The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1j)

Chapter 1j.

Under the loving care of Janice and Yoshiasu, Fuyuki recovered much easily. Though he was still scarred physically and emotionally, he kept on focusing on the love he finally got. For the first time in his life, there was somebody in this world for whom he, Fuyuki was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON and that somebody was Yoshiasu. During the whole ordeal he’d been put through again, Fuyuki  had closed his eyes and mind and he held on his love. Now Janice, with her kindness and love brought back the happy memories of the short childhood and helped Fuyuki bond after twenty years with his lost relatives. Janice was at peace with herself; she’s finally got back her baby-brother and justice has been done. Even Paul and Michael softened after à while and the family  reunited. As Fuyuki was getting better in hospital, new concerns aroused in Yoshiasu’s mind; he decided to ask him about before taking any action.

-Fuyuki, are you ready to come home? I mean, how you feel about coming back to the same place…you know…I can arrange so that we move to another location…

The young man stretched and looked at him, head slightly tilted.

-You’re wonderful but that’s the place where I had spent the happiest days of my life. I won’t run and let the past ruin what I cherish most.

Yoshiasu relaxed.

-I bet you miss my cooking-he said with a grin.

They both laughed. Two days later they left the hospital; Fuyuki put up a brave face and shook away any concern. But Yoshiasu wasn’t easily fooled; he could sense the tension building up inside his love the moment they closed the door. After unpacking, Yoshiasu turned to the kitchen to fix something to eat and left Fuyuki to adjust. The young artist  sat on the bed  looking around, while scraps of memory flashed through his mind. Half an hour later Yoshiasu found him sitting on the same spot, gazing into nothingness.

-You don’t have to pretend you’re OK when obviously you’re not-he said in a calm voice. We are together in this. The first night after you’ve disappeared, I had a panic attack. I even moved on your side of the bed and slept there until you were found…

Fuyuki shuddered, then he looked up and smiled to Yoshiasu:

-I’m so lucky to have you. I’ll be fine, I know; it’s just that I need some time to get over so many things…Now-he said, taking a deep breath- may I help you with the cooking?

-Sure-said Yoshiasu. It’s almost done. Let’s eat; I’m starving.

Later that day, Angela and George called and then came to visit. They were relieved to see Fuyuki back on track and Yoshiasu happy again. They looked great to; Angela was expecting her first child and the couple was filled with the excitement. They left for home late in the evening, after chatting happily all together. Yoshiasu took a shower and sat on top of the bed reading something, waiting for Fuyuki.

He became suddenly aware of the muffled sounds coming from the shower. He knocked at the door and called:

-Fuyuki!…Fuyuki, are you OK?

As the noises became more intense, he decided to take action. He dropped his bathrobe and entered the shower. Fuyuki was crouching on the floor, crying bitterly. Yoshiasu picked him up and cupped his face with both hands trying to understand what was torturing him. Fuyuki averted his gaze, hands gripping on Yoshiasu’s hands.

-I…I missed you so much but…I…I feel tainted and I…can’t…I’m so sorry…that I couldn’t-the rest of the words ended in sobs.

The understanding sank on Yoshiasu; Fuyuki was blaming himself for the ordeal he had been through, for not being able to fight back and he felt like he had betrayed the love the two of them was sharing. Yoshisu sighed; there were still so many wounds to heal and  so many loose ends to tie up until the fragile equilibrium of Fuyuki would mend. But Yoshiasu was more determined than ever to love and protect him and help him to heal. So he held Fuyuki close and let the shower wash them both.

-You can cry out everything now-he whispered in Fuyuki’s ear. This water will wash away all the misery. You are the purest human being I’ve ever seen and I won’t give up on you.

He held Fuyuki until the younger man cried out all the bitterness and hurt piled up inside. He moved his hand down his back and under his touch Fuyuki’s body felt more fragile as he’d lost some weight during captivity. Yoshiasu stopped the water and handed a towel to Fuyuki; they walked together to the bedroom and Fuyuki folded in his arms.

-Have you seen Father?- he asked in a small voice.

-Yes. He is a bully and a madman. I’m glad he’s locked up. You don’t need to worry about him.

Fuyuki shifted a little.

-I was so afraid that you might not want me anymore-his voice trailed.

Yoshiasu turned Fuyuki towards him and kissed him gently. As his lover moved closer, he slowly undressed him and kissed him again deeply. Fuyuki moaned and melted in his arms. Driven by the emotional turmoil, they made love like never before reaching unexpected peaks. They finally relaxed, panting from exhaustion and  they fell asleep holding each other closely.

But before their life could get back to normal, they had to pass another major challenge: the trial of Jack Roger. As police and prosecutors finished their work, the trial was due to begin. The trial caught up a big interest; not only that it was a shocking case but it involved one of the young emerging artists of the country.

