A HEART OF LAPIS The most beautiful stones adorn my neck Like an Ancient Egyptian collar. Two glistening balls of onyx sit on top Followed by a double stretch of coral. At the center is a lapis heart, Deeper in color than the Red Sea waters And I am so grateful for this heavenly gift This precious necklace is My daughter.
Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end.
George R.R. Martin
That night my mother had what she considered a wonderful dream. She dreamed of the country of India, where she had never been. There were orange traffic cones and beautiful lapis lazuli insects with mandibles of gold. A young girl was being led through the streets. She was taken to a pyre where she was wound in a sheet and placed up on a platform built from sticks. The bright fire that consumed her brought my mother into that deep, light, dreamlike bliss. The girl was being burned alive, but, first, there had been her body, clean and whole.
Bastian had climbed a dune of purplish-red sand and all around him he saw nothing but hill after hill of every imaginable color. Each hill revealed a shade or tint that occured in no other. The nearest was cobalt blue, another was saffron yellow, then came crimson red, then indigo, apple green, sky blue, orange, peach, mauve, turquoise blue, lilac, moss green, ruby red, burnt umber, Indian yellow, vermillion, lapis lazuli, and so on from horizon to horizon. And between the hill, separating color from color, flowed streams of gold and silver sand.
Well, ' she said, adjusting a pot lid, 'I have my family of origin, which is you and Mom. And then Jaime's family, my family of marriage. And hopefully, I'll have another family, as well. Our family, that we make. Me and Jaimie.' Now I felt bad, bringing this up so soon after Jamie's gaffe. 'You will, ' I said. She turned around, crossing her arms over her chest. 'I hope so. But that's just the thing, right? Family isn't something that's supposed to be static or set. People marry in, divorce out. They're born, they die. It's always evolving, turning into something else. even that picture of Jamie's family was only the true representation for that one day. But the next , someone had probably changed. It had to.'... Later, when the kitchen had filled up with people looking for more wine, and children chasing Roscoe, I looked across all the chaos at Cora, thinking that of course you would assume our definitions would be similar, since we had come from the same place. But this wasn't actually true. We all have one idea of what the color blue is, but pressed to describe it specifically, there are so many ways: the ocean, lapis lazuli, the sky, someone's eyes. Our definitions were as different as we were ourselves.
THE NEXT DAY WAS RAIN-SOAKED and smelled of thick sweet caramel, warm coconut and ginger. A nearby bakery fanned its daily offerings. A lapis lazuli sky was blanketed by gunmetal gray clouds as it wept crocodile tears across the parched Los Angeles landscape. When Ivy was a child and she overheard adults talking about their break-ups, in her young feeble-formed mind, she imagined it in the most literal of essences. She once heard her mother speaking of her break up with an emotionally unavailable man. She said they broke up on 69th Street. Ivy visualized her mother and that man breaking into countless fragments, like a spilled box of jigsaw pieces. And she imagined them shattered in broken shards, being blown down the pavement of 69th Street. For some reason, on the drive home from Marcel's apartment that next morning, all Ivy could think about was her mother and that faceless man in broken pieces, perhaps some aspects of them still stuck in cracks and crevices of the sidewalk, mistaken as grit. She couldn't get the image of Marcel having his seizure out of her mind. It left a burning sensation in the center of her chest. An incessant flame torched her lungs, chest, and even the back door of her tongue. Witnessing someone you cared about experiencing a seizure was one of those things that scribed itself indelibly on the canvas of your mind. It was gut-wrenching. Graphic and out-of-body, it was the stuff that post traumatic stress syndrome was made of.
Brandi L. Bates