Before she left home and caught the #23 bus, Clare took out a black pen, ripped a piece of paper from her notebook and tore it into a small rectangular shape, the size of a matchbook. She carefully wrote “w i s d o m” in capital letters. She folded it in half, causing the W to smear against the M, put the paper in her pocket and headed out into the sunny, fall day, so mild she needed only a light jacket. She was deliberately walking away from the flow of the day, shattering it in two, to go to the forest.
Once off the bus, she moved down the trail into the dense green. The forest seemed to be breathing - inhale deep, exhale soft. She took her hand from her pocket. The paper caught on her finger and fell to the spongy ground where it came to rest between a rock and tree. The little word looked heavy on the ground, and when she walked over to it, she tripped and blamed the word. She kicked at it with her boot, trying to lift it by digging her shoe under the soil like she would if she were kicking a soccer ball, but it was dead weight. She wondered how a word could be so heavy. But it was not the word, it was her. She slowly and stiffly leaned down to pick it up.
The size of the fortune in a cookie, the paper rested in her wrinkled, thin-skinned, mulit-coloured palm. Could it fly, she wondered, and pursing her dry lips, she blew. The word took flight, fluttering low to the ground where it picked up a green reflection on it’s whiteness. It reminded her of the luna moth as it dropped gently into a small, delicate, yellow flower, smaller than the paper, and balanced precariously on the petals, dangling over the edges. Clare bent as low as she could, her back ached, and blew again. Up, up it flew, and Clare thought, ‘Oh no, it’s leaving. It is going up to be with the birds so that it can look down at this old forest and me.’ She thought of how tiny she would appear to it as it vanished into the sky.
‘I shouldn’t have tempted it, blown it away,’ she thought. ‘I should have let it rest on the flower where it was so exquisitely balanced. I was too playful, or reckless, and now it has abandoned me.’
She saw a patch of sunlight cutting through the trees, emerald greens illuminated by gold light. The air was wet and smelled fungal. Her feet sank into the porous earth, the rich dark soil, the moss foam carpet as she moved to the patch of light. She turned her face up, ‘Ah the sun,’ she thought. The sun’s warmth touched her nose like a mischievous child. She heard the forest’s whispering bird talk and tree creaks, the sound of growth and water passing over rocks somewhere, a small animal digging or hiding or playing hide and seek. She heard her own breath, mimicking that of the forest, and thought, ‘wisdom may go it’s own way. This will do for me.’
Not really a Biography
I have always been inclined to move forward, roll the stone, down, and often up, hills. I've tried to write through it all. Everything on this blog is written by me.