Though he could’ve avoided it because of his emotional scars, Fuyuki bravely decided to attend the trial. Yoshiasu was deeply concerned about how he would cope with it, but he had to admit that Fuyuki needed to face his fears in order to get over them and to start a new life. Yet, Yoshiasu dreaded the first encounter with Jack Roger, whom he had not seen since the day Fuyuki was found. Tens of curious eyes turned to them when Roger was brought in. He had a confident smirk all over his face; when he spotted Fuyuki, he launched towards him with a sneer:

-You little bastard! Wait until I get my hands on you!

The guards held him back and Fuyuki’s eyes clouded with pain. He faced him and asked in a restraint voice:

-Why? Why do you hate me?

This painful question made the headlines of every journal. It was the question that troubled every decent person: why would anybody turn into such a monster? The first session of the trial presented the case as the police  had unraveled piece by piece, then the pile of evidence was brought to the Court’s attention.

 Listening to Janice’s testimony (while her father growled “Stupid bitch…just like your mother…”) proved to be the hardest of all. The long buried memories of the horrors endured by a small child shocked the audience. At that moment Fuyuki got sick and while Yoshiasu was helping him out, he fainted. Yoshiasu picked him up and left the Courtroom hurriedly; he took him out to a bench and laid him down, massaging his temples and his hands until Fuyuki got back to his senses. He then called a cab and took him home. Reliving that particular moment was like opening a dam. All the memories locked up inside came back accurately. The process was painful but unstoppable. Each and every night of the trial Fuyuki cried himself into sleep, held tightly in Yoshiasu’s arms. But with family and friends around him, he got over the pain step by step.

The evaluation made by the police psychiatrist gave sense to the image of Jack Roger. Jack Roger was an animal of prey. He watched the little boy growing up and noticed its unusual beauty. He soon realized that this child could become a good source of income and that he was totally defenseless. With a weak and frightened aunt as a surrogate mother, the little boy had no chance against Jack Roger’s will. What the perpetrator never suspected, was that the night of horror had a witness: the ten years old Janice. That night she took a narrow escape and remained unharmed, only to carry this traumatic memory till the final confrontation. Jack Roger took pride in his business so he kept detailed records /even videotapes. For years he trained and used the child as a prostitute; when he got into trouble, he simply sold him but kept his track just in case.        

    When Fuyuki ended up badly beaten and dumped, Roger thought that the young man died, so he was thrilled to see his photo later in a nationwide newspaper. Just like the spider, he carefully cornered his victim and took him away when he finished his  underground bunker. Fuyuki’s cell was connected to the house and as soon as the he regained consciousness, Jack Roger was back in business. He put Fuyuki on the market the first day they got home and never left a day out. In a short time, his bank account was growing steadily so he couldn’t be more pleased.

  Based on the huge amount of evidence, “Father” was quickly sentenced to life in prison. But the eternal bully  took hard the end of his reigning over Fuyuki, so after two months in prison, he’s  got an extensive stroke and died in the prison hospital. The story of the Monster and The Lost Butterfly came to an end. After 20 years Fuyuki was free at last.

Another year ended and the oncoming one was holding the promises of a new beginning. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki spent the Christmas with Janice and her family; on the second day, Peter and Michael joined them with their wives. Fuyuki’s beauty and kindness charmed everybody, especially Janice’s six year old twins, Robert and Molly. They also took a like on Yoshiasu and they were happy to find two young adults who never got tired of them and never complained about them being nagging and noisy.

  The New Year brought another happy event: Angela gave birth to her first child, a little boy named Thomas.

-I feel a little bit lost with so many men around-smiled Angela counting her well-wishing party. The three of you were already a handful; now Thomas is joining the gang…I have to put up some strength to face you all!

-I wouldn’t be concerned-said Fuyuki. You’ve already rendered us speechless with such a beautiful baby!

-Sweet Fuyuki! You’re as charming as ever-laughed Angela, glancing lovingly at the sleeping baby.

The warmth of love encompassed them all, leaving the shadows of the past locked up in the passing year.

Wishing to give a boost to their life together, Yoshiasu secretly booked two tickets for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan. When time came, he took Fuyuki by the hand and it was only in the airport that the young artist learned about their destination. He was deeply touched and amazed. The festival was a dream come true. It was a particularly mild, warm spring so when they arrived, every tree was in full blossom.

 The sight was simply magic. Every breeze carried on its warm wings endless flurries of white and pink petals. Yoshiasu and Fuyuki traveled from one place to another, from orchard to orchard, filling up with endless beauty. Finally, they stopped in an old orchard of a remote location. They asked for permission to visit and as they were granted, Yoshiasu took Fuyuki by the hand and walked down the narrow pathways that lead through the fresh light-green grass, under the heavily blooming branches. Yoshiasu spotted from the distance a large old cherry tree and took the amazed Fuyuki there. He let the young artist enjoy the enveloping shower of soft petals. Fuyuki’s amethyst eyes gleamed like gems in the mist of golden light pouring from above. He leaned against the tree, watching with withheld breath the magic of Nature. He turned to Yoshiasu with a look of rapture all over his face.

Yoshiasu approached and cupped his face with both hands,  looked deeply into the shimmering   violet-blue pools and asked in a slightly trembling voice:

-Fuyuki, would you marry me?

