Grief, like winter, can be writ in black and white.
It strips away color. It distorts. One feel mired in a no man’s land between white light and the cold steel of bottomless black.
Empty chairs and empty tables. Old bricks, forged from clay the copper red of blood, turn ghostly gray. Are those shadows from iron chairs, or scars in the sidewalk? Outdoor seating on the cusp between seasons: even when the sun breaks through, it is too cold to be inviting.
Yet there comes a time when black and white turns Technicolor. You can see it with a blink–tables filled, the smell of ground coffee wafting through a bakery door as customers no longer cocooned for winter stream in and out, patio seating restored to forest green, yapping dogs tethered to chair legs as their human companions soak in summer sun. Traffic and flowers just beyond the bricks. A fountain sprung back to whooshing life. Fathers and children walking hand-in-hand. Alive, alive, oh.
But for now, empty.