dream guide

i’m thinking this is a monologue. you can read it as such. or poetry if you prefer. i’m thinking it’s a part of a larger whole. at some point i’ll put in a guide to how i use punctuation in plays. though maybe it’s fairly intuitive. the key thing is to hear it.
this is what she says

she says

this is the beginning of a story

like a sweeping epic film

like a horse

no a cheetah running slow motion

like a wolf about to pounce

like a bear standing in a stream waiting to catch salmon

with its claws

with its claws

eyes locked

eyes set forward

unblinking

in full comprehension of the scene

eyes set

running

forward

quick jolt to the outside

lean

and then closer than ever

closing in

closing in 

and one slight leap

a pounce forward onto prey

onto 

and latching on 

latched on

holding

holding on

this is the beginning of a story she says

she says

i want to imagine yourself as a bird

as a dove

as an eagle

i want you to imagine yourself flying

see yourself in open blue

in open space

floor of green

i want you to see yourself

dream guide

i am the guide

i am the dream guide

this is your journey

i can make you real

do you want to be real?

give me your hand

 

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the hunt

The girl moved swiftly through the forest. Dodging branches snapping back at her. She moved with alacrity. Her pace was even. She was nimble. She wove around rocks stuck in the ground. She jumped, sliding over the trunks of broken trees. She moved quickly. Hurried steps. 

She looked behind her. Then ahead. She quickened her pace. Looking forward, not behind. Gaining speed until her quick paced shuffle jog was turning into a run. 

She knew an animal followed her. A big one. A predator. With eyes fixed and moving forward as if to devour her. 

She didn’t know what it was but didn’t stop to guess as she wrapped around tree trunks. Jumped down small hills into ravines. Slipping and catching herself on small rocks. Into a pool. Into mud that threatened to suction her feet in place. Into a stream. Deeper. Deep within the forest.

Running now without looking back and she could tell the animal — was it a wolf? A leopard? A bear? Something thundered behind her as the forest became dense and just the light of the eyes of the being that chased her seemed to illuminate the footsteps in front of her. As if there was no beginning but the step she took. As if there was no end but where her foot left the ground. As if only the present, the ever present was syncing two beings — she and the one who chased her. 

In that moment, for a split second that opened up another realm of possibility, she and the being with the glowing eyes. The dark fur. The claws and the sharp teeth. They were connected. Not just in stride. They moved through the forest without looking back. Fixated on everything forward snd ahead. And in this moment, they could feel the beating of the other’s heart. The strong pulse was like an underlying beat that they harmonized to. 

Still they ran. Waiting for the other to get tired. To give up. To end it all. 

This being was hungry. She felt its hunger and wanted to give in. She felt that it needed her to survive. And she almost wept because the pang and the longing was so great. She wanted to give in to it.

The weakness in her legs had settled in and she really struggled now. This was going to be it. The eyes were on her back. They were a foot away. She could feel the animal’s breath on her skin. This being. It was beside her. It opened its jaws. Sharp teeth. She winced and imagined her warm blood cascading down the animal’s body pooling into its mouth. She flinched and the animal lunged, missing.

But they both stopped. Facing one another. It growling at her. Bristling fur. Piercing eyes. Her watching its every moment. Being patient. Watching. She could tell the animal would pounce on her at any second. She was out of breath. Her lungs were on fire. She didn’t know why she said it in that moment, but as she put her hands out, bracing herself, she uttered softly, 

“Shhhhhh…..”

The being, the animal with sharp, sharp teeth continued to growl. Again.

“Shhhhhh…..”

Something in its eyes changed. It still growled, but now she could tell it was scared and partially was calculating an escape.

“Shhhh…..”

She kept on saying it. She didn’t care if it made the animal mad. Something about it seemed to seep in. The animal licked its lips. It growled again, but this time lower. This time crouching down. Backing away. This time as if communicating with her. A half warning and a partial invitation. 

She didn’t know what to do, but she was no longer as scared of it as she had been. This being was past the point of killing her. But one never knew. One could never tell if it was a game to get her to come closer.

So she decided to sit and wait as the beast stared back.

girl keeps running

Girl looked back behind her.

“Quick! Pick it up!”

Girl felt miles ahead of me, but in reality it couldn’t have been more than an arm’s length or so from where I was. Every time I sped up, she’d slip through my fingers again.

“Quick! Keep up.”

She’d look back over her shoulder. She was laughing as I struggled so hard. Running up hills. Wading through streams. Down the pavement. Up flights of staircases. She knew where to lead me and I just held on. Tried to keep her generally in my field of view.

Still her laughing, brightly. So gentle. No judgement. Just cheer.

And somehow, always, whenever she laughed, I laughed too. She could be far off, it always echoed back and reverberated off of whatever or whoever was around. You’d think it was a chorus of girls laughing. Giggling. I imagined her laughing so hard she had tears in her eyes, but I’d never get close enough to see. Maybe she was just wiping off sweat.

Was she wiping off sweat? Did she sweat? Was this hard for her? I hoped it was because it was hard for me and she made it look so easy. Like a game. Like she was playing.

Huff and puff my way. Think I’m gonna pass out.

“Come on!”

There it was again. Always the voice. Always the encouragement when I was having a moment of self doubt. When I felt done for sure. There was the voice ringing out.

“Come on! You can do it!”

I sighed and took one more step. I wanted to say, “no, I can’t”. I wanted to fall down and give up and sleep for a million years. Still, the voice.

“I know you can!”

Ugh, if only the voice would stop, I could stop. I could rest. I could be still.

Voice started to fade and then it hit me… Was she gone? I was alone now. Instantly, the stillness of the leaves told me how wrong I was. Every step into the ground, damp, sinking under foot — told me that I needed her. I kept listening, waiting and watching for her to return. For her to step out from behind a tree and say, “boo! gotchya!”

I realized it could be that she was gone forever. And that I had only thought about stopping. 

I never loved that voice in the moment. Only afterwards when I looked back. When I looked around and realized where I was and that there was no describing this sea of beauty overwhelming my heart and my soul and as something caught in my chest, my throat — I wanted to shout. 

I looked through the trees and could see a figure standing solid in the light, effortless grace in the midst of the wind, swirling around her as if to greet her. 

Her face turned to me and smiled, “see?” she seemed to say. She took my hand and then I knew. She’d always been trying to bring me here. Get me here. Where we could be together. No running. No chasing. None of what was before. 

I felt her hand in mine, soft and warm. And then I walked with her to the edge of the cliffs. Looking out into a great expanse of rocks and sky and sea and change. As if to say, I’m waiting for you. I’m ready when you are.