Fuyuki’s eyes widened in surprise, he blushed but whispered:

-Yes. I will…

Yoshiasu bent over him and kissed him until they ran out of breath. They married  two weeks later in Canada. Fuyuki took Yoshiasu’s family name, Tanaka. Yoshiasu took a new job that enabled him to travel a lot along with Fuyuki, who was now a successful artist with exhibitions all over the world. They were both young and on the height of their creative powers. Life was beautiful.

~~~~~

-Oh! -exclaimed one of the creatures of light. I never thought such things can happen! We almost lost our Child to that madman. I feel so….uneasy about our choice.

-You’re right-mumbled the other one. We’ve learned so much about these creatures since we are here and yet, after this episode, I feel like we really know nothing. Maybe we should retrieve the Child from the planet.

-No, no, not now! Not yet. He seems to be happy with his companion and perhaps the two of them might join us later, don’t you think?

-Agree!-said the taller creature. But we’ll keep a close eye on them from now on.

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Sakura poem

Ringing the bells of the last melting icicles, winter ended his opus and left the premises. A new cycle of life was about to unfold. The air was full of expectation.

She stood on the riverbank, motionlessly, waiting for the tingling sensation of rebirth. The soil was gradually warming up under her feet while she was leaning over the water to hear the fine cracking of the icy crust.

Crick…crick-crack…crick-crack-crack-crack….glob-glob-glob….With a final effort, the water sprang up victoriously, washing away the winter armor! Freed from his restraint,the river jumped and sprinkled, spraying tiny droplets into the sunlight, splashing the sands of the bank, tickling the tips of the new grass…

She smiled inwardly, sensing his joy and then turned her attention to the ground. The seals of winter broken, the hidden fountains of magic sap were gurgling again, pumping up, higher and higher the liquid of life. She stretched in the sunlight, her fingers trembling in the warm breeze and she closed her eyes, waiting….

Streams of energy ran through her body, opening the doors of each cell, setting in motion her revival. Down in the riverbed, he was watching her. She was so beautiful….He playfully splashed her fingertips with his cooling waters.

And then , under his gentle touch, she opened in thousands of delicate pink flowers! He sent a wave, caressing her feet, she swayed in the wind, raining petals upon his shimmering cheeks….

The Cherry-tree and the River were writing again a poem of eternal love.

THE LAND INSIDE

INTRO:    I have always dreamed of leaving the city behind. I was born and raised in the city but somehow this yearning for losing myself in the open arms of Nature was like a seedling of light that has taken roots inside me from the very early moments of my life. I love and admire the results of human endeavor, the city is comfortable and beautiful and humanity has reached the stars…So why am I so desperate to run and follow the wind on the hills? Why do I miss so badly to walk in the morning dew, in the sea of slowly waving grass, under the dim light of early suns? Why do I need the silent breath of the exhaling land to hide me in the cooling autumn days? What is this creature inside me that feels so caged and who’s rattling the irons of the limiting body? Somebody is sharing with me this fragile shell, somebody’s heart is beating inside mine…Like a butterfly, grown out of its chrysalises, I am struggling to free my wild self and let it fly. So yes, I am closing the door of clear cut lines and precisely set boundaries and I am opening the gates to the unknown. I see nothing before me…but I can feel the call of open spaces and of the high skies above. I’m not a pointless wanderer; there is something, someone in that distant horizon calling out, signaling and the Universe reverberates that call, hoping for an answer…

 

In a world of touchable realities, you need sometimes a protective disguise. An inner world of wildly galloping fantasies is not exactly something to put on display. A person defying well rehearsed and widely accepted role-sets would need a deceptive appearance until it would find the sought freedom.  So, dressed up as a young man, with a backpack loaded with all I might need, I travelled to the remote mountain area where a small cabin was waiting for me. It was situated near the land of Natives and I hoped to get in touch with them and learn their way of harmonious relation with Nature.

Summer is crisp in the mountains and the steep pathway slippery. I climbed for hours through the dense forest, following the narrow road made mostly for deer and mountain goats. Occasionally, I slipped over the lax terrain covered by crawling herbs, the rock slide rumbling down the slope into the abyss I’ve left. My heart was pounding in my chest, I was gasping for breath, silently cursing my need for adventure…Oh, well, city girl on the track…But the place had an undeniable charm with the light filtering through the green canopy in playful dots…There were singing birds orchestrating the symphony of dawn and buzzing, colorful insects warming up in their dance in the light. I laughed off my annoyance and took the road with renewed energy. It paid; soon, the forest thinned and I reached the plateau.  The rock expanded in a generous balcony reaching above the valley bellow. The sound of the rushing river was faintly echoing to this height. The horizon stretched abruptly into a panoramic vision of the entire place. The sun was steadily climbing the ladder of skies, soaking up the thin strands of vapor floating above the land below. I turned to see the cabin; it was there, guarded by the last piece of soaring cliff and the forest that was following me closely. Mission accomplished.

