decay, illuminated.

sharon hope fabriz
2 min readFeb 29, 2024

I have fallen into the southern Cascades from lower elevations, the flats, the deltas. Life still revolves around rivers, rivulets, seasonal streams, the trickster of drought, growing times, storm warnings. And now, daffodil spires, manzanita blossoms pink as pearls, bashful prophets of berries the Miwok used to make cider before the decay set in, this bedrock cluttered with gold that rankled the possessive pirates severed from Soul who made matter a thing to be captured, quantified, dissolved to tangible weakness, booty, defenselessness a most unfortunate attribute whether lamb or oak or fern, whether quail or hunger or root.

Some call it lure, others danger, the mind’s meaning-making in metaphor, the figurative lace of how many things can be tatted together and how finely. But what if finery isn’t? The moon shines without cutting its swath into edges or curves or angles or Isn’t that lovely or Pretty as a picture or Hand me a ruler and level.

Let me tell you a story about a moon that does not read your face, does not know you from Adam, cannot think beyond its own sphere, its purpose a secret that has nothing to do with how you pine under it or write poetry to it or track its shadows or call it La Luna or make earrings in its image or note its phases, but is wholly oblivious to certainties forced upon it over time’s filigree, the colors, emblems, flags, even gender, all adhered to the rocky thing dangled in some sky that teases out the possessors who want to own it all.

photo by shf

This piece was produced during an online writing session inspired by a prompt provided by master teacher Ann Randolph within her Unmute writers’ community. Ann’s next month-long session begins March 11.