walking

Sun peering through the forest and as she walked down the path, rays of light glinted across her eyes. Leaves lightly rustling and and breeze brushed against her face. In the morning, everything was quiet.

She moved forward with soft steps, trying to be silent. She watched the world around her. In this moment, she knew that she would find something that few had ever seen.

She walked forward with gratitude. Sun glinting in her eyes, through the trees, and it was as though she were in another world. She tried to be calm, but inside her heart raced. She was in awe. She didn’t want the forest to see her for fear that it would all drift away.

Her dreams had given her images just like the one she now walked in. It had happened before, but never so clearly. But this was so different that any dream land place. Warmth from where the light touched her body. Cool breeze made her move. The scent of damp earth and dry bark fallen from trees who no longer needed it. And all shades colors before her. Dancing shifting before her eyes. She took all this in until she felt that that the world wasn’t going anywhere. At least not today.

from a great height

In the depths of the ocean there is a sea cave that is not far from where water touches land. Still, its far enough that you would havr to take a boat to be directly above it. This sea cave is where people lived, once upon a time, that is.

From a great height, the girl could see a darker part of the water where she knew this sea cave was. The man had told her about it. And she knew it was true because she had a dream where she was under water under clear blue clean water. Sparkling on the surface, but so calm underneath. Like she were drifting in another world. Made of different colors of glass. All refracting. Bending light already bent in the ocean. Under, and going down within the deep, going low until there was darkness. Until the edge of something next. 

As the girl stood from a great height, she watched the waves roll into one another. She watched plates of blue travel together and on the horizon the waves became straight and formed an edge to the world. Everyone knew that an edge was not really an edge, but a continuation into the beyond.

The girl stared and slowly nodded. Now she understood something she had before. Before, living on the ground, living with the water of the river, the trees that gently swayed, the guardian bird, and the beast who chased her — she could never picture a place like this. And from a great height, she made a decision. She would get to that water. She would walk back down through the dusty cliffs into the dense forest and find a way to see the ocean once more. But next time, she would touch it. 

watchfulness

There was a night when the girl couldn’t sleep, so she listened to the whispers of the forest. Her eyes watched within the darkness. She could feel something watching her and knew it was the beast who’d chased her until her lungs felt like they were bleeding.

The beast’s eyes glowed deep withing the forest. The girl stared back. They watched each other for quite some time. Neither moving. 

The girl knew the beast had been following her for some time. She didn’t know why. Because it was always close enough that it could attack, but never did.

why

She thought as it watched her from the shadows. The beast’s eyelids drooped and then closed. She watched for a moment before realizing it was sleeping.

In the night she stared back at this being, not knowing that it could change forms. Not knowing its intensions. But in gazing on the dark fur, she too, became heavier so that while wide awake only moments ago, she was on the verge of falling into a very deep sleep. Whistling birds were the last sounds she remembered.

discomfort 

It was a day when the girl was frustrated. She had been walking through the forest in the dry heat for what seemed like forever. Dried pine needles crunched under foot with every step. She was hot. She was tired. And a small voice inside her said you can rest whenever you want. Still she walked forward. Keep stepping. 

At some point, she found a tree that provided a thin source of cover from the heavy sun. She listened as insects wheezed and birds chirped loudly back and forth trying to find them. She didn’t know why, but a tighteness made itself more present in her throat.

She felt upset by it. A small annoyance that seemed to fill her thoughts so that it was hard to concentrate on anything else, much less the journey ahead. And she knew that to get rid of the feeling she could just drop it at any moment and suddenly she’d be back in forward movement. Propelled, as if by some unseen force. 

She stared at dust. She thought what it might look like if she had water and it was mud. She would pick it up and let it squish in her hands. Let it form. And it would feel — the texture would be soothing. 

There was no water here. It was a long ways off. She was in a place she hadn’t traveled before. She only knew vaguely what to look for. She sighed. 

Looking around, there was one thing that she decided. There was a certain kind of strange beauty in this place. Even if she wasn’t sure what to make of it. And even if she was uncomfortable.

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. 

pathways

In between day and night, the sky became a deep pink and orange. Sparkles in the sky emanated light down to earth and on the water below. Everything was still and the wind died down to a whisper.

On the beach, the leaves on a row of palm trees rustled. The air smelled sweet and fragrant. Tracks of little birds peppered the silky sand all the way down until they met the clear lulling waves.

From a cliff high above the water, you could see all of this and way off into the distance where the edge of the horizon had the most brilliant light in the sky. It was there for only a bit before disappearing into dark. 

Deep blue night sky with a glowing moon radiating down. At night, the trees stood tall. Hooting owls calling to one another across the forest. 

