“As Far As I Can Throw You”

Photography by Shaun Liriano

He threw her.  Just threw her with full force like you chuck a football through a field. He threw her. She flew through the air.

I always knew I could fly, she said.

For the first time there was someone he could trust with his life and he wanted to show her that he cared.  He wanted to show her that she was special.  He wanted to show her that he’d be “mush” without her.

I trust you about as far as I can throw you, he said.

Then he threw her.  He hurled her body and watched it spiral through the air. His love poured out of the sweat that beaded on her forehead.  His faith sprouted wings in her back.  His hope stripped her naked and replaced her bland clothing with an aerodynamic super suit colorful enough to match her vibrant personality.

At first, she was afraid. Fretfully, she gathered herself and tried to get her bearings.  She tried to get used to being in the company of birds, high branches, and jet planes approaching their landings. She screamed in excitement.  No one seemed alarmed that she was up there.  They expected her to be in the sky.  It was as if she didn’t belong on the ground and everyone knew it.

He didn’t look at her though. Once he threw her he didn’t wonder if she could take flight.  He BELIEVED she could. So he obliviously kicked a ball through a field and watched it roll on. He read an article from time to time. He viewed television shows at leisure. He felt the warmth of an onlookers admiring glance. He chugged along knowing she was soaring through the sky for the first time.

Isn’t he wondering if I am okay?  How does he know a larger creature hasn’t consumed me?  Hasn’t he thought about my loneliness? Sometimes it’s cold up here.  I don’t know anyone up here.  Sometimes I’m scared.  I’ve never flown before.  I’ve never been thrown before.  At first it was fun but where is he?  What is he doing?

Her fear ignited a fire so fierce it singed her beautiful wings. It incinerated her custom costume.  It sent her flailing through the sky clumsily…falling.

She landed in a bed of roses.  The thorns, long and sharp, pierced her skin and her blood mixed with the crimson red of the rose petals.  Her body naked and covered in ashes and blood writhed in pain.

She screamed out in horror, “My love! Where are you?  Why didn’t you fly with me?  Why did you leave me all alone?”

Silence.  She waited in the cold.  Naked. Vulnerable.

All the while, he returned to the field of her original launch every day after breakfast.  He wondered why she never returned. He assumed she must be enjoying the clean air, the ascension.

Why didn’t she ever try to throw me?

He felt her absence but he also felt her presence.

-By: Shaun Liriano

*Dedicated to my muse.

My life is part humor, part roses, part thorns.

~Bret Michaels

 

 

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Beating the bold and Black

What has fear prevented you from attempting? I look back at years of opportunities. If I had to illustrate my life, I would draw a bold black line. I would be on one side of the line with a hammer, a drill, an eraser, white out and virtually every tool imaginable that could potentially destroy the line. The other side of the line is a variable. It changes throughout my life. It was college graduation. It was buying a new car. When I was a child it was the status of being a great athlete. Fear is the tranquilizer that will prevent you from detonating that bold black line. I remember being in my senior year in college and discovering how many credits I actually had left to graduate. I was a transfer student and I lost a few credits when I changed schools. I had options. I could have stopped working, taken more classes, summer sessions, winter sessions, could have just sucked it up and stayed as long as I needed to in order to graduate. I was scared. My friends were graduating on time. Some of them had made those sacrifices but I didn’t take that into account. I was embarrassed and I gave up. I couldn’t get passed the bold black line. I told my family I would go back to school (which I eventually did in fragments) and I went to work for a fortune 500 company. In my mind, I was successful but I learned later that the black line reappears. It can stand between you and a promotion. You will have to compete with others. It can stand between you and love. Love takes just as much work as anything else. You have to overcome fear to be empowered by it. Every time you encounter that black line, you will have to bond yourself with commitment and subdue your fear. If you cannot become courageous and somehow turn fear into a personified villain in your own mind, you subconsciously turn yourself into a victim. Overcoming fear requires trust, faith, courage, discipline, and preparation. You must prepare yourself for the possibility that you could fail but at least you got a glimpse of what is on the other side of that black line. Maybe it won’t reappear as often. Make fear afraid of you! Who has fear prevented you from becoming? What’s on the other side of your bold black line?

By Shaun M Nickens