adding a catalyst under unspecified time, pressure and heat.

Love is everything and everywhere. It is touched by the senses & felt by the soul. It is abstract and concrete. It is every synonym and its antonym; every similarity and its opposite. It is the North pole and the South pole. It is all; it is nothing. It is you and me and every creation and our Creator.


I sighed, unable to communicate in mere words the intensity of the word. Pages upon pages upon pages would be required to fully grasp and explain the interdisciplinary concepts of love across time, space and soul.

How am I supposed to explain to him how insignificant his problem is in comparison to the significance of the event itself?

"Do you see that bird up there?" I finally asked, after a few minutes of silence, pointing at the soaring creature.


"You are the air to her feathers."

"What do you mean?" he asked, confused.

"The bird will never live without air: to breathe, to fly... You are so close that you rustle her feathers & fill her very being, yet you allow her complete freedom to soar as she wills. You encompass her, yet you do not enclose her. She needs you to breathe, yet you do not suffocate her. You are essential to one another, inseparable, as parts made one. You are free of worries or cares, releasing anxieties to the wind, just flowing with the breeze. That is what you should be. That is true love."

I gazed at the sun, now a round ruby in a picture of pure perfection. The colours took my breath away; the red center of the sun gradually shifting through orange to yellow, surrounded by various hues of blue to fade into lavender as a blush of violet coaxes the edges of the sky. With the green of the grass, leaves and bushes, I saw nature's rainbow in all magnificence and splendour.

My heart pulsed with feeling, my breathing followed the beat of my blood. The sight took over my whole body, mind and soul. The emotion tingled in my spine, urging me to comply. Softly, I whispered into the breeze.

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