And if you were to walk in the sweet nighttime air, you might find a path that winds its way to places yet to be uncovered. 

grace

woman wore blue

like a deep azure

like the middle of the ocean

deep down under

into the heart

her dress flowed

her walk was a glide

garment picked up

billowing big in the wind

like clouds

sun warm on her face

she headed straight to it

she had no distractions from the crowd who passed her by

she went the opposite way

she didn’t have to talk

and every so often from the sea of faces

this woman made them question 

they looked at her with surprise and confusion

and her blue dress drifted like a paintbrush 

and her eyes shined bright and warm

and she had not a word

she said nothing

as she walked quietly 

the 

other

way

the beast who runs through the forest

Daylight. 

Silence.

Then, boom! A thunderous crash from the forest. The beast tore through the trees, hungry. Growling. Bearing its teeth and small animals would run. Hiding in the brush.

Its ears perked up and from far off it heard something that it would be drawn to. Instantly running down the path. Barreling through without stop. Trampling over anything in its path until it found the thing that brought it close.

Up the hill. Past trees with falling yellow leaves, shimmering in the sun like gold. Up, making a dusty path of tumbling sticks. Up until it reached the top and looked out to the canyon covered with trees. Out of breath. Smiling.

Tasting, sniffing the air.

Turning suddenly towards a twig that snapped. Looking back over the canyon. 

my domain

Looking back on the river weaving its way through. Looking out to the ocean. Then up to the sun. Closing its eyes into the light. Fur glistening. 

Everything faded to a buzzy glow. 

And it was a young man’s eyes that looked up into the forest. Who smiled. Who sniffed the air and looked at the world with ferocity. With hunger. As if he could devour it all. 

the moment when the sky brought them together

The light from the sky — sending purple mixed with the golden clouds — spread over the land against the fire sunset. It was as though an artist had decided to paint something overwhelming and at the same time utterly peaceful. You couldn’t help but be captured by the feeling that sometimes the world around you was so beautiful. This was one of those moments.

For those that happened to be looking, watching the sky in this moment, they felt a connection that was so very rare. Some had never felt before — like the girl in the forest. She looked with wondering eyes and she could only stare as her heart grew. Others, like the man in the village, became at first, nostalgic as though a great sense of loss that had weighed upon them had lifted on seeing this vibrant, peaceful sky. There was the being in the forest too who continued to move yet couldn’t help but take notice and stop for a better look. All were linked together by this.

Violet pink whispers swirling with golden strands. Whisps in the wind pushing across the blue. The ocean in the distance seemed to play with the sky. Light dancing on the surface and sliding down waves. Colors colliding together.

All those who saw it wished the moment could last forever. And for the ones who truly knew how the world worked, they knew that it wasn’t just a moment. If you knew just how to dream, that this was when time was infinite. 

the dreams

The girl had a dream last night and when she woke her heart ached. She didn’t know why and at the same time, she did. She remembered. 

As long as she could think back, she never really knew how she got to the forest. She had guessed that she hadn’t always been here, but nothing told her why. She thought that she knew because of the dreams.

The dreams were more like flashes of another — in some ways, an alternative — reality. She saw things like dark parts of the forest she knew she’d never set foot on. She saw blurry scenes from a village, kids running around chasing a ball. She had seen the wolf-leopard-bear that stalked her, attacking someone, but knew somehow that it was to protect her. In another dream, she saw herself in a dress, sparkling against the vast waters she looked upon, shimmering in the sunset. A beige temple, seemingly empty. These were the images that came to her every night while she slept. And so, over time, she began to expect them and sometimes ask them to point her towards guidance. 

Many nights, the moon caught her tears when the dreams wouldn’t answer or would show her other things. She wanted to know why she was alone. Was there someone searching for her? But the dreams didn’t work like that.

Then one night, last night, she seemed to drift into another world for a long time. She saw people who laughed and talked to her. Touched her on the shoulder. Seemed warm and close. And in this world that she had never set foot on in her waking life, she felt as if she belonged. 

The dream was one of those that felt so real. She could taste food offered at parties. She could run her hands over the smooth fabric draping sofas. When she touched something she could feel its essence, pick it up in her hand and know it as real. 

As she woke, it was a jolt. This was the forest again. How long had she been here? 

Here in the forest, she was unable to cry. She felt breath leave her. She felt as though a deep crack had broken her heart into something that could never be as it was. She stared at the ground in front of her, fixated. Unmoveable. Sound echoed in her mind — voices from the other world calling as she sat somewhere in between.

that wasn’t real?

But it was. And that is what made it so painful. Something that had given her such joy was gone. As she woke up, she realized it wasn’t her mind making up things to entertain her or pass the time. No, this was a forgotten memory from deep within. This was true. And it hurt her deeply to realize what she thought she had forgotten and what she had lost. 

She stared at the damp ground of the forest not knowing what to do. And instead, she was stationary. She felt vaguely sick to her stomach— what had happened to her? Why was she here and not there?