I was drawn from my tent into the long shadowing woods by the seductive melody of the Evening Thrush. The trees, tall and strong, form a quiet canopy over the old dirt road. The still and echoing forest is greater than the sum of its trees to resonate the verb. The dirt road propelled my feet and that lyrical song soon gave way to the lonesome call of the Whippoorwill of the darkened forest edge of night.
The forgotten road beneath my feet soon became rough and narrow. Spruce bows lashed at my hidden face and the cool air dampened my clothes. Soon the Barred Owl’s hoot haunted my ears – “Who? … Who cooks for you?” The waning crescent moon follows the sun to its resting place in dim and distant hills and valleys.
The fused dark trees soon turned to scrubs and shrubs as I entered an apparent opening. The sun had fallen behind the horizon leaving a pale golden glow to mark a distant foreign landscape in silhouette. The crescent moon briefly swelled a final sign before its final dive to that good-night. The land before me stole away in shades of grey to blackness. I then realised the trail had diminished to a meagre path traveled only by wild game. The distant twilight glow faded to shades of darkening blue then to ultimate midnight. My eyes began to fail.
I reached to my legs to find my feet, and then bent to crawl on the cool dewy grass. Two fingers in my mind’s eye were all I could envisage. Two, then one; addition then subtraction; existence and oblivion. Am I pulled into nothingness or pushed from form and pattern?
I felt my warm breath cooling to dew against my face. With outstretched arms I crawled forward for familiar objects to guide my way, escaping both the draw of dauntless sleep and the fear of the primal wild. Again, fight or flight? Approach or avoid? Creation or destruction?
The land before me now slopes forward. The ground hugs my prostrate body forward. Head-first I feel the grass change first to sand then to bedrock. I am on a baron slab of cold granite extending in all directions. I continue to grasp at whatever crevasse or ridge my fingers can detect. I pull myself toward the fading memory of the sunken sun. My aging joints suffer the pain of a penetrating frost.
What is this I grasp? A ledge? A cliff? My hands reach out to nothingness. I sense the void. I clutch the sharp edge with both hands and raise my heavy head to see with bulging eyes – nothingness! I call out in quickened desperation, “hello!” No hint of echo. My voice is swallowed by nothingness! This is my destination. I have arrived. This is my long sought oblivion! The parabolic bottom! But I am.
My blank mind spirals slowly askew into the abyss. I have no memory, no past. I merely am.
Yet my imagination is strangely fresh and vivid. From here is my creation and mine alone. Memories return of childhood hopes and fears. But this is not an end. I know it is a beginning, I tell myself. From here in this oblivion I create with endless passion. From here I behold the infinite wisdom of oneness. It is a new start if I say it is!
This is the place before time begins. This is the infinitesimal splice between the not-yet future and the already-happened past. This is the event in which space leads nowhere. It rolls onward without apparent direction. This is the time and space that should not exist. Yet it apparently does! This place is void of purpose and reason. Yet to date, I exist! I exist as one with logic and intent.
My fantasies turn to dreams of polar explorations, of endless winter seas of shifting ice and snow, of frigid darkness and starless skies. I am alone. No passion of a loved ones’ embrace will fill me. No friends to share a thought, nor laughter nor warm cup of coffee. No validation of my consciousness. It stands alone self-evident. No distraction from my losses. Only silence fills my ears. And what am I beyond a curiosity; beyond a consciousness of experience; what am I beyond the will to explore? How am I to exploit this, my being, my essence?
I create my answers, my ideas. I am a creator of ideas. This is my essence. And what is there beyond ideas? What lies beyond ideas is also mine to create. There is nothing but what I make of things. An existence given is but a germ of an idea. And a pregnant idea begs forth it’s reality. The meaning, the essence of the thing created, is always mine to keep. Now I make of it what I will.
The last western star struggles in the lighting sky. I find myself on my back frozen to the ground in glistening white frost castles. I raise my hand to touch the sky to point to the empty space of that last faded star. Broken crystals fall from my sleeve to chink the icy ground. It is not yet dawn and I feel no pain. I am rested. The soft coo of the Mourning Dove revs my recovery. I remember – I create!
The breaking frost crackles as I raise my head from its frozen moorings. The rock, the grasses, the scrub brush and shrubs – all in shimmering glassy white! This is no ordinary morning, but the awakening of a deeper soul within. I create my world! Not the rocks and frost, but at every step of my journey, the meaning it all holds for me! For what is it without meaning? What is it’s reality without a mind to behold it? From this there is no escape. It is my destiny, my purpose, my path. I create!
What awaits me is the path of the wild to a trail to a road more traveled. The young Sun begins it rise twinkling between the trunks and tops of the distance forest. Crystals catch their inspirations and sparkle red and green then blue and yellow! To my back the cliff to which my hands did clutch now betrays the void now filled with dense colourless mist. No bottom exists to the void of oblivion. It stays with me and within me as I step toward the dawn and the game trail and the path. Chunks of crystals break from my clothes and fall to the crisping ground. My pace quickens to the road through the now familiar woods, frozen grasses crunching under my feet.
The tent is now my castle to hold my dreams’ potential. There awaits a new trust, a new covenant with life. “Hello!” “Hello”, comes the echo. I am born anew! I create! I create! I create!