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At the Water’s Edge: White September 2, 2016

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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White-capped waves roll under white clouds that scudder across a blue-white washed-out sky. The day, hazy at first, has lightened into quiet — save for the soft shushing of the water and the background hum of buzzing insects, all is silent. Even the wind makes no sound, sighing high in the bleached sky where only the clouds feel its gentle nudge. The sun blazes behind the clouds, dispersing its heat on a lazy earth, but holding fast to its golden glow, keeping it greedily for itself, the clouds backlit while soaking up the honeyed rays, unable to share, though, unlike the sun, willing. Generous, they are impotent in the face of their own nature, their inability to create light. The white-topped waves fail to notice anything amiss and continue to roll toward the pale sand beach.

And this is where the white waves find her, on the pale sand beach, cloaked in white, a mirror of the scuddering clouds. She sits now at the water’s edge and the white waves spiral around her, pushing into her skirt and then receding in a rhythmic pulse tapped out by the hidden moon, leaving in their wake a large white snake, which hisses, but does not strike, does not leave. In her hand the woman holds an earthen bowl filled with warm turquoise water shimmering with crystals within. She tips the bowl slightly to show the white snake, who merely nods.

The water in the bowl bubbles and boils and the crystals in the warm turquoise water rearrange themselves and rise from the bowl, a shimmering tree that speaks of life in its light, and causes the white snake to dance, as if only now it has heard the melody tapped out by the hidden moon. The waves on the shore darken and the greedy sun retreats, as the glowing tree grows and encompasses all the light there is to see. The clouds give up their brightness easily, willingly, just as happy to be grey or black as white. To them, only the wind has consequence.

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.

Bystander May 2, 2015

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One spring afternoon, in the lavish silence of the deep forest, where nothing moved or breathed or wished for things to be anything but what they were without permission from The Lady, who was, it must be said, generous with her permissions and so no one suffered, a strange bystander stood at the edge of the very center, just at that spot where the trees thickened, the silence deepened, and the light gave way completely to the dark, and watched.

He had a mind to step in, to tell them all, from the minutest lichens and mosses clinging to their forest hosts — stones and trees older than anything around, save The Lady — to the tallest firs and massive oaks, to make up their own minds. To walk away from The Lady’s oppression.

But as he stood and watched, he began to wonder if benevolence could rightly be called oppression, and what exactly determined the essence of “free.”

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