I was waiting for the night. Living in a city deprives you of the real magic of the night skies. The lights we have created are robbing the mysterious beauty of the galactic display. City dwellers seldom look at the skies, even during the day. As I reached adolescence, the feeling of being caged became tangible and so was the need to leave the cocoon. My first encounter with the night skies happened in a remote country side. It was true awe….All the stars came to this first encounter and ever since then, we kept connected. So, here I was…ready to renew the magic.

As the sun was plunging in the thin layer of mist outlining the horizon, the shadows of the night begun their steady crawl to the heights, pushing aside the latest glimpses of light. From cracks and crevices, underneath rocks and boulders, long, spidery shapes of darkness emerged, climbing higher and higher until they conquered the plateau. The bright azure deepened into ink-blue then the darkness wiped out the color of the skies and the night begun. One by one, the Universe lit up its diamond candles and the invisible hand of magic filled the arching infinity with bright patches, blazing swirls and crisscrossing constellations. The cool breath of the land was rising from the dormant valley, carrying the scent of heated grass, wildflowers and spicy resins. Silence blanketed the surroundings and for a moment I had the feeling that I could hear the distant sound of buzzing galaxies. It was there…a faint thud, a mysterious rhythm, like a heartbeat echoing through the star-dust filled corridors of Space…Tadam…tadam…tadam…The whole wide Universe was like a living organism, with light rushing through its veins.

-It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

The voice asking me was deep and pleasant. I almost jumped off the cliff; I quickly turned to see who was speaking but my eyes met only the darkness.

-I’m sorry-the voice was slightly apologetic. I didn’t mean to startle you…

I breathed out heavily and regained my voice.

-Where are you?

-You cannot see me-came the swift answer. At least not yet. But I am sitting next to you.

-Oh..k…-I said and sat back on my spot.

-So-the voice asked again. How do you like it?

I thought for a moment, searching for the words…The opening perspective was shimmering in the light, mist was breathing, moving, waving over the land sleeping bellow. I felt lighter and for a fraction of a moment, I lost the physical contact with the plateau…I shook my head in disbelief.

-It’s…even more beautiful than I expected.

We sat a few moments in silence; I was wondering who was the one speaking under the cloak of invisibility.

-The Moon is about to rise-said again the voice.  Let me show you something before I leave. Look here.

There was a faint rustle in the grassy spot between the two of us and a small ball of glow emerged from the tangled vegetal strands. It hovered for a moment above the place, then spread into a sheen of light while the ground below it rose into a miniature replica of the surrounding mountain range and the forest covering it. I was stunned by the details of the image, the texture of the canopy, the glitter of the river that was rushing deep inside the steep valley.

-Now-said my companion with a tint of amusement in the voice. I have followed your journey to the plateau…

-You did?!-Suddenly I felt a bit embarrassed, remembering my occasional clumsiness.

-Oh, I surely did. I was afraid at one moment that you would bring down the whole slope, so I thought to highlight the safer paths to the local communities for you. Watch this!

I felt a slight movement above the magic map and dots of light appeared, marking the roads and the areas inhabited by the Native clans. I followed their pattern attentively, trying to memorize all.

-I’ll help you remember these. You have to let me touch you…don’t jump up again, please.

I froze and instinctively closed my eyes; there was a light touch of a hand on my forehead. It was…humanly warm. The image of the map transferred in my mind while the warmth of those invisible fingertips ran through my veins, spreading in my body. I relaxed and opened my eyes. At that moment, a bright flash crossed the skies.

-Wow! A shooting star!-I exclaimed.

-Make a wish-said the voice.

The answer just stumbled out my mouth.

-I wish this night would never end…

-Granted, stranger-came the reply. See you tomorrow night!

Whoever it was, it disappeared in an instant. I knew it…the place next to me felt suddenly very empty. Though the presence of this elusive, magic entity had been almost imperceptible, once gone, the void it left behind became disturbingly tangible. The thin, silver crescent of the Moon hopped above the horizon and the display of stars begun to fade. Ruler of the night skies, Master of magic and dreams, the celestial traveler took his place on the black velvet and sparkled. I bowed before him and went to sleep.

 

The lighthouse was slowly decaying on the empty shore. Its entrance door was rusting under the corrosive bite of Time and the sea that once soothed the heart of the lonely tower was gone beyond the dark-grey horizon. The sky was ashen and the clouds were hanging like old veils torn by the claws of an ancient sea-monster. This was a place forgotten and un-loved, a space that was barren and, by now, seemingly pointless. I stood there, facing the display of hopelessness, listening to the veiling of the old metal door shaken by the erratic gush of wind.

-This lighthouse needs a heart-whispered the already familiar voice.

A heart? I felt a surge of deep sadness inside me and I woke up in bed.

 

The sun was already high in the translucent ocean of azure when I took the path through the forest. I was heading towards the Hogan of an elderly wise man, hoping to find some answers and to learn about the herbs and animals of this area. The map imprinted in my mind the previous evening was guiding my steps, each bush or dense of trees becoming familiar and soon, I found myself at the entrance of a beautiful tunnel of vegetation. The entwined row arching above my head was leading to the clearing. Through its luminous greenery, the warm light was falling in a delicate gold dust. I ran down through this magic pathway and stopped to hold my breath in the wide opening.

