the thought that became a word that became a song that became a chant that became a prayer that became a dream that became real

There was a giant clearing where the earth sloped to rise smoothly up then dipped back down into a pool of clear, flowing water. A waterfall rushed down from above and birds chirped at one another. Everything here was lush, full, and teeming with life. When the girl stepped into this this space, she felt her heart, her mind, her body become quiet. It was strange because all around her everything was moving. But she felt so still. How was this?

She decided to sit on an upward curve of a slope very near the water. She watched the water move. And her eyes became very heavy. Everything did. Everything felt as though it took such a great effort. Rather than struggle against it, she decided she’d wait. And as if calling to past, present and future spirits all at once she thought to herself, 

yes i will wait for you

Water could not disturb her now. Neither could the chirps of birds. The creeping of animals lurking in the forest. And the ones that stepped softly before they pounced. The birds of the sky who carried messages to the far corners of the earth. The bright blue sky and the shining sun who watched over all day by day. All were brothers and sisters to her now. All the forest leaning in as she thought to herself the most simple, delicate of thoughts.

As if weaving a new reality into being, the girl sat and thought about how noise could never scare her. How nothing really could. How all of it was only as real as she wanted it to be. 

so if this is it

all  i do is wait for you 

as i return

to quiet

As it happened whenever the girl began to think deeply, things began to shift. The words cycled and repeated. Changed form. Changed meaning. Changed order. They became a song. She could hear the tones and she could see what they meant. She could feel it. And that’s when she discovered how true it was.

And for a very still moment, the world became quiet as the girl sang from within her heart.

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the unanswered question

The man looked at the worn piece of paper that the little man had given him. He hadn’t seen this in ages. And as he looked at it he was still astonished that he was holding it his hands once again.

“How did you find this?”

“It was given to me…”

The little man grabbed his wrist.

“…and I was told to give it to you.”

On this paper was an unanswered question. It was something that the man had wanted to know for as long as he could remember. He had never given up looking for the answer, but at some point long ago, this paper was separated from him. 

He told all this to the little man that night as they sat watching the embers of the fire glow. The little man was silently attentive, half expecting, half gauging each response. 

Night had fallen quickly and before he knew it. He looked out realizing he would have to wait it out. The little man knew this too. He nodded and skuttled off to find a blanket for the man.

The man sat watching the fire. Looking at the old piece of paper wondering how it had made its journey here. 

Outside within the forest, he could hear a far off cry of a wolf. His gaze narrowed in concentration as he listened. He was familiar with this being’s cry and he knew its secret. Just as others knew his secrets and still others he knew too. As if endlessly reaching out, everyone was connected by something they knew about another, but would never tell. He looked back in the direction the little man had wandered off into. 

Now he knows my secret too.

And then a part of him became lighter, as if a heavy burden was lifted from his shoulders. His eyes drooped while watching the flames rise and hearing the wood crackle. 

He would need to find the being within the forest. This he knew. He would need to reach out to it as best as he could.

The little man returned with a dark grey scratchy blanket. The man thanked him for his hospitality. He had not slept in the village for a very long time, but it was no matter tonight. It seemed like before he had even finished lying down, and poof! He was asleep. Into the dreamline where he too, like the girl who found clarity from visions, might also fid solice in the images that played out in front of his eyes. 

the guide

When she woke up a deer was staring at her unblinking. 

“Whoa…”

It stared staight into her eyes as though communicating by sight alone. It finally blinked once and then turned and darted into the forest. The girl leapt up.

“Wait!”

The deer was fast. No mayter how hard she ran. Jumping over fallen logs. Dodging trees and branches. Running into leaves that whipped her in the face.

She ran and ran until she came to a clearing in the center of the forest. 

The top of a hill. 

Sunlight and warm sweet grass. Whispering.

The wind moved around her every which way. Spinning around and around. Whatever this place was, it was amazing. Then she turned round and saw the deer at the edge of the clearing on the other side near a vast stretch of forest that continued as far as she could see. 

The deer blinked at her.

