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// Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ghost Thorns

From the void a figure appeared with ghost thorns and angel wings.

I reached to it and it reached back.

Then the void exhaled.

Muted colors blended fine.

Crescent moons and distressed edges.

Blurred focus.

Wisps, tendrils, and text vines.

A skyway of oddities merged with everyday things.

An amalgamation of the ever present now.

A purity of moment,
     covered in ghost thorns and angel wings.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

This text composition is a work of fiction. Names, places, institutions, events, incidents, characters, persons, locations, and/or organizations either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Full Creative Writing Disclaimer.

// Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Winter's daylight yawns and crawls up the vines of the old sanitarium. Inside, the decor is a calming blend of pastel colors, smooth blends, and happy hues. Its walls are covered in a flowing tapestry of soft, diamond-stitched padding. Rays of fanned down from the glass ceiling, filling the corridors with streaks of white-washed yellow.

Corridors have three levels: top, middle, bottom. Each level has forty doors: twenty to the left and twenty to the right. Each door is fitted with a head-sized porthole window, perfectly centered at shoulder height.

When viewed end-to-end the corridors are a sprawling grid. Rows and columns—lines upon lines—frame, connect, and define the internal landscape.

The mind easily replaces the materials of the building—its brick and mortar, protected glass, hinged metal doors—with the honeycombs of a beehive. Visitors could easily become lost in this system of seemingly undifferentiated cells, if not for the doors.

Each door is decorated by its owner and reflects the occupant's fancy. Here, in this place, a door is more than an entry and an exit. Doors are a source of pride. They're expressions of individuality. They're signals and signs: When one is open it means "welcome!" When one is closed it means "do not disturb" or "go away!" When one is broken it means "danger within − enter at own peril."

From the vantage point of a doorway's threshold so much becomes known.

Inside one room the Lunatic cradles an Old English clock and smiles. "Time," he whispers, "a true partner."

Next door the ancient Expeditionist reminisces about the fierceness of an African safari, the world view at Everest's peak, and riding on the back of a giant stingray in the Bermuda Triangle. "Ah," he sighs. "Those were the days. Those were the glory days."

Down another corridor a would-be starlet hesitates, dramatically, and on cue. In her doorway a cockroach looms, ten feet tall, devil-red...and grinning. She can only stutter, "A d-d-demon in the door never kn-kn-knocks."

On the top level of the oldest corridor the slender, red-haired, green-eyed Bedchamber Mistress coyly laughs and sips her Thursday tea in the company of the Monastic Prince (a handsome fellow; refined and charming, though awkward and clumsy in the presence of a lady, as the tea stains on his lapel suggest).

In the room across the way, huddled in a corner, the Wretched Insomniac secretly and amorously admires the little tea party. To himself he seethes, teeth grinding, "Not again. Not again! Why does she pick him and not me? She cavorts with a loon. I should be her audience. I am her chosen! It's not fair. Not fair!!!"

At the center of all things, and in the center-most cell of all things, is the resident Messiah, forever lost in tongues. His hands raised high above his head in unconditional welcome. His body bobbing in place to an unheard rhythm. His eyes wide and wild and distant and focused; his heart filled with a fiery passion; his body a golden chalice that runneth over.

His neighbor, the Beeswax Artisan, trembles at the sonic power of the utterances. Figurines rattle on their shelves. His soul is chilled by the prophecies he can never understand and the imminent doom that lingers nearby.

From behind a rainbow-streaked door the lovely Muse sobs in silence; her voice lost to a mysterious ailment. Her tears are filled with unspoken poems and profound inspiration, which can only drip and splatter onto a cracked floor, and eventually evaporate into the nothingness, becoming the "never was."

But the cast of characters does not end there, for there are more doors and more residents behind their doors —

The Philosopher – A great procrastinator vis-à-vis words and an obscurantist bar none. He pontificates at great length to any passerby, and when the mood does strike him, turns to his door and vents in confusing soliloquy.

The Pupil – Always nipping at the heels of the Philosopher, never adding anything to the meat of the meaning; his pliant will ever changing by the words he hears.

The Comely Onlooker – A witness to every scene, in order to be seen, she speaks of the obvious and the droll, by choice, as neither puts her heart or mind at risk.

The Eavesdropping Interloper – Appearing like a shadow, or an ant, or a piece of lint, he becomes part of every conversation. To the great benefit of others he has experienced everything they have, only in more severe, more extreme, or more vivid ways.

The Purple Ghost – A squat, box-like figure, forever cloaked by a purple sheet, moves with absolute grace within the cell, as if floating on the very nature of air. No one has seen the form beneath the sheet. And no one knows if it is a Mister or a Miss.

The Restless Coward – Constantly trying to pick a fight with the things in the shadows, but losing his nerve whenever they bare their pointy teeth.

The Scrivener – Forever writing in notebooks, days and nights are spent jotting and sketching, and writing and revising; thinkering and tinkering, and twisting and turning. One idea bleeds after another, until the throb of the mind-storm subsides. To him every thought is a tendril and every sentence a life. None are left behind.

The Vigilant Maintainer – A portly man who sweeps the floor with a broom that isn't there and then flies into a rage when he can't find the dust pan.

Each misfit in his or her (or its) own way arrives at a state of intimacy; a place where they can steal a peek into their soul pockets and admire the trinkets of their dream treasures.

Outside the sanitarium the snow dies, but inside its walls the lives of the residents grow and unfold through the constancy of their conversations, and the swing of their doors.