Old Joseph Grey Wolf was sitting on a log, sorting dried herbs for teas and treatments. He knew I was there, before I could open my mouth.

-Come closer, young lady-he said. Have a seat.

I blushed and swallowed down my embarrassment. I sat next to him and we faced each other with undisguised curiosity. He had an interesting face, wrinkled and burned by the sun of many summers. Yet the eyes were ageless: bright, piercing, challenging. Dark brown. Like mine. He studied me swiftly, with a small smile in the corner of his inquisitive eyes.

-How did you know? –I asked.

-A bird told me that we have a light-footed guest coming this way…

I laughed; he was right. Suddenly, I felt liberated from all my fears and my disguise became obsolete and…stupid.

-Grandfather, I have some questions bothering me. I came hoping that you can help me sort them out…

The old man stood up, brought out two cups from his house and poured some tea. He handed out one to me and sat down.

-If you want to ask me about your visitor, all I can tell you for now is that you have to be patient. In time you will learn enough about this spirit to answer your own question. Is there anything else bothering you?

I sighed; the dream was still fresh in my memory.

-I had this strange dream about a lonely shore and a deserted lighthouse…It felt so sad…Does this dream have any meaning?

Grey Wolf shook his head thoughtfully.

-Everything has a meaning if you know how to read the signs. That empty shore is the land of sacrificed dreams; it’s that sad because each time we give up on our dreams, we die a bit from inside…until there is nothing left but the bitterness of a wasted, dull life. There are so many such shores in this world…

-Is that shore my life?

The old man smiled at me.

-That is for you to find out. Remember, the land inside is a reflection of the world outside. You have to give life to that land and you have to find the light that will shine upon it. Listen, see and learn. The answers are both inside and around you. Now go home, Blue Flower. The night is waiting at your door.

We shook hands and I thanked him for his words. Somewhere, deep inside I was feeling a grain of light moving. Though the way home was uphill, I took the steep path easily. I reached the house, fixed something to eat and boiled some water for a tea. Grey Wolf has packed me up with fragrant wild-flower mixes. I prepared the tea and waited for the night to set in. Would my invisible friend show up?-I wondered…

The night unfurled its flag of shadows and darkness while the dome of the skies lit up in blaze. I was sitting under the stars when I heard the voice I was waiting for.

-You’re early I see. Good evening, stranger.

I laughed sensing the relaxed amusement of the voice.

-Would you like a tea?-I asked.

-Yes, why not.

I took my courage to push the conversation further. I poured the tea and placed the cups between us. This time, the voice chuckled and I already knew what was behind that laughter.

-I’ve never had tea with a ghost so I wasn’t quite sure if you drink-I said with a smile.

-I’m not more of a ghost than you-the voice replied. I am a person.

-Then why can’t I see you?

There was a brief moment of silence before I got the answer.

-Because you have to learn to see. Looking at something with your eyes doesn’t mean that you really see it. You have to go beyond that.

-Hmmm… you might be right. Old Grey Wolf told me the same: listen, see and learn. And he knew about your visit to.

-Grey Wolf is a dear friend of mine. He knows a lot about me….

The cup of tea rose in the air and my invisible companion took a sip.

-Uhm, good. Wild Thyme and pepper mint…He gave you my favorite mix.

I blushed and I silently thanked the old man. Somehow, I wanted to make my elusive guest feel good. I had come here in the middle of nowhere to escape from the pressure and noise of the city and human crowd. Yet, the moment this spirit left me alone I realized that all beauty seemed pointless if you couldn’t share that elation with someone…close to you. And to make things even more unusual, I was having this feeling of mutual connection with this… person after only one encounter. The warmth of that touch from the previous night had unchained my soul…

-So, why are you here? –I tempted a question.

-It’s my favorite spot to watch the Stars. And you…Why are YOU here?

Though I was prepared to hear this question, I was unsure what to answer.

-Huh…Let’s see. I felt caged and restless living in the city. I came here hoping to find my way, the real one. I have lived too long according to others’ expectations. I was choking inside my cocoon. And…someone told me that I have to give a heart to a lighthouse. It was you, isn’t it?

The voice laughed softly.

-This is your journey. I cannot give you the answers but I can walk beside you, if you wish…

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes before answering.

-Please do. This is so new for me. I feel the gates opening before me and opening inside me as well. It’s…wonderful and scaring. I’m not sure whom am I going to meet in this inner journey. Stay with me, please. I don’t have to see you; your presence is comforting….

The silence that followed my outpouring of the soul was meaningful, speaking volumes. We shared another tea and we counted all the shooting stars that night. The counting ended up in lot of laughter. We sat there like two islands connected by a magic bridge, while the River of fate was leading its mighty waters around us.

 

