Of Sunset and Sanity
'A Sunset Should Not Make You Scream'
A Sorrowful Sunset
My grandfather would often tell me a story of when he was a young man in the old country long ago and I have never had any reason to dispute its credibility.
On returning from a late afternoon stroll, he caught sight of a man walking towards him along a path; he was slightly ahead of his companions. The sunset that evening made the sky appear as if it were oozing blood.
The man paused for a moment; he stood there gaunt and pale in stark contrast to the blazing vermillion streaks that danced above his head. Leaning on the fence which bordered the path, he placed his hands on his ears as if to block out some awful noise, though the twilight air was calm, still and silent.
My grandfather heard the man scream so loud that all the anguish of the world could not have screamed louder.
Had he escaped from the lunatic asylum? Perhaps he was a worker from the slaughterhouse who had seen more blood in a day than his mind could bear. His friends were seemingly oblivious to his plight.
‘Can I help you, sir?’ My grandfather offered some salts, ‘do you feel unwell?’
The man quickly regained his composure as if nothing had been amiss.
‘Thank you kindly, I have been to visit my sister.’ He pointed to the asylum. ‘It is so very dark and dismal within those dreadful walls. I fear for her. The rooms are bare and cold and colourless and now to come out into this angry red sky I fear for my own sanity too. You would think the whole world was on fire.’
‘It is a rare sight, sir, very beautiful is it not?’
The man hesitated for a second then turned around to admire the majesty of nature. Swirling hues of red intermingled with one another in a final blaze of colour before dusk fell.
‘Yes, yes I agree.’ The man’s tortured expression had given way to a smile of sorts.
‘A sunset should not make you scream sir,’ my grandfather remarked. ‘It should never make you sorrowful or sad.’
‘A sunset is God’s paint box and if were an artist like you, sir, I would attempt to capture the beauty of it.’
© 2015 Stella Kaye