Ours is a life of many selves, like chapters of a book. I’m living in my seventh skin, after surviving two pulmonary embolisms. I know life is tenuous. On some days, the future is a cloud, as if it is a territory I will never see.
Pain and fear work in us that way, like I’m standing at the entrance of the farewell house: My soul has left me. It stands on the other side of the doorway, mingling with shadows and ghosts. It knows everything, even their silent language.
The willow will never complain that it has no feet and cannot dance. She makes her arms sway to the wind’s rhythm.
“Do not pity me,” she says. “I’m grounded. See how I can bend and honor Earth. See how I can reach and caress the sky.”
And opening the folds of her raiment: “I am filled with robins, blackbirds, finches, and jays. When I’m not singing with the wind, my soul radiates from their joyous symphony.”
In the beginning, one man carried the stories. After a time, a child grew up with stories in his mouth. The story-man was jealous and took the child into the mountain where he pushed him off a cliff. The mountain, fond of the innocent interpreter, was furious. He shook, causing the greedy storyteller to fall to his death. Afterword, the mountain, trees, winds, rivers, and sky promised to never cease singing or whispering the history of things. There shall always be a story.
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