Days followed days and nights followed nights and I have battered the pathway to Grey Wolf’s Hogan. He gathered all his patience and introduced me to the secrets of wild flowers and herbs, while teaching me the secret language of animals to. From the subtle rustle of the leaves, from the pattern of tiny, broken branches to the different tones of the cry of the eagles, from the shades of the clouds at dusk to the scent carried by the winds, the great Syllabus of Nature opened its files to my astonished eyes and mind. The nights were filled by the charting of constellations and listening to the thud and buzz of the interstellar space. My invisible friend and me, we must’ve drunk an ocean of herbal tea while the talking kept flowing with more and more ease between the two of us. I’m not sure what I’ve learned about the hidden identity or personal history of my visitor but I have opened my inner gates and walked together on paths I never knew it existed. My inner world started to unfold and each new path was walking above unexpected rivers, leading us through arches only to end up on unexpected sites.

My night dreams changed to and suddenly, I was missing the lonely shore and the sad little lighthouse. I kept wondering what has happened but they just seemed to vanish from my dreams.  Unhappy with this outcome, I decided to ask….

-Do you happen to know why I can’t find the lighthouse anymore?-I said abruptly in the middle of an evening talk.

My guest stood silent for a while, seemingly lost in thoughts.

-Actually, I do-came the answer. But tell me: why are you looking for it?

-Because I left it so lost and lonely and if I remember well, a voice told me that the lighthouse needs a heart. I have decided to give mine to it.

A smile filled the space between us.

-Brave decision. Let me think about it and we’ll see…

I went to sleep with a faint hope and soon, I was sailing on the waters of the land of Nod. I was walking in darkness, guided only by the glowing step-stones under my feet. It was an eerie feeling and I was unable to discern the features of the space around. My walk ended in front of a high door decorated with strange signs and symbols. I couldn’t find a door knob so I pushed a bit the two wings. They opened into a misty space filled with light. Puzzled, I stopped there.

-Step inside, don’t be afraid-said the voice I was already expecting to hear.

-But I can’t see anything….

-Free your mind and listen to your heart…

I took a step forward and felt solid ground under my feet. I walked for a while through the glowing mist until it cleared before me at a certain distance and I could see…bellow. And there was the lonely lighthouse and its deserted sandy shores. It looked almost the same than the first time I saw it in my dreams…Almost the same. The grim veil of shredded, grey clouds was gone and at a distance I could detect the shimmering of the light dancing on the surface of a remote sea. The sea was slowly returning to its lonely friend.

-I wish I could go there-I said loudly.

-You can fly…-came the answer.

-I can’t-I blurted out almost instinctively. I don’t have wings…

-Don’t start with what you can’t-my companion said-trust yourself a bit more and give it a try. Just let yourself flow with the currents…Reach inside; your wings are sprouting….

I sighed and closed my eyes….and space opened under my feet. Before I could cry out I was already flying. I opened my eyes and I saw the wide expanse of sand closing at high speed. For a fraction of a moment I’ve lost confidence and I felt like falling. An invisible hand grabbed mine, keeping me up. It was warm and reassuring; we kept flying until we both landed safely next to the light house. Breathless but elated, I stood there shivering a bit…

-Thank you-I whispered.

-It’s ok-echoed the invisible whisper. You need some practice in trusting your own abilities.

I raised my head to see the lighthouse. It looked less disheveled; colors were returning and the rust that once stained the door has disappeared. I turned to my elusive friend-I could feel the presence quite strong by now- and called:

-Come, let’s see the tower from inside. I want to know how far the sea is.

When we reached the top of the tower I was almost breathless from climbing and excitement. The sea was scintillating, its blue-green mass rocking gently, pushing the frothing waves forward and slowly conquering the sands ahead. From the top of the lighthouse the advancing of the sea was clearly visible. The salty water was seeping into the blond sands, the small, curving hills dissolving under the touch of fingers of water. With a bit of effort, you could hear the rhythm of the through and fro of the mighty, translucent body and the occasional cry of the seagulls in the skies. The great dome of light was holding its dormant source of signaling light inside the thick walls of glass. I touched the smooth surface and suddenly something moved inside me and inside the core of the lighthouse. We connected almost instantly and I could feel strange energies bursting from inner depths, rushing through my veins, seeping through my fingertips, sizzling in a grid of light up and down, up and down the slender body of the lighthouse, until behind the glass wall a faint glow was born. The seed of light grew stronger and stronger until it began to swirl in a cosmic rhythm…Blinded by the power of shining, I closed my eyes and stumbled a few step backwards, losing touch with the light core. The effluvium of light died out almost completely, leaving behind a dim seed of light nested inside the huge bell of glass of the top.

-What was….this?

-Humanity is a galaxy of lighthouses, signaling and echoing….lighthouses and shores, lively or deserted ones…like the soul of each individual.

-And what is on the other side of the sea?-I asked.

-The twinkling stars of the human galaxy….

-I never knew about this…I never knew what would live inside me…I feel so…different now that I have found it…

At this point my dream has become so intense that it was hard to separate it from reality; the presence of my invisible companion made it even more…tangible. Was I in or outside of my inner world? Before I could even realize, I have found myself outside the magic door.

