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Autumn Whisperings

the mask is her shield

I personally don't like this one much... but it expresses me, I think, so I posted it anyway---


Outcast she sits
Alone all the time
Heart broken to bits.

She keeps a mask on
No one will ever know
Her spirit is gone.

Once she was like them
Happy and naive
Believing she was a gem.

A diamond, a treasure--
Someone would call her that
Bringing all pleasure.

She wears her mask always
Acting like she's everyone else
The mask is her shield in the hallways.

You would not know her now
As the happy little girl
Happiness she can no longer allow.

She tells them what they want to hear
I'm fine, I'm okay, I like being alone
But about these things, her mind is no longer clear.

She does her act well
Though nobody knows
To reality, she has said farewell.

Some may think she's waving
Swimming easily in a stormy sea
That she does not need saving...

But the happy, numbered days of clowning
Are over, gone, lost forever.
She is not waving --- she's drowning.


As a thirteen-year old, then as an almost-nineteen-year old, comparing her final LJ posts with this poem is... well, unnerving. The themes of broken heart, being alone, loss of happiness, wearing a mask, being saved --- they're all duplicated in her last posts to us. "her mind is no longer clear" morphs into the single word "dissociated" five years on. And "the numbered days" is so prescient... did she really know and feel at age 13 what was going to happen, finally, in 2008, that she would never reach her numbered year of 19?

Well... um.... there it is.

"It expresses me, I think..."

There's a contemporary play by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor titled "Never Swim Alone" where two boys and a girl are swimming, the boys are playing business rivals and race to see which of them can swim faster (get promoted faster, etc.), they forget all about their companion. who weakens and drowns. The three mime swimming, they stand on a dry stage, but they create the waters around them in your imagination.

I was transfixed when I saw this performance, because the core summary of the script is right here, by Kiota.


From where I am in the water, I look for the diamond not the drowning.

Ki doesn't necessarily want us to focus on that, but she puts her diamond right there too, along with her darknesses.

Diamonds have many facets, just like all of us do too... Not every facet is equally bright, it depends how you turn in the sun.

Some days there are clouds down to the ground, no direct sun, but you know it's there.

Especially when you fly up and look. Often it will find you.

And the days do not wear numbers anymore...