Her lips were fire, undulating rapidly as two cherries being whipped wildly through the winds of a typhoon. Upon her birth, she made not a sound, but her crimson red ribbons silently screamed of the storm to follow that was impossible to circumnavigate. God had cursed her with a blessing, for one born with scarlet lips lives in a world void of silence. They fill the world with their inability to suppress the urge to speak of each and every thought that enters the mind. God has not forsaken them though, for these verbal ruby fountains are each endowed with a set of lips beneath the cherry that glow with the pastel composure of the cherry’s sister, the blushing cherry blossom. While the unrestrained blaze of the outer lips crushes their possessors from triumph and possibility, those who are able to shed their fiery gloss attain the muted moderation of the pink blossom, yet retain the idea inferno that swirls within their mind. Those who achieve this feat burst forth with a creativity and composure strong enough to set the world in motion.
Upon her birth, she made not a sound, but her lips were the color of fire. Their vivacity was a stark contrast to the sea of pallid colors surrounding her, but her parents knew not what was before them, for she was the first of her kind. In her babyhood she never ceased to cry. When the tears were replaced by language, the words flowed in the same manner. The verbal deluge rushed from her lips of lava wherever she went, and undermined the beauty of each idea she spewed forth at the wrong moment. Again, at crucial moments which required the purest noiselessness, the impulsive wind blew through her crimson ribbons and caused them to rustle when they should have remained silent, and she was reprimanded severely. In despair and resentment, she crumpled to the pink floor of her room and pleaded for solace with God, who answered, “The heat of your passionate words is stronger in numbers than a dam of wax.”
Clamping two clothespins tightly onto her lips, she created a scarlet dam and prayed once again for the strength to resist the commanding vice she had always known. Immediately her fire drew the fountain of words to the height of her throat and then her mouth where they blazed against the barrier that now confined them. Immediate as well was the scorching pain from the fervent stampeding of her words on her tongue. As the blistering heat swelled, she ran from her room, knowing not where she fled towards, and landed in searing agony on the side of a street. Looking down to where her fists beat the pavement, she saw the scarlet pool that lay before her. As the lava of her words, heated with her ever-vibrant passions and desires beat against her cherry dam, her ribbons plunged toward the earth in crimson drops, as melted wax from a candle. Each drop slid off the glossy surface of her newly revealed cherry blossoms and formed a hardened red octagonal shape before her. In that instant, she removed the clamps from her now soft petals and stood aghast at what had forever been her most merciless obstacle. When her new lips recovered from her shock, they then formed their first smile. She smiled because just then a magnificent idea came to her, but she did not say it, for not a soul was around, and she saw that it was not yet the time to reveal it. She simply did not speak: there was a time and a place for it to be heard, her lips understood, and they obeyed.
On that night, the first stop sign was created. It speaks to all of us who endure what she endured and reminds us that within the tumultuous fire of the scarlet ribbons, there is a place of pure, untainted solace that arrives when the water from a dam can trickle down slowly into a valley, nourish, and contribute to its surroundings rather than water that rages through the gorge on a path of demolition. Solace that arrives when we STOP.
Upon my birth, I made not a sound, but my lips were the color of fire. As my mother held me, she prayed to the petals that I too would watch my lips drain their fire and become a sweet pastel pink; she prayed that one day, I would come to feel the peace of the passionate composure of cherry blossom lips.