A short creative writing piece inspired by one of my favourite paintings.
‘Ophelia’ by Sir John Everett Millais, completed between 1851 and 1852.
The water in the brook is entirely still; the far-away source has granted the river its entirety, given the stream its final trickle, gifted the rivulet with its dying drop. The brook stopped flowing when Ophelia stopped breathing. In an act of sisterly solidarity the brook and the girl lay motionless, tranquil in their shared suffering, grieving as one entity, accepting their losses. The silence is only broken by the distant cries of ravens. The brook hides in the folds of her gown, wraps itself around her waist and buries itself between the smouldering tendrils of her hair. Ophelia’s palms face the heavens with the limbs of Mother Nature’s children laced between her fingers. Her soul escapes effortlessly through her open mouth, gliding over the lips that will never be kissed. Her soul slowly curls like languid smoke and lingers above her corpse to cast a final glance upon her face. Her gaze is still fixed on the greying sky but her eyes are empty: each piece of her shattered heart bears the heavy weight of misery, thwarting any attempt by her eyes to hint at her agony. The placidity of the natural world mocks the chaos that thrived in the previously undiscovered depths of her psyche. She is as pallid in life as in death. Her soul loiters by the weeping willow, and begins to silently weep itself. Her soul sheds a tear; one of partial relief, partial regret. The tear falls into the brook, and the water begins to awaken. The brook starts to flow and carries Ophelia downstream, away from pain and melancholy, and towards the places that she had visited only in her dreams.