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Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Steamer Trunk

On the outside it was beautiful... a thing to desire. The delicately carved wood told the story of hands that took pride in their work. The patina on the hardware gave evidence of its age. and yet only added to its beauty. In spite of all its delicateness, it was dotted with dings and gouges that appeared as badges of strength. It looked as though it could continue on through endless voyages, riding on crested waves, being packed onto trains, off to every exotic adventure under the sun. Every eye that glanced its way felt envy. Although not quite majestic, it appeared a symbol of success.

I opened the lid to an atrocious contrast. Whatever care had been taken of the external wood had not been bestowed upon the inside. The stench of mildew arose from the darkness. The frayed remains of a once-elegant fabric lay crumbled in the bottom. Why had it never been crafted into a luxurious ball gown? Maps that led to nowhere were yellowed and disintegrating, their purpose never fulfilled, the journey never taken. The framework, once square and straight, revealed well-worn edges as they bowed under the strain of time.
Such a life...

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