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  • Writer's pictureJeff Monday

Items on My Bookshelf: Sky Shard

Like many people, I have various trinkets and knickknacks collected from over the years. Random bits and bobs taken from random moments. I thought it would be fun to share some of these objects with you and share the absolutely true and unembellished stories behind them...

During these dark days, when the sun is hidden behind layer upon layer of cloud and rain, my eyes are inevitably drawn to the small piece of blue sky I have on my bookshelf.

Slicing a sliver of sky is no easy task, let me assure you. You need equal parts knowledge, luck and more than a splash of old-fashioned gumption. But luckily, I had all three on the day long ago when I dared take a bit of heaven for myself.

I set out on my quest with high hopes. After all, finding blue sky is not so difficult. No, the trick, of course, is capturing a bit of it and taking it away. So, on a beautiful sunny day, I set off. Finding an empty field with an unobstructed view of the firmament, I set up my equipment. I looked about, reassuring myself that none were around to observe my activities. Although I am more than willing to share my technique with others, I must be careful. If the knowledge were to reach the general public, everyone would be cutting into the celestial sphere, leaving nothing for those long summer days and depriving our avian friends of a home.

Assured I was alone, I reached into a vial on my right and coated my fingers in hopes I had jarred and sealed away in a previous life. Taking my left hand, I scooped dreams from my childhood from another jar. Carefully, I let the dreams drizzle down over my hope-covered fingers. My fingers glistened in the sun, full of promise. Out of a third container I pulled a memory. Not just any memory. I peered at each one very closely, finding just the right one; a memory of a beautiful sunny day, long ago when the air was crisp, and the breeze was warm and there was not a care in my soul. So very, very long ago.

Concentrating, I slowly wrapped the memory around my sparkling fingers. The memory soaked into the dream-covered hopes, coating my fingers in something otherworldly yet as common-place as tomato soup.

Right hand ready, I now reached into my bag and took out the final instrument needed: a scalpel honed on a stone of imagination. The blade was one-of-a-kind, yet I knew of at least a dozen of my peers who owned one as well. Each was different. Each was the same. A blade able to cut through any material and expose the underlying truth. My scalpel was small, plainly adorned yet sharp as a comedian’s wit. I had acquired it at an early age, and it has remained one of most prized possessions ever since.

Steady. Steady. I held the scalpel firmly but loosely in my hand. I reached up, squinting in the brightness. Before cutting, I took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. I positioned my right hand, fingers curled, almost touching. With nerves of a surgeon, I cut into the firmament, grasping the sky as I cut. I had to move quickly. The heavens seal themselves almost immediately from such a small prick. I cut in a circle, grabbing the sky as it came loose. Barely had I removed the piece before the sky closed up, almost trapping my fingers for all eternity.

I fell onto my back, watching as clouds moved across the vault above. I waited for a bolt of lightning to strike me for my impertinence, but none came. Perhaps the heavens were impressed with my daring? Regardless, I quickly secured my prize, packed up my gear and vacated the area.

Now, during the long nights and short, cloudy days, I look over at my sky. Sometimes I hold it in my hand, listening to the faint sounds of wind and bird. I often look through it, seeing better times. And one day, when my time is short, I shall return it to its proper place in the heavens, thankful for the joy it provided me.

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