Cat eyes hunting prey.
Clandestine footprints on untrodden soil.
But where were the mewlings?
Had they suffocated on the taste of fear?
Look deeper, said the tree, because trees always know.
Sink into the soil, sang the earth as it always did.
Wrap the tenderness of leaves around your heart, cried the oneness of nature.
And she did.
But where were the mewlings?
Breathe in, breathe out, said the tree.
They came, slowly at first,
Then dancing like wild beasts,
Silence torn between their teeth.
The world held her well
Each hard-boned twig that pressed into her flesh
Reminded her that strength and fragility
Exist in the same moment
It’s made of stone, solid.
Something the heart desires, at least for some time.
Of course, nothing is certain, it never is.
There’s no room for doubt, said the solid, stone house. Let’s reflect on that, stared the window pane. I’m no longer pristine, mumbled the wall at her feet. The lamp tilted her head then spoke in a tone that was somewhat lighter than the old, plastered sheet. You’re somewhere between, not ceiling or floor. It could be worse, groaned the stain on the door.
When is enough?
What is everything?
Who am I?
Do you remember that there are no answers?
We ask questions and open the void.
I am a wild creature, she breathed through every pore. Do you know how to fly, Inquired the endless sky? Of course I do, she replied, not making a move. Then where are your wings, demanded the coarse wood beneath her arse. I don’t need them today, was all that she said. So you’re stuck, laughed the branches prodding her gently. The wind was listless. No rain tried to fall. But the shadows had an interesting perspective. They took the form of whatever they lay on and when the sun turned, left no trace at all.
There was comfort in the shadows, an illusion of solidity under her feet. The trees hung back and let her contemplate the sensation of freedom. It was everything she wanted in that moment, black and white in clarity. But the air on her skin reminded her of touch. There was no doubt that she was connected on every level to the universe, but was that enough?
This moment of contemplation gives me everything I need for my next step. I am about to step into the unknown, again and again and again. Already I can feel the excitement fluttering inside like a deranged butterfly. If I concentrate on my breath, I am able to slow her flight but unable to allow her to settle gracefully on a flower of her choice. And this is necessary for the creature to dip into the nectar and continue the cycle of life. So I will practice. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
She’s lost her way, moaned the mattress wearily.
Where are her arms? asked the solid floor.
The window was closed to all possibilities.
But the floor sprung sweetly under the weight of her frame.
The light smiled softly, the air rushed madly,
And she laughed at the room,
In complete abandonment.
Today I climb a mountain on this remote Greek Island. Beyond the source of the waterfalls, lizards cling to the cliff faces. I test each hand hold before I give my weight to the mountain. The hard volcanic rock has been broken into sharp and unstable shards by the winter elements. Only the lichen-covered rocks are stable. I pick my path. The sky is racing past. A rush of adrenalin hits me. I consider the possibility that I could die here. Why not? It’s a beautiful place where I am completely at peace.
I see a species of ants that I know well from the Australian bush. We have history. Once I saw them carry away bones from a snake carcass. I’ve stood barefoot on their mounds for a dare. They don’t sting but their meat-eating preference makes this a good test of endurance. Sure, it’s crazy, but I had time and it was the days before I carried a laptop and had 305 Facebook friends. Today I feel only completeness. This is not an Italian drama. Perhaps it’s a Greek tragedy? Except there is no family gathering at my feet. I’m grateful. They need a wash.