It was a joy to walk into the forest. Green trees were covered in the dry moss of late summer. The ground was dry in spots, moist in others, as the forest floor, littered as it was with debris and decomposing organic matter, made a drop of water’s journey from peak to valley a season long affair.
I had visited the cairn that I had erected for Pandora. It was being overgrown by brambles. I cleared away a bit of the brambles, unsure if I wanted Nature to grow where she may, or to maintain the space. I decided that letting things take their course was the best route.
The walk was slow. I stopped often to look at dapple-light through the forest canopy, patterns on tree bark, feel the dryness of decomposed tree bark give way to my hand as though it were dust, talk to a spider in a web (and have it leap out toward me on a strand and then climb back to the center), and listen to the call of crows.
I had found a series of beaver dams, three or four, creating a beautiful area of solitude and peace. Too bad that there was a highway up the hill and I could hear logging trucks struggle up the grade, their engines whining and groaning under the weight of their cargo. Cargo we do not value enough.
On the walk back I began a plot for a story. The plot was a hiker in the wilderness who falls and breaks his leg. He suffers from loss of blood and which in turn affects his level of consciousness. In my mind I began a dialogue with a character that comes to him… and I cannot recall it now. At the time the character spoke with such a voice of its own that I did not need to speak for it… I let it speak of its own accord. I’ll try to recreate it now.
The hiker laid in the bottom of a ravine. It had been a nasty fall and part of his leg was broken. He fired his pistol three times, a distress signal, and hoped that someone would hear it. He kept the other three shots for defense and for gaining the attention of any search parties he might hear in the next day or two. He checked his water, a half full bottle, and decided to not drink any until the next day.
As he bled internally, he began to lose consciousness. The sun was setting and things were getting dark. It was at this time that a strange figure came to him. It was humanoid and had scaly skin, perhaps dark moss green and black in color though it was hard to tell. It’s head was bald of hair and was half human, half reptile. There were those eyes that looked into him without emotion. The eyes and those teeth, long, gleaming, terrible fangs that sprang out of his mouth when he opened to talk.
(I’ll switch to another narrative….)
“Hissssssss” it said as it crept closer to me, leaning in toward me to whisper in my ear. It’s body was not warm. It roamed its fingers over my legs and chest and licked my neck and jaw with its tongue. “I smell Death upon you. Goooood. Hissss”
“I don’t want to die”
“want? Your want unimportant…. Hisssssss. The mouse does not want to be eaten….hisss… and yet it must be”
“what purpose am I serving by dying?”
“what… hisss…. Purpose are your serving by living…. Hisssssss”
“To live, to experience, to be good”
“Hissssss…. What is good?”
This got me. What was good? I was unsure myself. Was it only intention behind actions that counted? Was there certain acts that were always wrong? I was unsure… but intent seemed to be a big one for me. “The intentions behind an action make them right or wrong. If I live with good intentions, I am living a good life”
“Hissssss…. And the mother bear the kills many salmon to feed her cubs?”
“She is providing for her family… that is good”
“And the individual that sacrifices himself for those around him…. Hisssss?”
“one kills many to feed one, the other kills one for many, and both…. Hisssss…. Are good?”
I could see the difference, one was selfish, the other was selfless. How did intent mesh the two together. “Balance” I said, “balance in the natural ways, harmony with the universe”.
“hisssss…. The universe big, infinite, larger than you….you are insignificant… you are small…. Cold is space, hot is stars, neither for you, hiss…. How you live in harmony with destruction and death when it is all around you? Hisssssss…. Think the field mouse wishes to live…. Think the snake wishes to feeeeeeeeeed… hisssss” it said as it again licked my neck, creeping closer.
“It isn’t for the mouse to choose… the patterns are bigger than it and the snake’s awareness… it cannot choose, it must, can only, follow the path, the nature of it’s true being… gathering seeds, feeding, running, hunting.
“And your nature…. Hissssss…. What is it… hissssss”
Now when I first started thinking about this it was my usual “what if plots for a what if story” that I usually never end of writing. But as I was walking back to the truck in the forest, the dialogue turned more to being between this creature and myself. It was like it was happening. It was also much much much better than what I wrote here. I tried to listen to some music and light a candle and put myself in a mood to get back in touch with this… but it is just out of reach. Whatever I experienced or felt I cannot capture now. I’m not sure what, if anything I learned, but there is some learning, some synthesizing going on of things just under my conscious awareness and occaisionally I’ll see a ripple in the surface of my thoughts of some unseen connection.
Just today, when I got out of the shower, had just drank some great blackberry tea and had some sandalwood incense on, some Yoga music playing, I started writing a simple thing on my mirror with dry-erase marker… and what ended up was a full mirror of phrases, a poem, and other stuff. All very positive stuff.
The little poem was such….
and the Moon quivers in delight.
Laugh aloud my love
and be cherished.