The Sleeping Lady

I had nearly given up when I saw her from out of my window, the perfect muse. She lay asleep on a park bench. To be so uninhibited, so at ease with oneself that she could fall asleep in a place so public was beyond me. The autumn’s sun had just begun to set, and the sky was stained gold. The trees around the park swayed, people came and went, some even sat beside her, but all the while she slept.

I watched, captivated by her. I was entranced. The image ensnared me. It inspired me. I went over to get my sketchbook and began outlining what I saw. When I had finished, the lady still slept on the park bench, and around her children basked in the final hours of sunlight. I rushed into my studio so I could begin bringing my scene to life.

At around midnight, when I was happy with what I had done, I went to bed. All night I dreamt of the scene, I dreamt of my unfinished picture, of how beautiful it could all be; I dreamt of the sleeping lady.

In the morning when I went out for my jog, I purposely passed by the park bench the lady had slept on, but she had gone. It was just hopeful thinking on my part. She had probably gone to live her own life, a life that promised only perfection.

Even now I glance out of my windows with the fragile hope I might see her, but she is never there. For me she can only exist in canvas, she has transcended my dreary world, she is a bygone imprint I never want to forget, an image as ethereal as a shadow yet every bit as perfect as grace.

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