...on Poetry and Fiction
The Treasure Chest (A Dream and a Memory)
written by: Phyllis P. Colucci
I had a dream last night. I found an old wooden treasure chest up in the attic of my deceased Grandmother’s house. In reality, that house was torn down some years ago when developers started erecting tall apartment complexes in our Brooklyn neighborhood. Yet, as dreams would have it, that house was alive and well. The treasure chest was old, dusty and crying out for someone to open it. The wood was rotted and smelled with decay. The musty odor danced around the entire attic until it stopped - and THEN, it hovered over me like a blanket of evil that held the secrets of time and grew stronger with age.
Yet there was something special about it. Although eerie in nature, it had a mysterious quality that I couldn’t explain; all I knew and all I felt was that it could calm the spirit and entice the heart with its strange appeal. It was frightening, it was terrorizing, it was unnerving, it was intriguing – but most of all, it was magical as its power took hold of me with a compelling grip I had never felt before. I just had to open it. This treasure chest was inviting me to do so, and I felt an uncontrollable urge to oblige. So I lifted the top of it with all my might and pushed it up and back, as far as it would go. The echoes of the rusting and squeaking metal hinges rang in my ears. I sneezed and coughed as the dust from the chest entered my nose and mouth relentlessly. Yet, I persevered, because I knew that treasure chest held something extremely important that I needed to see. I felt that Grandmother knew it too. I was drawn to her attic like a magnet. Something or someone wanted me there. I soon realized it was all good, not evil; and through wicked darkness I found “my” light.
To my wonderment, as I looked into the old wooden treasure chest, I could see all the way down to the bottom. It was like looking through the transparent waters of a limpid lake. I found no jewels, I found no silver, I found no gold. What I found was inexplicable. The inside of the chest looked bright, bedazzling and new. It sparkled like calm waters kissed by rays of sunshine. I wanted to run my fingers through it as if it were actually a tiny crystal-clear lake in a chest. I wanted to see the ripples in its waters. So I did just that. I thought I was hallucinating. As I continuously ran my fingers through an empty treasure chest, ripples of words the colors of the rainbow started jumping up at me like miniature dancing ballerinas. They were dainty, soft, gentle and graceful. They were different sizes and different shapes. They were different heights, different lengths, different widths and all unique. They pranced about in unison. They turned and swayed and whispered melodiously. The choreography of words was performed to perfection. The faint sounds of sweet song became a treasure like no other. I was simply awestruck.
As the dance came to an abrupt halt, I soon discovered the reason I was drawn to my Grandmother’s attic. My eyes remained fixed upon those enchanting words, and my ears quite attentive to their subtle harmony. At this magic moment, they spelled out a message for me. The message read, “Open this treasure chest when you are lost. We will dance and sing for you, and inspire you to write once more.” Then I woke up.
Little did I know, this was the answer to my writer’s block. It was all in the treasure chest of my dreams, locked away in the memory of Grandmother’s attic. So I sat at my laptop, with an espresso by my side – and a lemon peel and a shot of anisette to go along with it – and began to write my next novel. Ripples of words the colors of the rainbow started jumping up at me like miniature dancing ballerinas, and I typed away as my novel unfolded before my eyes with ease. I could feel the rhythm of my poetry tapping at my heartstrings. I had a sense that this could be one beautiful masterpiece, with a poem or two upon its wings; specially choreographed through a “dream” and a “memory”.
Always remember that your next “masterpiece”, be it fiction or poetry, may be hidden within your dreams and amongst your greatest memories. All you need to do is pay attention to the message.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
"...Ripples of words the colors of the rainbow started jumping up at me like miniature dancing ballerinas..."
(Your next “masterpiece”, be it fiction or poetry, may be hidden within your dreams and amongst your greatest memories. All you need to do is pay attention to the message.)
I retired from a Supervisory/Admin position with a Federal Law Enforcement agency in NYC, a few years back.
Presently, I am pursuing my passion for writing, and most of my writing has that New York edge.