nonfiction fantasy

there’s a point where the fiction and nonfiction begin to blur

cross over 

into something 

unreal

real

stories and words 

that you can’t make you

they make up

a devisive narrative 

confusing

twisting

contorting facts

looking in the mirror doesn’t seem like such a farse now

reflection is that what it is?

the confusion is palpable 

like you could hold it in your hand

gelatinous sack of goo

i look at it like you look at a dirty bathroom 

how do you even clean this shit?

like go for bleach or use the natural cleaning products 

it’s not about being squeamish now

it’s beyond abstract art

or deconstructed piles of wood

am i looking at a tree?

i don’t even know how to tell the difference from the reality and the knock off one

yet here we are

capital of surrealism

and wondering 

wandering 

in half dream states

blurry at the edges

names you can’t remember 

suddenly from the back of your mind they spring forward 

and it’s like finding something on the ground that doesn’t match the setting 

can it go the other way though?

can we find starlight on the sidewalk for when we need it?

like when our hearts need relief?

dense night

Sometimes, darkness covered the land and sky with a density so thick, you could almost touch it. There was nothing to be agraid of, but when everything was very still. So quiet, not a word, it was hard not to feel as though something lurked and loomed from the outer edges of the deepness. Staring back from out into the night. Not a sound not a word. It was the kind of gradual awareness of a presence that within the darkness, in the depths of the sky across the land, the closeness of the night felt like a blanket covering wrapping up those who lived below. In a way, for a select few, perhaps, it was comforting.

Eventually, eyes adjust to the dark and then shapes of the tall thick trees could be made out. The ground was soft and though covered with bushes, small plants and debris.  The seasons were turning and so the air began to feel cold and enveloping As if it would drift straight through you then into the beyond. Walking at this time of night took great skill and concentration. It took time and patience.

There was a large tree within the forest that provide a welcome respite on the journey. it was a place that felt more protected than the other trees around it. She went to this tree. This is where she sat and listened with wide eyes until she didn’t remember anything from the world in front of her. Scanning the horizon and looking to the brightness of the stars. It wasn’t until a ray of light rested upon her cheek, that she looked around realizing she had fallen asleep. It was as though she had drifted to distant lands and worlds and then was back again in an instant. 

Everything looked so different during the day. Was no longer confined and dense, but open space and trees that went on forever. It was though she was in the middle of no where.

the sea of flowers that covered the land

One day as she was walking, bright vibrant spots of color captured her attention. Looking around it was as though she was in a sea filled with bits of a broken rainbow. She realized they were hundreds of flower petals of all shapes and sizes. Each with their delicate silky edges drifting past her feet as she kept walking. She knelt down to see them closer, holding one in her hand and studying how smooth its edges were.

where did all the flowers come from?

She tried to see how far they spread across the land, but it was as if she had stepped into another world that somehow changed the rules. Like blankets of flower petals were just as natural as happening upon a tree. And if there was no reason she could find for this strange occurance, then she figured she would enjoy it as much as she could.

i’ll do what i’ve always wanted to do…

And with outstretched hands she fell back into the beautiful petals – all soft, light as air, delicate as they covered her skin. She sank back breathing in their perfumed essence. She closed her eyes and dreamed deeply, falling into a heavier – heavier still – sleep.

all at once

She lied back onto a great grey speckled boulder arching her back against it closing her eyes to the sun. Its surface was warm, smooth and comforting, grounding her back into the present. Being against this great rock, it was as if she could hear inside the rock to its soul. Like a vibrating whisper, she could feel its energy. Deep within the rock at the innermost part and back through to the surface, she listened. What was it telling her? She put her hands on the giant rock trying to get something from it.

All around – all at the same time – from every direction, she heard the sounds of the forest competing for her attention. Birds calling, cooing. Rustling in the trees from small creatures. In the bushes, a predator lurking waiting to strike. The sounds of wind and trees extending up to the sky. Of insects buzzing. Everything singing all at once. Including the giant rock. In fact, the rock seemed to joyously laugh at the symphony of the forest. Something about felt a bit overwhelming to the girl – a huge release followed. She caught herself from crying and instead only whinced at the lump in her throat. Gone, as quickly as the feeling emerged. And then, lying back she stretched out her hands on the great boulder and watched clouds roll across the windows the branches made. Watching the sky, she settled into peace.

bed under starry skies

She had a dream of being in a house. 

