Upon seeing the beautiful wraith on the widows’ walk, I was filled with incredible longing.
A heart-wrenching loneliness filled my heart—an anguish as inexplicable, perhaps, as finding a tear's circle on some distant star.
Who was she?
In a way my heart already knew.
She was the painter, the nameless wife of the architect and I already guessed why she walked these rooms and revisited the Widows Walk.
I don't know what happened inside me, but I had to paint that face.
I fairly ran downstairs and got a sketchpad and began attempting to draw the face I saw in the storm.
I worked all night trying in vain to recreate even one feature. It was useless. The impressions were strong, but no memory of that face remained.
Over the next few weeks I'd sit staring out to sea striving to recall the lovely face I saw in the lightning's flash and the thunder's roar—all in vain.
Daily, I sat looking past the crumbling cliff and the sea oats, past the patio umbrella dripping rain like faint blue paint or the pewter puddles of rain circles.
She haunted my dreams like a siren calling to me out of the night—fragmented images tormented me—glimpses of open windows, white curtains billowing and floating on the breeze, splattered bird cherries, glistening trees and sparrows sheltering under eaves.
Then one day, her name came—Cara, clear as a dewdrop. An aching began again deep in my heart, like the groaning of a thousand guitars—Cara, my beloved, my goddess, my Muse.
I spoke to her in the emptiness of my uncle's house and confessed my pitiful longing. I raved, I rambled and paced the floors seeking release.
Your eyes mirror the painted skies, I told her; Your beauty has burned me black until I'm parched and filled with longing. Only appear and give me one last glimpse of your loveliness.
But she never did reappear. Ben found me two days later collapsed on the floor, clinging to the portrait I tried to paint.
The therapist waited while I wept.
"Can you show me the painting?"
I was reluctant to give it up.
"I won't take it—I just want to see what you've painted."
I hugged it tightly to my chest, but he was kind and I could see he meant no threat. I gradually relaxed my grip and at last allowed him to take it from me.
He glanced at the canvas and then back at me. "But what is this?"
"It's called Cara Oculta."
"The Hidden Face?" he translated literally.
"Precisely," I replied.
"But, I see no person."
"It's not a representation. It's a depiction."
"A depiction of what?"
"Of the scar she left upon my soul."
He looked at me quizzically and then at the canvas—at the ragged blue line crossing its face.
He shook his head.
I watched him scrawl in his notebook.
my dear, in the weather's din, I paint your lovely face.