‘Between the Black and White’: A major

“Between the Black and the White” explores different moods and feelings in daily life. It is organized into different keys that set the tone for each specific piece. It tries to capture the microscopic stories of life and zoom in to examine every detail.

It is late afternoon. We are sitting on a rainbow-striped picnic blanket on the Oval, blasting Uchis’ light R&B. The charcuterie board with spicy salami, cheese, and pretzels. The hummus-flavored birthday card dipped in tomato sauce, the two cans of Pringles, the box of nicely-decorated cupcakes, the plates of Ritz and Cheez-It crackers all laid out. My friend cuts open the pepino melon, spilling out yellowish liquid. The shadows of dashing butterflies pass us, their delicate wings fluttering in a flurry of colors, hurriedly chasing after some invisible treasures in the air. Following their trajectory into the sky, my gaze is caught by the clouds, splayed out in grotesque shapes.

Unlike the rain, the clouds in California are razor-sharp, full with purpose and direction. They resemble Jupiter’s bands of swordlight, defending the serene azure sky painted a shimmering emerald. Amid the fragmented sunlight, the smaller clouds splinter apart, dodging the delicate beams that dance all the way down to the earth. The bigger, more restless clouds fill the sky with murmurs. Despite the clouds’ effort to shroud me from the sunlight, the sun’s warm rays gently scratch my face, tenderly touching my wounds in their bittersweet caress. I feel a tingling ache.

It is almost dusk, and the sun gracefully descends, tracing a flawless arc. Each blade of grass is meticulously groomed, untainted by even a speck of dust. For me, it all feels too formal. Bathed in the radiant sunlight, there is no room for even a hint of haze. The clarity of the sun dissipates all that is dreadful and ambiguous. The palm trees cast their shadows, raising a glass to the diligence of the sunlight. At this moment, I feel that I could entrust the entirety of my body and soul to the sun, carefree embrace. I favor sincerity over meticulousness, order over tyranny, eternity over immortality. The orange sunlight cascades in waves upon the earth. I yearn to delicately cut the image out with lace scissors, fragment by fragment, to preserve this moment in the depths of my memory.

Tired of the light, I look down, seeking solace in the shadows that flicker across the ground. There, beneath the radiant sun, our shadows frolic and play. They leap and twirl, chasing fleeting happiness; they glide through the golden tapestry of sunlight, unhindered by doubt or fear, their laughter echoing through the air like a symphony of freedom, while we remain rooted in our longing.

My friends’ laughter brings me back to the present. I take an ice cream from the picnic basket. I like to use a spoon to pile the ice cream into little snowmen, in my absence of mind, scooping it carefully, licking the white sweetness with my tongue little by little; eager to warm it, only to melt it with my warmth. Oh, ice cream, stubborn like a child, playing a whimsical game of hide-and-seek, forever eluding our grasp. Even coldness returns to energy when it is consumed.

As I lay down on the picnic blanket, I feel it — the persistence of the setting sun mixed with the remaining touches by the lingering morning dew, as if guiding me towards a cold, bright tomorrow.

Originally posted 2023-06-08 06:07:09.


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