Photo from The Clock archives

Emma’s Piece

By: Emma Woodbury, For The Clock

We may not be able to dictate the time of the sunset, but we can control its colors.

Bright oranges and yellows for a life lived with kindness and abandon; helping your friends move their furniture, going on a week-long road trip to bring lilac sprouts to a family friend, sticking your head out of the car window and feeling the breeze tangle your hair, telling your friend she looks beautiful when she finds it hard to believe, telling yourself the same when you do.

Pinks for passion, love, and that special, tingly feeling; feelings of feet on soft grass and bug bites begging to be scratched, of driving down an old back road and getting intentionally lost for the fun of it, of jumping and laughing to music with your best friends-likely alerting the neighbors, while your pants are falling off and your hair is going nearly every possible direction simultaneously.

Purples for the quiet nights at home; a mug of hot cocoa that turns cold as you tinker on a project or read a good book, the cat that lays just about anywhere on your body but on your lap finding his new perch while you are attempting to sleep, that fool thing you are baking at 2 am both out of necessity and because it feels like a good night for it, the clock ticking loudly as you sit in thoughtful silence, the movie you rented and the interesting ice cream flavor you impulsively bought for the occasion, the funny videos you watched with your sister-in the basement so no one could hear you, the snow that watches you as it descends from the heavens, wondering what it would be like to be a person looking out the window.

Indigo for sadness and anger and trauma and pain, the things that stand out as both innately and terribly human; you did not deserve to be hurt, someone loves you, sees you, believes in you not because of who they think you are but because of who you think you aren’t, getting low grades doesn’t define your intelligence, the waitress has heard someone say “you too” when she says enjoy your meal before, and will likely hear it again, you deserve to love and be loved in a way that makes you feel comfortable and happy, just because you have done things you regret doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person, and it doesn’t mean you can’t become a better one.

Blue for what is left behind, it is the loss loved ones feel when they know they have held your hand for the last time, it is the memory of you a woman holds close to her heart, not because she knew you, but because as a stranger you gave her an earnest compliment that made her day, it is the bruises left on someone’s skin because you shoved them in anger, it is the chair with your butt-print permanently left in it, it is that face mask you never did, and that blanket you left bundled on the couch.

Birth is a miracle, death is a mystery, and everything in between is a piece of artwork only you can make.