Words became characters in my mind, though they were more descriptions, adjectives, and impressions than fully formed entities.

Still, I imagined a time and a place where those characters, or at least their impressions, lived together and lived out their uncommon lives. A community of so-called misfits.

And those misfits, the ones in my mind, eventually became the inhabitants of "Doors."

P.S. A note slipped under the door: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

© Copyright 2009,2012 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

This text composition is a work of fiction. Names, places, institutions, events, incidents, characters, persons, locations, and/or organizations either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Full Creative Writing Disclaimer.

// Monday, February 16, 2009

Tendrils 2

The hard labor of dreams is quickly abandoned for the fleeting respite of carnality.


I am not embarrassed to be "the me that I am," nor do I hide "the me who I need to become." That is confidence.


Freedom is relative, sometimes subjective, and more often than not, context sensitive.

Live freedom through your own eyes.

Be the freedom in your own mind.


      Said the Devil, "I do not mislead, my dear. That is a myth. I merely point out the paths available to you and to everyone.  It is up to you—and you alone—to select the path taken.  I cannot decide for you.  Oh that I could, there would be only one path. And we…well, let's just say that we would be having an entirely different conversation."


Simplification to the point of irrelevance is as bad as complexity to the point of impediment.


Striving for perfection in all that you do is like counting the grains of sand on a beach – you can spend your entire life being busy and still not find the answer.


When you step into the birdcage do you see yourself as being locked in, the world as being locked out, or just the poop at the bottom?


The tragedy that is our complacency.


Sometimes life feels like a hammer, an anvil, and me.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

Out of the Mouth of a Knave

Parenting is all at once a joy, a challenge, a marathon, a sprint, a smile, a tear, a satisfaction, and far too many moments of, "I can't believe I just said that!"

Here are some of my more stellar, "I can't believe that just came out of my mouth," gems.

Sadly, this is not an exhaustive list.
  1. Just because you didn't get your way doesn't mean you walk away.
  2. Before you scream and shout, take a breath and work it out.
  3. Don't lick that!
  4. Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean you get to stay up all night.
  5. Coming to the dinner table is a lot like going to a restaurant: No shirt, no socks – no service.
  6. Seriously, what were you thinking?
  7. These are your choices for a snack: A banana, a banana, or a banana. Pick one.
  8. Mommy and Daddy cannot watch another episode of Blue Clues.
  9. You'll beat me at this game when you win.
  10. The couch is not a trampoline.
  11. Get the drumstick out of your nose. You'll get boogers on the drum head.
  12. How many times do I have to tell you this? Don't—step—on—the—dog.
  13. Where are your pants?!?
© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

// Monday, February 09, 2009

Tendrils 1

The problem with anything "cookie-cutter" is that you can't survive on cookies alone.


Some people think too much.

Some people don't think enough.

And far too many don't think at all.


To have the ability to dream is a gift.
To believe in the power of dreams is a choice.
To deny the need to dream is a mistake.


There isn't a doubt that can withstand the might of confidence.


The mark of true stupidity is the individual (or individuals) that take an elegant, simple idea and turn it into a complex and unwieldy one.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

// Sunday, February 08, 2009

Seclusion into Emergence

And the time of darkness had passed, and the skies of foreboding grey gave way to unbroken sea-blue, and the fear that covered the land like a down blanket was lifted.

The long months of seclusion were no more.

A cool, refreshing breeze swept across the land – the broom of God.

Doors and windows and hearts opened wide.

The locked-away and battened-down emerged with eyes opened wide, hearts opened wide, and hope opened wide.

A single step transformed them; transformed them all.

Yesterday was banished and the promise of the moment was given rule over them.

As gazes fell upon the flowers in early bloom, they could dare to dream again.

The Winter demons and darkness were no more.

The Angels of Spring had arrived on clouds of silver lining.

Voices rejoiced.

And laughter from the young to the old, from the most simple to the most wise, echoed far and wide.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

I Can and May

Can is a matter of capability.

May is a matter of permission.

No parent ever truly fails when capability is nurtured, encouraged, and taught, and cast in terms of permissibility and responsibility.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

// Saturday, February 07, 2009

Here, Now, Then, and Next

Art is as much about the swags as the outcome; as much about the shadows and in-betweens as the sunlight and complete scenes.

Conclusions, final forms, and what is offered for the world to see are only points in time. Unchanging creatures collected for display.

To the artist, the process and the journey—and their bitter sweet frustrations and fruits—have as much meaning and being as the art itself.

They are, after all, the blood, sweat, and tears that come and go in the guarded private moments of creation.

When the dust settles, the paint dries, and the last draft revised, all that remains are the winks and nods, and heartbeats and whispers, of the artist.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

And So It Begins...

Suddenly, I realize the comfort zone is behind me. When did I leave it?

Answer: When I became ready (and willing) to venture to the dreamscapes and thought-storms of a new horizon.


And so it continues…

Suddenly, I realize the comfort zone is a speck in the shrinking distance far, far behind me.

"When did I leave it," a puzzled voice in my head asks.

Came a soft and reassuring voice, "The moment at which you were willing to venture beyond the thorns of yesterday and into the thoughtmares and mindstorms of a new horizon."

As I walk towards the ever present now, I can feel tendrils growing from me; thinkerings of images and words extending from me.

Unreality never seemed so vivid.

© Copyright 2009 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.