When You Truly See

Mosaic Pattern

floor mosaic

I found myself lost in an epic stare, drinking in the mosaic pattern in the tile floor beneath my feet. Smiling at the images which emerge; the secret ones, the ones hidden from the rest of the world.  My eyes see one thing, but my mind sees another.  The pictures keeping coming to me, one more clearly than the previous.  I start to lose substance and begin to blend into the landscape created by my mind.  I see a Bengal tiger in all of its beauty, orange and black, full of strength and power, slinking across the barren grasslands.  A native man stands behind a brightly decorated shield holding a long thin spear.  His skin is glistening with sweat and his breathing is shallow.  His eyes twitch every time the tiger moves.  The tiger knows this and every so often abruptly moves for no reason, simply to get a reaction from the man.  I am not an expert on wild animals, either real or imagined. But I think this is the first tiger I have ever observed who had a sense of humor.  I stare at the floor watching the two adversaries stare at each other for hours, neither moving too much, simply watching one another.  Man against beast, or is it beast against man?  Either way, there will be no combat today; simply getting to know one another.  Across the plain a small village sleeps.  The last embers of a cooking fire silently smolder and die out, almost surviving the night.  A single barren tree bends, but never breaks as the winds whip through its branches.  Shadows that once covered the ground creep into their resting places as the night gently gives up her grip on the rocks and grass.  The sun has begun its daily journey far in the background of the tiny village.  A single golden ray splits the horizon like a knife; glowing and heavenly.  It is nearly blinding and one not dare to stare at it directly.  My shadowy self is forced to shield my eyes, even though I’m not really there…or am I?   As I said earlier, I can see things in this floor that no one else can see.  Or perhaps I only think that I’m the only one who can see these magnificent sights.  In my mind a question forms which quickly divides once, then again and again.  Maybe the dwellers of the village were tucked in their huts watching me as I surveyed their lands.  Perhaps the hunter stood his ground as he waited for me to make the kill.  Was the sun really shining or was it just a reflection?  Perhaps the dying embers were actually the moment when the flames took their first taste of the wood.  Or is the mosaic tile my adversary and we are just beginning to know one another?

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

6 thoughts on “When You Truly See

  • July 11, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Such an interesting story, Ralph. I really like it, for I often find myself gazing at something for a long time and letting my mind go deeper into the image, seeing things that are not really there, or maybe they are. “Epic stare” – I love that term. Very well penned.

  • July 11, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    A lovely piece of creative writing Ralph, filled with evocative imagery and a real sense of being their. A momentary tangent of thought beautifully expressed and rendered my friend. Just a minor oversight: line 3 ‘keep coming to me’. Well done.

  • July 15, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    I loved this piece of creative writing. I sometimes look at billowing clouds and see visions. Maybe I will look more closely and write about the actions. Thank you…

  • July 15, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Amazing RJ, such a creative work. The images so clear, as you took me on a journey finely crafted between reality and imagination. The use of a Mosaic is such a wonderful choice, to fall into our mind and perceptions. Meditative and very interesting. Enjoyed it, thank you.


  • February 23, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Thanks everyone for the positive comments – it’s nice even as a writer to go back and re-read some of the things published in the past.

  • February 11, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    Ahh …….the imagination RJ , Sometimes I think mine is a little too far removed from the “normal ” ……..Nice writing and imagery !


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