I Carry Your Heart - Chapter 7

~ Love-Throb in the Heart


And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.
You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within;
And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
Thro' all my Being, thro' my pulse's beat;
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.
And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot that made me love you.1

Catherine fell asleep reading the words of Coleridge, her thoughts only of Vincent, wherever he was. Surely by now, he was making his return to the Tunnels.

_____

This morning, a morning with no alarm to remind her of duty, she lingered in her bed, watching the sun brighten and reflect window to window, the night's rain done. How would it be to wake to candlelit chambers instead, the colors faded to earth and sand and granite, to descend daily from the city, to hear its voice grow faint and muffled? To no longer wake alone? The choice was clear to her now.

You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within ...
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light ...

The light of morning filled her room. Her heart was Light.

_____

By late afternoon they were nearing the Village, agreed to walk one more block before hailing a cab home. A small shop of treasures drew Catherine's eye and she hurried across the street. The sunken entrance was flanked by windows of enticing displays: folds of embroidered linens, a drift of leather-bound books, box after box of ornate, old-fashioned keys. Through the tall panes she could see shelves lining the walls, laden with amber and pink, cobalt and green glassware and precarious towers of vintage china. Architectural relics and curious furniture crowded the floor and a counter boasted vintage jewelry.

“I have to go in here, Jen.”

Jenny peered through the glass. “I can see that you do. You’ve developed the strangest tastes.” After another peek, she turned to Catherine whose hands were shading her eyes, whose nose was pressed to the window. “Do you mind? I think I’ll dart into that shoe store on the corner. Come get me when you're done, or I’ll come back for you.”

“Deal,” said Catherine, already pushing her way in to the store.

Inside, the lamps were soft – like candlelight – and a subtle, singing melody infused the air. What she’d thought were keys were instead intricate silver crosses, their bell-like ringing-together mesmerizing as she sorted through them. She didn’t notice the shopkeeper's approach, was taken unawares when she spoke ...

For I am running to Paradise;
And all that I need do is to wish ...”2

Catherine whirled, surprised.

“Yeats,” the woman said, then laughed with delight. “Ms. Chandler? Catherine?”

“Eimear?” She stuttered. “I ... I can’t believe it’s you! Is this your shop?”

“No, my sister’s. I help her out some weekends. But what are you doing here?” Her words were softly accented, a melding of the City and some far-away place, lilting with an underscore of music.

“Out for a day with my friend who likes shoes better than old books.” Catherine laughed. “We were just about to call it a day.”

“I’m glad to see you ... Catherine. I want to thank you for how kind you were with Flynn … and with me."

"I hope life is back to normal for him. For both of you."

"He’s still having a bit of a bad time, he is. His nights are fitful. And his days ...” Her voice drifted into sadness.

“Oh, no. I don’t like hearing that. Is it trouble with the administration? Is the press still hounding him?”

“The press now, they’ve dropped back some. His bosses ... they act as if he should just get on with it and his teammates seem a bit apprehensive around him, but mostly Flynn has his own troubles. He sees something newly dark in himself."

“I know it's ... difficult ... now, but he has you and I’m thinking you're his rock.”

Eimear regarded Catherine with a long look. "And I'm thinking you know something about fitful nights and dark places. Is it someone you love?"

Catherine lowered her gaze, closing her eyes for a moment, then lifted her hands in supplication. "I'm not sure I can truly reach him."

"You can only step closer to him, so that the chasm is not so fearful and he doesn’t stand alone."

"Yes." Taken aback by a sudden gladdening – a weave of surprise and relief and freedom – Catherine fell silent, but Jamie’s request … and her promise … jostled free. “Could I call you some time soon? I’d like to keep in touch. After all this has settled, I have a favor to ask of Flynn."

“A favor?”

"A recommendation ... for a teacher."

"What kind of lessons do you need?"

"It seems too raw to ask now, but I need ... a precision shooting teacher."

"For you?" Eimear tilted her head, her expression considering, searching. "Or for the one you worry for?"

“No, for a friend. A special friend with a special reason.”

"Who worries as well?"

"Yes."

Eimear held her gaze, then nodded. “Sure, Catherine. Flynn would do that for you. You can come 'round and ask him. He works with the best. He is the best, though right now, he’d like to forget he knows anything about it. He seems built of stone, but he’s really a soft hand under a duck.”

“What? A soft hand ...?”

“Meaning he’s a rare, gentle thing, regardless of his strapping exterior.”

