Serial: The Lotus and the Rose, Chapter 3
I am a seeker on walkabout, on a journey through vast lands of beautiful groves, hidden cities, and burning furnaces, whose keepers feed the vortex fires.
I stand at the edge of a valley blanketed with high thick grass and yellow patches of mustard; everything moist with mornings dew. Scattered oak trees twisted and sublime spot the nest. At the center stands the largest and oldest of the ancient oaks; tall and grand. In its shade shimmers a still pond of pure water, fresh as if it just fell from the heavens, tall reeds at an edge.
On a bank, still but not stagnant, a log lays, half submerged in purity, twisted, sublime and wise. That twisted old log by the pure pond, resting in the shade of the king of trees sits an old woman drinking from the pool with cupped hands.
I now stand in the center of the valley, a distance of hours to walk, in a blink. A single bird sings his song, insects buzz in the distance; me and the old woman an audience. She splashes cool water on her face and with a look in my eyes and a sweet smile on her lips, a flute is raised by her liver spotted hands then she adds to natures melody. Chirp sings the bird and the insects chime in time, out of the void the womans flute begins and brings the harmony of natures voice. The old woman, in gypsy like rags, sits cross-legged on the twisted log, her eyes closed, her instrument begins an ancient tune.
“I want to see,” I say, “I want to listen to the harmony that can be between humanity and nature”. I feel the need to learn the way that may be, but is not. I want to learn from the old woman, hair of long silver strands, sitting cross-legged on the twisted log, in the shade of the king oak, by the pond of the pure water, ancient, sublime.
She smiles with glee, not loosing step with the song.
As the melody transpires, as the woman puts her breath into the song, I sit listening to the play between the musicians, the harmony of humanity and nature, nature and humanity, beast and beast, life to life and back again; to add more wonder to this magnificent setting the stage changes. The valley grows dark; filled and shaded by redwood trees growing high above low-lying ferns. Darkness consumes but not the darkness of night but a cool shade in a thick forest. The ground grassless with mulch, mud and mushrooms.
The melody never stopped but is in harmony with the metamorphosis of the habitat. The bird still sings, the bugs still buzz, the lady still plays by the pond under the old oak.
I look to the canopy, fog swims through the branches above, but no motion is felt. The leaves move, but without a breeze. They move with intention. Butterflies; ten thousand. They hold in clusters to the branches and groups; individuals flutter from bunch to bunch; ten thousand butter flies to a cluster with ten thousand clusters; truthfully uncountable.
Continuing metamorphosis: a sharp scent invades, the air dries, mud and mulch turn to dry hard dirt. Redwoods no longer; eucalyptus.
The monarch butterflies, flutter high and flutter by; a dance in the air to melody performed by flute and chirp, chirp and buzz then stop.
A single sound interrupts, like solid wood against hollow. Another strike, then another. Three strikes and a stomp. Across the pond the woman stood still in gypsy like rags but no longer old, beautiful and lithe, mischievous appearance, mischievous smile, in a sultry stance and a naked leg stretched from beneath the colored rags, flute to her full lips.
Strike; Strike; Strike; with each strike she stepped, steppes, stepping and to the end of her stomps the strikes begin again, each faster than the last, and each step of hers becoming a hard dance on the dirt floor. Each beat faster in the rhythm of passions spirit and in step with the percussions heart. No longer the harmony of nature but passions of the wild and she plays her flute in step with her wild dace to the beat of the invisible percussionist.
The pond was still and clean; air filled with the dry stinging scent of eucalyptus; the king oak proud, watching. The beat continued, the song quickened, and she danced and shipped and the air was saturated with butterflies fluttering by and dancing in tune with the music. The woman skipped, her bare feet kicking up the dry earth into clouds that caught the rays of the hot sun as the monarchs fluttered through.
I am surrounded by fire.
All became silent.
Then a kind womans voice said, “when you awake, run to the western mountains, though the mountains wont hide you . . . Seek the cave that’s shelters the adversary”.
Butterflies flutter by and around and around and around as the voice fades into memory; bright orange and black merge into streaking flames. Hot is the dust and wind in my lungs and it consumes my being. Floating in the vortex of flame searing flesh and burning hair. For only a moment within a moment, found in the flying flames, like the burning bush, floats a face. Its eyes hot with passion and malice and pleasure for my agony. It smiles with ash and smoke and embers of the deconstructed.
Some nights I sit alone thinking of existence and experiencing loneliness as only pond lilies and the sages do. Other nights I go out, socialize and play with great excitement and joy, injecting myself in to the hole of the moment. Now I am an infant ant the point of birth.
I see the chaos, the chaos takes me.
I am naked.
Bright flames, an iridescent shell. I am the fetus within; hunched over, exposed and protected. All dark and comforting, but a light is calling me.
I am born.
I am awake; naked, wet, bald and exposed. Under a glaring sun, on hot asphalt.
A frightened voice to my right, curses and the sound of feet running away.
In the sky, high above, orange and black butterflies rise.
Coyote corpses littered the ground around my nakedness. Sirens sounded in the distance. Sitting up a ghastly sight welcomed me. Crucified on the cliff-side was D. His insides piles the ground below his limp legs; vivisected.
Many running feet heading this way.