And then it disappeared. 

we watched the sun over the water 

I guess I’m on a kick where I’m writing stories that take place in previous stories I wrote… Or at least in the worlds they were from… How meta. 🙂 

This is one from a tv pilot I’d started writing a while back that I haven’t gotten very far into, but who knows maybe this would inspire what goes into it. I guess I could see it as an ingredient in that larger piece. Enjoy!


In this strip of shops, we could all see the ocean. And every night we watched the sun set together. 

There were the kids in the record shop. The soul surfer waxing his board who stopped to look up. That yoga lady doing something complicated with this class that was like whaaaa? There from the window of the kitchen, chopping onions and I accidentally slice the tip of my finger. It hurts pretty much the same as a paper cut, but a good deeper into the skin. I look up as the light shines on my eyelids and I feel it as I’m looking down at my cutting board and the thousands of little pieces of onion, cilantro, tomatoes…

Setting sun on the water and the waves are a lullaby. My brother is playing guitar and singing outside while my father complains to my mother that he should be doing stuff in the restaurant. Meanwhile I’m inside and I’m working in the kitchen. Only place they’ll let me be. Though I could do more. I want to do more. But see he’s the boy. He’s the only son. Still, I think. I’m the only daughter…

It’s not just the onions that make my eyes water or the way that I’ve been built this way all my life. I cry easily sure, but I’m not like those girls that cry at everything. I’m not sure what the others think, but I don’t really care. I know now I only cry when I’m at the edge. As soon as I realize it’s happening again, I set down the knife. Onion juice slicked onto the blade. Set it down onto the block of wood. I set my hands on the counter and exhale. I look out the open door to sand and tiny long blades of grass sticking up every so often. Rich deep ble as far as you can see and the kind of sky that makes your heart hurt.

Setting sun and a beautiful song. I drift outside by my brother as he sings. He’s sitting under this tree on a little mound. And the breeze blows our hair back. I stand and listen. And he looks at me and smiles like he knows a little song might cheer up his little sister. He’s always been a free spirit so he’s gonna do what he wants anyway. And it’s like his song is telling me not to worry what our parents want us o do. He’s just gonna sit here and play this song because there’s time for a lot of things in this world. And this moment is for now and for singing and sunsets and being in wonder with the world around us. I get all this without him having to say it to me. Just in the way he looks at me. Like, “hey it’s alright”. He sings to me this familiar song that I’ve heard before and know the words by heart. And he coaxes me into singing it with him. We sing together with the ocean waves the breeze. 

Out in the distance on the water I see two surfers — one of the them’s the kid of the soul surfer who owns the shop down the road. The other is his friend. The yoga class is done and the people leave the class looking at the sun over the water. And over in the record shop, the kids are laughing together over inside jokes about obscure music. Light reflecting off their faces.

So today is just another day where the smallest largest things happen yet again. Ongoing in this cycle where the cataclysmic is contained in the communal watching or a natural phenomenon. And I’m like, yeah, this is okay too. 


entwined

This is inspired by a play i started a while back. 
The two were dressed all in black. Skin tight. Shadows around their eyes and half their faces in the darkness of the warehouse. bright lights that changed colors, patterns. Flashes and spotlights.

The two, motionless like a tableau, like statues. Expressionless, stoic faces. Not emotionless if you can feel the temperature of the room. If you can feel the music and the lyrics and the beat and it stirs you.

Beautiful creatures, awh they look so sad. But why? Life too hard for you now? That it? Didn’t think it was going to be easy did you?

They call them kids cuz they seem to be so palpably affected, but they aren’t swinging on swings or climbing trees or jumping from great heights. 

No. Instead, they prefer to be perfectly still when motion happens around them as a big fuck you to whoever might hate.

They sit. Staring, not judging — though maybe it feels that way to you. Maybe it feels like they think you’re not good enough, but they are just listening.

Then, a flash of light, the intro to a familiar song and they don’t even need to look at wach other. They stand together, holding hands and move slowly to the dance floor and they dance.

Around them is craziness. You think maybe for lack of movement they would not be good. Be tentative. Be goofy. Oh, but your so wrong this time. 

