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End of the Road November 6, 2016

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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End of the Road

by Linda Maree

 

End of the Road I

You have come to the end of the road. Behind you: the path and steps you’ve taken, in front of you: nothing. This is not a crossroads filled with choices, with numerous paths to follow. If you move from here, it will mean stepping into the unknown. Perhaps you will step off a cliff and into the abyss. Perhaps you will fall forever. Perhaps you will grow wings and fly. Perhaps a path will be created by your footsteps, leaving behind your prints for others to follow, so that the end of the road turns out to be not a finite point, but movable and malleable, a knotted rope of beaded ‘ends’ strung together to make something of nothing.

 

End of the Road II

You have come to the end of the road. You expected something more, but what you see all around you is so ordinary: tables, chairs, food, people. Piped-in music blasting from speakers in the ceiling, right over your head to judge by the strength of the vibrations you feel jolting you to attention. Ordinary. The end of the road is ordinary. A sunny day in a bright and noisy café. Nothing to indicate the end of anything, except your sense of it.

 

End of the Road III

You have come to the end of the road and here, just as you’d heard it would be, you discover a new beginning … along with a bucket full of hope, handfuls of strength, and a firm, feathery belief that takes flight, disappearing into a clear blue sky, carrying you, wingless, with it.

The Pool May 31, 2015

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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She heard the hawk’s piercing call and felt as if it was especially for her. She had sat so still for so long, waiting, waiting for a sign, a cry that would beckon her. She opened her eyes now and scanned the skies. There it was, coming out of the trees and heading her way. Silent now, it circled overhead, tracing a spiral path that moved lower and lower with each ever-tightening circle, until it was just above her and then, unbelievably, perched on her shoulder.

“Breathe!” the hawk whispered in her ear, and only then did she realize she was holding her breath. She took a great gulp of air and let it out slowly as the hawk instructed, relaxing her muscles as she did so. “That’s better,” the hawk said, settling comfortably onto her perch. “Keep breathing and listen.”

She did.

At first all she could hear was her own breath as it escaped in soft sighs. Then, as her stillness and listening deepened, she could also hear the fainter intake of air through her nose and its movement into her lungs. Hold. Then the sigh of release. When she had become fully attuned to her own breath, she realized she could also hear the hawk’s breath as well as its strong heartbeat next to her ear.

They sat like this for a long time, breathing, listening, deepening. As they sat, the sun arced across the sky, creating moving shadows, that appeared then disappeared, as if in a choreographed dance, but the woman and the hawk saw none of this. When the sun had fallen well below the horizon and the sky had taken off its flashy pinks and purples and donned its black velvet cloak, the hawk whispered once again in her ear, “It is time.”

The woman did not know what this meant, but as the hawk took off, she followed it. She had no idea where they were going, and could not see the path, but the hawk flew in front of her, leaving behind only a trace of sound for her to track in the deep, deep dark. Somehow, even in this darkest of dark places, the woman’s feet managed to miss the loose stones and rambling roots that might have tripped her up.

Someone else’s beliefs might have kept her from taking this journey at all, but the woman was ready to go all out for what she knew would be the richest of treasures, if only she persisted. Another ripple of sound caressed her ear and she turned toward the left, following it blindly, never once doubting the hawk’s purpose for calling her — though she had no idea what that purpose might be. All would be revealed.

At last she heard the hawk come to rest and she stopped a few paces away. Standing still, she could allow her eyes to adjust to the dark. At first she could see nothing but trees so close around her, then the path, the hawk, and the sun barely peeking over the horizon. Beyond the hawk stood a large flat rock upon which a narrow stream of water trickled, glistening in the rising sun and filling a pool at the great rock’s base.

The woman approached the pool and saw that it was clear, like glass. Not a ripple marred its smooth surface. She bent over the pool and saw her own familiar face, but watched in horror as the image appeared to be engulfed in flames, melting into the pool and leaving nothing of itself — of her — behind. The woman took a shocked breath and would have moved away from this frightening vision, but there was the hawk again, on her shoulder, whispering, “Stay!”

And so she did.

She forced herself to keep her eyes open as one gruesome, graphic image after another was illuminated in the pool. After each, the hawk reminded her to breathe, until finally she was able to witness the devastation without becoming tense, without forgetting to breathe; indeed, without judgment or emotion. She had always thought that the opposite of emotional response was apathy, but realized now that apathy itself was an emotion. What she was experiencing  went beyond emotions, a wordless place of endless possibilities that, within the confines of a limited human vocabulary, could only be called Love.

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