Eternal Ephemera



It’s there and it’s gone.  Another few seconds of sunlight and the shape will shift.  A blink of cloud cover and the sparkle will disappear.

A vermillion and lemon ocean froth for just an instant, a stream of reflected sunrise.  Swaths of roiling sea smoke part to reveal an abandoned island before sealing it off again.  Spring sunlight gives the illusion of dancing streamers in pastel hues.  Clouds gather into a perfect arch that just as quickly collapses into a fiery phoenix.

You might glance just so, shifting your peripheral vision so you notice the fleeting presence of a brilliantly camouflaged moth and a jewel-colored fly on a plant’s undulating green and rust hills.  You look again and they’re gone.


Or it’s there and then it’s not . . . but it’s never gone.

“I drove her out to college, drove back to an empty space, thinking back to when she was a baby, trying hard to see that face . . . .” 

Your children’s faces as infants and toddlers, the timbre of your spouse’s voice, the blur of your daughter as she dances on stage.  A leaping sting ray, the scent of sun-kissed linen in hospital room soap, the eyes of someone you love who is in pain.  Crystals of a first snow melting on an exuberant puppy’s nose, the last low notes of a funeral hymn fading out.  A patch of rainbow sky in winter, the white walls of the windowless room where you received heart-scarring news.

“All these stories buried out here, they’re calling to me, like the earthquakes in California, like the hills back in Tennessee…”

Beautiful and terrible things, both ephemeral and, in their way, eternal.

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

10 thoughts on “Eternal Ephemera”

  1. A beautiful collection of images, pictorial and verbal. They’re beautiful in their distinction, not because we’re attached to them. It’s the attachment that causes suffering, as the Zen master said.

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