*** I must say that I hesitated to publish this on my blog. It may not seem like much to the untrained eye, but nearly every line in the following post is rife with metaphor. This piece has lurked between the pages of my notebooks for over 3 years. It was written October 31, 2009 at a very confused time for me, and at a moment of heartsickness. There are 3 people mentioned, including myself, although the hints are so broad they will likely be missed. It is a puzzle, so enjoy fitting the illogical bits together.
As I gaze at the mist which coyly hides the second face of the mountain, I see this deception with my heart. Observing how it engulfs one intricate channel of stone here, yet highlights another perfectly. Reveling in it’s stark beauty, framing one single unassuming peak in mystery and magic until it looms larger than life above all other mere protrusions. A perfect world all your own, within a swirling sea of grey.
yet no sooner is my eye drawn to one half-glimpsed elusive sight in this fog than it is obscured, and replaced with a new vision. Playfully shifting and dancing about, shamelessly teasing, this elemental slide show is impossible to resist.
I am getting comfortable now as I lay back onto the bed of my conscience, fluffing a metaphorical pillow.
My gaze travels downward, where I see that river stroking far below the waistline of this morphing and changeable mountain, and I see it engorged with rain. Swollen and pounding, like the beat of a drum in a forgotten rhythm, insinuating itself among the places I once went seeking refuge in the sand. A tree is surfing, cresting each frothing wave like a seasoned sailor, laughing with the joy of such fast paced living… He does not see the log jam ahead.
I nod to him as he travels past. I am an alder, my red autumn leaves wave goodbye as my reaching bough cuts a “V” on the surface of the water with a vain hope.
There are more sodden leaves than I, like discarded words and opinions, that scatter about the forest in a fitful wind and pile at the feet of gloating pines. They are evergreen these trees, un-changing, stolid and un-caring of the plight of us deciduous types. Never knowing the satisfaction of shedding useless weight, of catching fire in shades of red and gold, and unfolding like a butterfly. They do not know the joy of exploding into life, sending your hopeful seeds and your precious foliage cascading and spiraling to the four winds like scattering diamonds in the rough. Sparkling yellow jewels of wisdom hidden under a fern frond, that some unsuspecting hiker may one day mistake for a chanterelle.
My tree thoughts are wandering now, and my gaze is once again drawn to the river where it is caught and held by a determined boulder. He is squatting directly in the path of those advancing brown flood waters, as if daring them to make him move. He is aggressive, jutting his chin out into the current with a firm set to his shoulders. Boldly confronting the storm with a ‘devil may care’ attitude and a smirk, he is determined to claim the elusive prize.
However the raging torrent of accumulated autumn storms just sails right passed him, navigating each new curve with all the trepidation of an elephant on a tight-wire. No net to console or steady hand to guide you, just a vast sea of staring faces waiting for something interesting to happen.
Meanwhile this river flows wild, refusing to be contained by her stony banks. Thrashing, she is awakened from a season of sleep and spills into the crevices, the roadways, the hidden paths of the wood with questing fingers. The watchful eye will notice how she carefully shifts about piles of glittering leaves, like a chess player moving in for a check mate.
Far above her is that mountain, tantalizing the senses with half glimpsed wonders of heights she will never reach, and brief sightings of a breath taking utopia in the clouds.
I am floating here on my back, just watching it all and waiting…
Waiting for the fog to lift.