For the wind to pass through
The story is waiting. I can hear it resonating between the tree trunks. It is old and powerful and it is calling me by my name.
I step into the forest, but it is hiding in the tree tops, like a mistrustful bird.
I love the dark, damp air, the poignant scent of decaying leaves. But here, amidst the knee-deep ferns, the thicket-littered rocky hillsides, surrounded by screens of green that allow no more than thirty feet of visibility from any given angle, I have the acute sensation that I am blind in a place like this.
Empty yourself, the tree tops rustle. Become the wind, whispering in the bushes. You cannot receive a story if you are filled to the brim with yourself.
A buzzard breaks through the canopy and sheers right past me.
Soundlessly he traces a trail through the world. The air is rippling where he passes with a wide, lazy beating of wings.
He perches in a nearby tree, waiting.
I grow still like the glow on his feathers, sharp like the black of his gaze. It frightens me. Can you long for something you cannot grasp? Something that sees right through you?
I know I will not be able to hold on to the story, not even to understand it. All I need to do, is allow it to possess me.
Step by step, I’m approaching the tree.
The buzzard rustles his feathers, spreads his wings and takes off. I trace his silhouette’s gracious ascent until the green-fingered canopy swallows him whole.
I can feel myself opening like a door, for the wind to pass through.
When I leave the forest, fields of summer grain stretch out before me.
I throw back my head for the sun and spread my arms. I can feel the wind playing in my feathers.
I am empty, and weightless.
When I open my mouth, I hear a song I do not know.
The SAPLING series is a joint project with artist and illustrator Jurgen Walschot.
Saplings are creative sprouts. I will write to the images, he will draw to the words.