-Are you here?-I asked.

-I am…-came the answer. It seems that we have built a connection that moves us both to the same destination. Sleep now, Flower. We have a long journey ahead…

I felt the soft touch of light fingers running through my hair and I fell in the depths of a quiet sleep.

I woke up in the morning with the memory of that touch….haunting me. It was like a moment of truth; suddenly, every corner of my soul echoed it…It was everywhere, imprinted in the fabric of my inner lands…I dressed up in a hurry and decided to visit Old Grey Wolf and speak with him…

He was smoking calmly when I stormed in.

-Good morning, Grand Father!-I said, trying to catch my breath.

He chuckled and answered with a nod of approval.

-Something bothering you, Blue Flower? You’re quite early…

-Grand Father…Please, help me! I’m…I don’t know what to do! I’m…in love….-I sighed; it was out….

The old man was looking at me intently.

-I see…And how can I help you with this? I can hardly remember the times when I suffered the same.

-Please!-I said. It happened so quickly and so many things happened to me since I arrived here…I feel like caught in a whirlwind, losing control….and maybe losing what I want to keep the most…

I paused for a moment.

-I’m listening-said Grey Wolf.

-So….I want to know who is this invisible spirit visiting my nights and my dreams….I’m afraid that if I complete my journey, I would fade away…I don’t want that! Please…

The old man took a sip from his pipe and then exhaled slowly, raising a thin veil of smoke between us. His voice sounded deeper and raspy as he answered my pleas.

-Your visitor is not an ordinary person; she’s a Two-Spirit and she walks with ease in both the inner and the outer world. If she decides to reveal herself to you, it will happen tonight: it’ll be full Moon. Go home in peace, Blue Flower and don’t lose faith. Lit up your lighthouse and watch the other shore…If there is to be an answer to your heart’s desire, the light would bring its echo.

On the way home, I kept thinking about what Grey Wolf told me. The night ahead was holding a real challenge and I went over and over again through all I wanted to say, trying to find the best way to express my thoughts and my feelings. I have never waited for the nightfall so impatiently; but the more anxious I became, the slower the minutes and hours passed. Time seemed to crawl and the grains of sand of the hourglass got stuck in the narrow passageway…Finally, Time took pity of my painful fretting and picking up speed, brought the night to my doorsteps.

The curtain of darkness fell over the world, muffling sounds and stirring mysterious echoes in the depths. A boisterous wind ruffled the long-stemmed alpine grass and swirled around me, making me shiver under its touch. I stood on the ground, near the rim of the plateau, my senses sharp and alert, waiting for a sign or a sound….On the celestial display, the stars were modestly twinkling, knowing that the rising Moon would rein tonight the dark waters of the skies. In the distance, the horizon was already glowing, while the planet was gracefully turning its face towards the silver light.

-Good evening, Flower. I’ve heard that you were asking about me…

The voice of my companion sounded a bit strained.

-Good evening, my Star-I said. I was looking for answers and Grey Wolf’s wisdom always helped me out. I hope I didn’t upset you…

An invisible smile crossed the space between us and we both relaxed.

-You did well, Flower. He’s my dear friend and he’s a reliable guide in difficult moments. I had my own tribulations to…This journey is your personal quest; I wouldn’t want to deter you from it…

It was my turn to smile.

-You shouldn’t worry about that. Yes, I came here, in this sanctuary of Nature to free myself from the restrains built inside me by the demands of the life in the city. As my dream has revealed, I was slowly dying from inside and the sea of my dreams receded into nothingness, leaving behind barren shores and my sad and lonely lighthouse. But each night I have spent here, talking with you and counting stars eased my return to the land inside.

Your gentle guidance opened gates and I stepped inside a world I never knew it existed. I grew wings and dared to fly over my inner territories, we climbed the helix of stairs to the top of the lighthouse and you shared with me the story of the Human Galaxy; we roamed the pathways of my secret garden, leaving memories all over. Your footprints are imprinted in the shores of my sea…

But above all, my Star, I’ve seen my inner world through your eyes and I found it magically beautiful. During the day, I walked those corners on my own, learning and building them on; yet, they seemed to have lost that special glow…My garden was holding beauty but that beauty was becoming somehow…pointless. What my heart already knew, my soul was proving beyond any doubt. If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then through your eyes I feel more beautiful than ever. I am a flower that opens into beauty under the touch of love. I cannot open and shine otherwise; but when I feel your loving light and the joy glittering in your eyes, I can open in blaze and unfurl my rainbow wings…

A deep silence followed my words. The Moon rose above the horizon and a silver net of rays arched above the two of us. In the softly spraying light, a shape emerged next to me. She was sitting in the grass, looking to me with a serious expression on her face until the magic revealing was completed. We connected instantly; our history was beyond words. She was beautiful, a Blue Star of the skies, a deep soul holding shores of light and oceans of emotions. We stood up, holding hands and under her touch, on the top of my lighthouse the diamond burst into a fountain of rays. Tangible reality washed away and boundaries became pointless. The row of translucent stairs under our feet were leading to the top of a lighthouse that was both of me and her, walls intimately entwined, my light woven into her light…High above us, one star was shining, a beacon of a Universe opening before us, waiting to  be explored…