Catherine bit her lip against a cry of recognition.

“Now,” Eimear said with a toss of her hair, “let’s find you some treasure to mark this day and besides, my sister will have my head if I don’t make my wages! Look around while I go in back. I think we have something newly in you might like.”

She wandered the shop, entranced by so many things that reminded her of Vincent: an oversized, tucked and tasseled footstool, a small globe on a stand, the countries cut from colors of jeweled glass, a tall pewter chalice. Eimear returned with a heavy thing in her hands and set it carefully on a table. She stepped back, beckoning Catherine close with a smile.

“This is from a very special artist. She does only a few pieces a year. In her regular life, she's a nurse, a hospice nurse in Maine. And a good friend to Rosie. My sister."

Catherine was hesitant to reach for it, instead tracing the figures with her fingertips. “What is this, a geode? And the sculpture ... it's bronze? They seem to merge with eternity. Look at them, so close to having ... everything.”

“Yes,” Eimear replied. "This is her homage to Rodin, a variation on The Eternal Idol fixed within an amethyst geode. ‘The inter-mixture of disparate substances, yielding a single essentiality,’ or so ‘tis said in the write-ups.”

Catherine gulped, a most unladylike sound. “I'm speechless. It's ... astonishing!”

“I know,” Eimer sighed. “Compelling, isn't it? Hard to take your eyes off it or to turn your mind from the possibilities.”

A man knelt before his lover, his kiss at her breast, his hands, once clasped behind his back, now loosed and reaching for her. Even cast in bronze, her arch was to him, fluid, yielding all. At once, they rose from and melted into a bed of timeless, glittering facets.

“I’d better have a box for it.”

______________

Jenny was just leaving the shoe store when Catherine rounded the corner.

“What did you find in there, your heart’s desire?” Jenny had added another shopping bag to her collection.

“Something like that,” Catherine replied and they hailed a taxi home.

"So, Cathy. What did you find?" Jenny's tone was teasing. Wasn't it? "Are you ever going to show me?"

From the bag at her feet, she pulled a sturdy, square box, nestling it on the seat between them, and lifted the lid.

"My God, is that a Snowden?3 It can't be. It would cost a fortune! And you would never find one in a little shop. Hers go straight to galleries."

"No, that's not her name, The artist is a nurse, in Maine, umm ... Klein."

Jenny turned the sculpture in her hands. "This is so sensual. I can't believe you found this!" She watched Catherine's face a few moments and wrinkled her brow. "Is this for you? Or is this a present? And if it's a present, who's it for? Cathy! Are you going to answer me or not?"

"You’re incorrigible!" Catherine said, laughing, making a rustling show of repacking the sculpture, the wings of her wish fluttering against her promise. I want to, Jen. I want to tell you everything. If only ...



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Click Here for Chapter 8


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1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Presence of Love.
2. William Butler Yeats. Running to Paradise.
3. M. L. Snowden Amethyst Geode and Bronze Sculptures

5 comments:

Brandy said...

I can't wait to learn more of Flynn, and how Eimear reaches his "dark places." I want so much for Catherine to do that for Vincent.

Isn't it funny how we play in this fictional universe, but the characters are so real that one has hopes and dreams for them?

Carole W said...

I'm outlining in my mind that very thing - a Flynn/Eimear scene for Iron/Velvet and soon to appear.

I'm very pleased you believe in my original characters, that they seem to fit in the tunnel/V&C world well enough. I know what you mean about the fictional universe and the characters - their happiness truly concerns me and I think about them an awful lot.

Sonia Who? said...

Ch. 7

Catherine is so love-struck she can't stop thinking about Vincent. He lie in all her many thoughts. Can't blame her, he is extraordinary.

I just saw the picture of the sculpture you used as reference for the one Catherine purchase as a gift for Vincent. It's a very sensual sculpture, and shows a lot about Catherine's secret wish/longing.

I too can't wait to learn more about your wonderful original characters Flynn and Eimear and how they are counterparts to Vincent and Catherine.

Carole W said...

And here's a link to the Snowden bronzes melded with the amethyst geodes. I had this idea of blending the two images, the Idol and the geode into a very sensual thing. It may need more description in an edit - I should post an illustration. But no more editing until I finish I/V!!!

SNOWDEN bronze/amethyst geode sculptures

NYC Utopia said...

I find myself wishing you shared the Snowden in more "exposed" areas (they are not mine to share).

(fb or pinterest)