The room we had lived in for years was always unfailingly tranquil. She was standing still with her back turned to me.
She would never look back - at least that is what I had hoped.
Her appearance, from behind, looked equivalent to those inside the room.
The bare window, with no curtains, and a wall with no hanging art. A frame that lost its painting and an empty easel. A plate, a knife, a fork, and a block of butter with no bread. A closed piano. A room with no one except her.
All the doors are open and they lead to entryways of spaces filled with silence. A faint light from the street window saturates the wooden floor and there she is, standing. The hem of the dress that does not billow out and her gentle stray hair falling on her neckline. She is the tired chair, the hardworking broom, the coal stove that quietly emits heat, and the lamp that dimly harbors the light.
She is there, not normally, inevitably or miraculously. I take her for granted. Not realizing how fortunate I am to have her in my life, I continue to focus solely on painting her appearance, from behind.
When I first laid my eyes on her, she hesitated to look at my face directly and would look away when our eyes meet. Still, her demure smile lit up her face, caressing, like the ray of winter sun. The distance between us was appropriate. Even though she stood right before me, it was as if I was looking far into a distant landscape.
The whirlwind caught in the stone paved alley and the dried, clatter noise of the withered leaves caught up to us while walking and leaning on to each other. After we parted, as I saw her back disappearing beyond the entrance door, I felt a rush to hold her in my arms. The impulse instilled the seed of creation in me, which blossomed and flourished.
As I lay down my paintbrush and start dozing off, I hear the sound of the piano in the distance. Like the waves that come in and go, the empty room responds to the distant melody and quietly echoes far, then close, and far again.
All my life I have painted what I call a landscape of her appearance, from behind - a landscape that will forever stay the same.
I seem to have lost her unexpectedly, who was here until a moment ago.
The piano by the corner of the room - did she open the closed piano and start playing?
Was it her that took away the unfinished painting on my easel?
One by one, things slowly disappear from the room: the piano, the one legged chair, a picture frame, a piece of clothing, and, a painting.