My teeth chattered. It was two in the night and the chill breeze was making me shiver. Inside, my soul was growing cold too.

My insides are like nuts and bolts removed from a freezer. I function like a rusting machine. I have a program fed into me and I must deliver on those lines every single day. The code says I must smile. I must laugh. I must eat, sleep and do what other normal people do. My code has bugs. I falter. My laughter is empty. I stop in tracks at work and disappear into reveries. My smile doesn’t reach my eyes. Melancholy is now my shadow.

Once upon a time, I was happy. I loved. I acknowledged love. I loved people that loved me. My laugh was infectious, my smile was charming. I would talk and people would listen, I would dance and people would join, I would sing and people would applaud. Life was an art and I a great artist.

Masterpieces are not always happy. They hold some tragedy and mine was tarnished with the mist of Achlys.

Tonight’s fog was as thick. I could barely see anything. I was perched on the balcony and my thoughts were keeping me unnecessary company. I tried banishing the desolate introspection. I wanted to be alone. In vain!

They were engulfing me like the ashes of Pompeii. Guilt was choking me. I  destroyed people who loved me. They evoked nothing in me. They were just mere objects – like numerous vases in a potter’s barn and I didn’t care which ones I broke. I shattered some beautiful ones.

What had become of me? I wasn’t this. This wasn’t me. Introspection soon turned into self pity and censure. I began to loathe myself, the undeserving life I was leading. My canvas, this art was a sham. The only paint worth having there was the black of turmoil made of the soot of disappointment and the grease of failure.

My heart was falling from great heights. On the high balcony, it was getting colder.

I suddenly started to enjoy it. Both the cold and pain. That feeling when your veins are going numb and the blood is turning into glaciers, there is nothing like it. It’s gripping. You don’t want to move. You want to just let it take over you.

It was washing over me. I was drowning in grief. It was almost like a moment before death. Don’t they say faces flash before you in your last moments? A few things flashed before me – a smile, a scene, a good deed. It awakened in me an urge – the passion to push through this mist, these ashes – this freezing emotion!

Quite a few people have told me I have too much passion. They were right. If passion could be as hot as the embers of a volcanic fire, it could also be cold like the depths of icy oceans.

My passion was blue. It changed shades and tonight’s was a nice navy. Navy blue is a sincere color. It hides sincerely and shows sincerely. It accentuates goodness and covers shame.

My passion created a protective cocoon. It turned that self pity and censure into hope and the black thinned into blue. A white had suddenly blended in.

It was forgiveness.

I was starting to forgive myself for everything I did. My conscience came draped in a white robe and whispered relief into my heart. I was a child of my passion, it was my mother. It was sheltering me from turning into ice shafts. My passion would not let me freeze and break so easily. My art wasn’t a sham, it was a true paragon. It was as real as anything could be. It was as real as my passion.

It asked me to empty my heart through my eyes and I let myself cry. I walked in and closed the door behind me. My passion had saved me tonight.