She had a dream of being surrounded by loving, welcoming, smiling people.

These were not the same dreams.

She felt safe again. She wasn’t sure if she should, but in the dream, she realized both in the house and at the place with many people, that people were welcoming her. Were taking her in. Were giving her a place. Wanted her to be there. Wanted her to feel comfortable. And happy.

And the tightness in her throat was not from the kind of hurt that normally came up. Rather, it was a release. It was overwelming. Encouraging, but overwhelming as she stood there among all the people who wanted to embrace her and greet her. People who wanted to know how she’d been. People who were familiar because and yet not at the same time.
The same with the house, which had been given to her. There for her as long as she wanted to use it. Always open. The door was never locked from her. And whether it was in between things, just a temporary spot, or some place she wanted to be indefinitely, she didn’t know. Only that she felt comfortable here. The kind of comfort, deep-seated like things were finally settling down.

In the middle of the night, all around her in the forest, insects chirping to one another. A bed of green below wide, ever-expansive starry skies. She stirred, and then was quiet. She slept soundly throughout the night. 

the seer

The man had been in the village for quite a while. For him, days felt like years in the village. Our in the forest, years felt like days. 

He had seen many things that gave him hope at finding the answers he seeked. There was the old man with book with mysterious origins. There were the strange whispered conversations that seemed to stop when he was around. There were the songs at night from pockets of candlelight. People huddled together around a musician or two that could play something. And then there was the old woman.

He had seen the old woman before. She didn’t speak, but connected meaning. She collected odd things – broken toy horse, a rusty farming tool, a piece of frayed rope, a pin cushion — no needles, an old dried nut, a stone, polished and smooth, a piece of a sea shell.

With the way she cared for them, he could tell they were her treasures. She wrapped each individually in fading, soft cloth. Each told her a story. Each were her favorite. Each were used specifically depending on the situation. 

He’d gotten into the habit of seeing her once before he left. She had watery eyes, unwavering but soft in moonlight. She would not be seen during day. The first time he say her was the only time he’d ever seen her out and about. He had been walking down the street and when passing an alleyway between houses, he felt her hand grab his arm. She led him into her house and despite his confusion, one look into her eyes and he knew that he was meant to stay and listen. So he did.

Each time, the process was the same and yet different. He entered the house. She knew, but didn’t see. She closed the blinds. He found a seat on the floor and waited. She lit candles around the house in a circle. He closed his eyes and waited. She wore long robes. She had long silvery hair. When she walked, you couldn’t hear her stepping, just the scent of cinnamon. There was something about noticing this, didn’t matter how many times it had happened before, it made his heart race and he began to sweat. Soon, all he could hear was the sound of his own heart beating like a drum. And his breath. 

And then, it stopped.

He opened his eyes and was surrounded by candles. He opened his eyes and she was kneeling in front of him. A table separating them with the objects on the table placed in a line. She waited until his eyes met hers.

The next part was always different. Sometimes she would hold up an object and gesture for him to take it, and sometimes that was it. She would walk away after that and it didn’t matter how long he searched, she wouldn’t be found. Other times, the session would last a long time.

The main thing was that in picking up an object he would enter a state of visioning. He would see what she wanted him to see. Sometimes, his visions had little to do with what the object was. He had come to understand that this was unimportant. Mainly because the series of events afterwards helped him understand the message.

This time all seven objects were out. Old dried nut, sea shell, broken horse, farming tool, smooth stone, frayed rope, pin cushion. She waited and watched him as he looked at each then reached for the broken toy horse. She smiled the knowing smile he had seen so many times before. He had come to realize that she knew what he would pick often before he did. 

He held the smooth wooden toy with a missing wheel in his hand. Dents on the edges, but it felt smooth like silk to the touch. He ran his finger over its dents as if massaging injury.