When they dance something else is happening. Passions flying and you would only understand if you knew the origins of the word, “ecstasy”, from ekstasis, “to stand outside the self”. As if touched by a god and inhabited by a spirit thought of as separate from your own identity. 

The two are in a different world, different plane, different time. Motion becoming slow motion. Every move a picture, a tableau.

The music plays on. The beat keeps going and they keep going as they fall into the groove that could propel them all night, all morning, for a lifetime.

Flashes across their faces. Eyes lowered then suddenly visible. Maybe one looks at you in between movements. Then the other. Enticing… 

They keep moving. Connected. 

And the people all stare cuz they’ve never seen anything like it before.

the girl in the forest

This was the 102nd day she traveled back to the house in the woods to wait for whoever or whatever kept the light in the window going. She sometimes let her imagination wander and like a group of little sprites it would send her down a path wondering how it happened. Was it a spirit or a human? Was it an animal that wandered in? And if it was a person, what was this person like? Were they mad that she had used the place for shelter from the heavy rains? Were they coming back? Did they know she was there and was she being watched?

Out in the forest, she knew that something was always watching. Always listening. Always present.

But maybe this wasn’t a person at all. Maybe this was a spirit. Maybe it was her guide or maybe it was a trickster. She couldn’t tell. All she knew was that she never saw the light go out or on. But if she left or fell asleep dreaming or looked away, even sometimes for a half beat, there it was… the opposite of what she had seen only a moment ago. 

And this kept her guessing.

The girl didn’t remember that someone covered her with a blanket in the middle of the night during a particularly cool night on one of her watches. The girl didn’t know that when the scent of incense flowed into the air, if you followed it, it would lead you by the house. 

There was a figure who watched the girl from far off. In the shadow of the pine tree and crouching very near to the ground, someone watched and waited. In the breeze, long silver hair fluttered.

He was amused and he chuckled to himself. He supposed now was as good a time as any.

She stood suddenly. She decided to investigate the house. She walked up with authority, hesitating before opening the door. She exhaled then turned the door knob. 

Inside there wasn’t much. Of course, the bed, there was a chair. There was a table and on it the ash from a used incense stick. She touched the little pile of grey powder, drawing a small line upon the surface. 

She looked at the light in the window and decided to be near it. She stood looking out at the forest smelling water and greenness. Watching a set of clouds as they swept across the sky.

She turned and saw the man standing there. Her heart lept and if she hadn’t been so startled she would have screamed. Instead her hands went to her mouth and she jumped back.

“Hello”

She didn’t know what to do. She was breathing fast and looking for a way out. 

Her eyes darted to the open door behind the man. Maybe she could run. Maybe she coukd slip past before he got remotely close.

“What’s your name?”

She realized he wasn’t going to move. She shifted uneasily. 

“uh…”

She heard her voice responding and she wanted to tell herself, no! run and hide! he’ll never find you! just go through the window!

But she didn’t. 

The man’s face had been hidden. With light from behind, he was underexposed and she couldn’t see his expression. As he stepped into the room and sat on the chair by the table, getting much closer to her, but at the same time the door was no longer blocked. She could run.

He seemed to know this and he watched as she looked from him to the door. Gauging distance. Gauging what she was capable of.

The man had an odd expression. It wasn’t exactly a smile. But he didn’t seem angry. Instead, it was his eyes — they looked caring and soft.

“Who are you?”

“I live here.”

“oh…”

but she thought of all the times there was no one around. Why hadn’t she seen him before? 

“No one is ever here.”

“I leave my little light on. Sometimes I walk into the forest. Do you ever do that?”

The girl was confused by his questions. Why did he care? Ehat did he wasn’t to know?

“…well, yeah…”

The man nodded as if he already knew.

The girl leaned back onto the wall. She decided after looking at him for some time and watching him take out incense, that she would learn more about this strange man who lived here out in the wilderness. 

The man said nothing, but seemed rather pleased with himself. He knew she was watching him, but he pretended like it had no bearing on him. 

After a while, she sat down. She decided she would wait until he spoke. She could be very patient, after all.