Proecthesis (pro-ek’-the-sis): When, in conclusion, a justifying reason is provided.
I went downtown— or at least I thought I went downtown. There was no downtown downtown, just a bunch of empty storefronts. It’s an old story—here comes the mall, there goes downtown. Then I noticed a narrow little storefront that had a light on inside it. “A survivor!” I thought. “I’ve got to check this out.” Painted in gold lettering on the store’s window, it said “Nebulosity.” There was a sign hanging in the door that said “More Or Less Open.”
I opened the door and went inside. It smelled like clothes that had been packed away for years in cedar in somebody’s basement. The showcases had a blurry quality when you looked directly into them, their contents was blurred, out of the corner of your eye, they were focused, but you couldn’t tell what they were. I thought, “How does he make a living?” But, I quickly found out that he was actually she—once again I had assumed that a man ran things. I wished I could kill that bias.
She was a marvel to behold. In fact, she was a little scary. She wore a beautiful dress made from freshly picked grape leaves, golden bracelets on both wrists, and a hat that looked like the sun setting in front of a silver cloud. And she had on bronze-colored Birkenstocks. She held a mug of steaming tea. I could tell it was Chamomile. The mug was made of stone and had a rune marking inscribed on it. I am a Professor of Ancient Nordic Culture, so I could read the rune and understand it’s significance: G – Gebo (ᚷ). Meaning: ”Gift”—love, partnerships, generosity, exchanges, marriage.
Things were happening too fast. I was overwhelmed. I asked her name. “Helga ” she told me. He name means “sacred.” I asked why she had that particular rune, Gebo, inscribed on her stone mug. “What are you looking for?” I asked. She looked at me with shining hazel eyes that, incredibly, made me want to spend my life with her. I thought, “I’ve got to get the hell out of here!” I started toward the door. “No! Please stay!” Her voice was musical—melodic and inflected. I stopped and turned. She said, “Look in this showcase” and waved her hand over it. It came into sharp focus. There, inside the showcase, I was sitting on a sort of couch next to Helga. We were wrapped in furs and she was holding a baby—our baby. There was a huge fire roaring in the fireplace and wind-blown snow falling outside. “This could be our future. All we need to do is open the showcase and our new lives will begin,” Helga said. “Why me?” I asked. Helga answered: “I could see the light shining from your heart when you walked through the door. But let us look at our distant future.” We looked into the fourth showcase—there we were. It was spring and we were old. Our three children and eight grandchildren were there, we embraced in a big clump and then, I started reading a book to the youngest grandchildren. It was titled “Vikings” and was about my great-grandfather’s exploits when he was a much younger man.
“I want this,” I cried with tears in my eyes. I had to settle the deaths of my wife child, electrocuted in our swimming pool. It happened five years ago and my heart had been burning for love ever since—burning for something that could heal the longing and pain and grief. Helga looked at me with the quality of affection I longed for. She gave me hope that I could overcome my guilt-stricken past.
Helga waved her hand and the showcases went blurry again. We embraced and she opened the first showcase and we were drawn in like some kind of living mist. As we floated through the void, Helga gasped and pushed me away. “You killed them!” she cried as she left me behind to drift in the void forever.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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