As he did so, a candle out beyond her seemed to catch his gaze. He sat transfixed and let the vision come. 

down in the canyon below

Starlight into a rocky canyon. The girl was watching something. Watching as something moved down below. Every so often if you focused, you could see a flicker of movement from down below, down by the thickly rooted trees. These ones that had canopies like great expansive clouds, enveloping the base of this deep cut into the earth. 

The girl watched closely. For quite some time. She knew someone watched her back from the ground below. She knew who he was. She came to this realization not long ago.

Someone stared back at her.

Someone was scared.

Someone kept hidden in the deep neverending darkness.

But she knew.

She could feel the pain.

She pictured eyes that looked up to her in the starlight.

She pictured this being picturing her.

She thought to herself, 

maybe i can communicate without speaking

And so she sat there. 

And sat.

And sat. 

And waited for this being to come up to her.

To sit with her.

To not be scared.

Because she had taken a vow to never be scared again.

how the forest breathed

Felt good to be back in the forest, watching the trees breathe. Watching wind make the edges of leaves flutter. Watching the sky. Clouds passing overhead. Fuzzy and thin. Thick and looking like you could reach out and touch your hand. Run it against smoothness. Like a wave of your hand would make rain form from cloud condensation.

It was a still day other than the soft winds. Animals, birds, plants were uncommonly quiet. So quiet it felt like you could hear the smallest thing. Maybe roots stretching out. Maybe a flower bud opening. Maybe the footstep of a bee. You could hear yourself blink as you closed your ears. And everything inside was quiet.

Ground was soft and sank underfoot. It was cool, damp, but in places of sunlight, felt so warm, like it was part of your own body. It felt good to stand on. It had a texture. Crumbly and at the same time felt bouyant, squishy. You could bounce off of it into the air. Except that each step sank to a deeply defined footstep. they etched their way across the forest. Like a beautiful sculpture. Artisticly weaving their a path through sacred spots that were so tiny few stopped to notice. Each little hidden spot was special and each gave a gift along the way. 

The forest was feeling very simple that day. It was unassuming and within that was something that felt very strong, but witnessing it was also very beautiful. 

Feather

The man was tired of the village. He found the company of others disappointing. The village itself was noisy and filled with awful smells. He had been there for 18 days. He felt that it was now wearing on him. 

He looked out to the hundreds of trees sprinkled over rolling hills. Dense and thickly green. Calling birds. Insects buzzing. He knew that he needed to leave.

But questions were still unanswered. He needed to remain longer. He was getting close. He knew it deep within his bones.

He went on long walks to escape while still remaining close. He needed to think. Unravel. And the steady rhythm of feet on the ground helped him to parse out the the thoughts.

On one journey, he saw a brilliant bird. He stopped and it watched him. He felt it was a sign. In this moment the bird fluttered away. But in its place a single iridescent feather. He picked it up and decided to carry it with him.

quiet thunder by the water

The crack of thunder. Low rumbling. Purple grey skies, and it was raining. Not the kind that hurt or splashed into your eyes, but a steady thin stream from everywhere as if to be cleansed.

The girl walking through the forest cast her face to the sky. Listening to the quiet thunder. Distant rumbling. The sound vibrated through her and she stopped to look at her hands. Outstretched to the sky where raindrops fell and cascaded gently down her palms around her wrists swirling down the curve of her arm until it got lost.

It had been so long since she had felt rain. Felt water. In the dry uplands, distant dusty mountains. Rocks, mineral, gravel rolling underfoot, were her friends. But down here in the forest. Deep within the dark green lush branches reaching closer and closer to her, to each other and creating a kind of ceiling. 

She quickly stepped along the path. Careful footing. No slipping. She moved with speed, but every moment she was treasuring in her mind. As she went sround the bend, she saw it.

A beautiful pool of water. Still except for the plunks of raindrops punctuating its surface. With one look, she ran up to it and jumped in all at once. In one go. Sinking down beneath the water’s edge. Bubbles and bubbles surrounding her like a garment. She exhaled and one by one, the big ones trickled from her nose up to the top.

Then, pushing herself up to the surface as she chased them and up out of the water back to the rain.

She kicked her feet up.

She closed her eyes.

She floated on the surface.

For quite sometime.

As the raindrops slowed.

As they dropped upon her eyelids.

As the water let her rest.