Sitting in the moonlight, Grey Wolf nodded approvingly.

-Good…-he murmured and took another sip from his pipe.

 

That night, the Moonlight rose in a high tide, washing away the limits of reality. The mountain opened before us, unraveling the pathway to the once lonely shore. The night was following us inside, bringing in the giant circle of silver and perching it above, in the center point of the infinite skies. The air was warm and scented of sea salt and orchids; the sea was calm and dreamy, sending soft waves to splash around our feet as we walked hand in hand along the shore. The water has already reached the base of the lighthouse, building around a small hill of nacreous shells, spidery star-fish and soft seaweeds. Round moonstones were glowing in the sand, outlining the narrow pathway that lead to the steps of the slender tower. A few steps further, invisible hands had lit up a bonfire and placed small candles in a circle. There was a small tray with passion fruits and pomegranates and a bottle filled with amber colored liquor, along with two delicate glasses.

We sat inside the circle and shared the treat until the last ruby colored seed sealed our eternal connection of love. The honey colored wine was spicy and heavy, like the nectar of ancient gods, warming us up from inside, bringing down the last remnants of any barrier between us…In the heat of the summer night, on the shores of an inner sea, under the skies of a new Universe, Woyi, the Phoenix spread wings of flames in and out of the entities of light entwined. Rivers of blaze ran from one side to the other, circling inside the fragile shells and the hearts of glass, rhythm followed rhythm, veins connected intimately until the light was flowing evenly from one another…The Moon above raised a tent of light encompassing the two of us and under his touch, our light combined into a seed of life and light that nested in a warm corner inside me. But we were oblivious of this happening. As the rushing rivers slowly quieted into whispers, we slept in the magic tent until the circle of stars delved beyond the horizon and the sun reclaimed the sky.

A pencil of soft rays playfully tickled her eyelashes and Blue Star woke up smiling.

-Come, Flower, the sun is high up and we are in the middle of the meadow. One more glass of summer wine and we would’ve waked up on another planet!

We laughed, stood up and walked back to the cabin. Beginning with that day, it became our home. But each night, we skipped through the secret passageway of the mountain into new worlds. Visiting Grey wolf has become also a habit that we both loved. He kept supplying us with teas and forest treats and it was his keen sense that detected first what was about to come into our lives.

-A new Two Spirit is about to enrich our clan, Blue Star. Flower has a young blossom waiting for Spring to join us…

We looked at each other stunned yet thrilled; the news was deeply moving and it was close to a miracle. Grey Wolf coughed to capture our attention.

-You don’t have to worry, ladies. The Mothers of the Clan will help you through this…In the world of Two Spirits miracles happen more often.

He chuckled; we were speechless and blushing like two schoolgirls caught red handed. Time sped up and in April, our Two Spirit child cried out for the first time under the stars. A beautiful star-child, with ocean deep eyes and spiky, raven black hair. Our lighthouse has added a shiny, new twinkle to its magic glow.

I came to this corner of pristine life and ageless wisdom to find myself and to release the captive spirit inhabiting me. I have been rewarded with more than I could ever dream. I have found my light and the voice of my heart through the loving eyes and magic soul of my beloved Blue Star. Our Star-Child is growing happily protected by our love and the acquiring Clan. New skies are opening and the waves of the inner sea keep carrying sails full of mysteries…

Above us, one star. Our star.

BLAZE-story under work

The silence was soft and deep, rocking gently from shore to shore, ebbing and flowing, ebbing and flowing,  its shallow waves washing the sands of a reality yet unborn.

The glow that filled this place hidden in the deep core of the Space and Time fabric of the Universe was brought up by the ceaseless flight of light-butterflies dancing gracefully in a place that the hour-glass would find nothing to count.

In this meaningful nothingness, intricate waves of energy were constantly building new and new strings of beginning, weaving them into the powerful grid supporting reality, while weightless particles roamed along the confusingly complex pathways as ephemeral realities popped up and died in fractions of seconds. It was here that life and light swirled around each other in a passionate embrace until they became thin threads of fate for the souls that were about to be born. These magic loaded threads floated slowly until they reached the River of Time, dived in its majestic waters and followed the rush of the mighty stream. The silky filaments gathered in the flow, coiling, swirling and undulating, touching each other cautiously, curiously, inquisitively or challengingly, searching, asking, reacting…They tangled, danced then separated, they drifted apart just to reunite a few moments later. In this high-spirited and bizarre dance, some of them connected in a bond that was to become eternal. In the ever-changing reality, this was their only certainty; no matter how far the future would set or stretch them, at one moment they would meet again because their connection was unbreakable.

As the river came closer to the gates of the tangible universe, it gathered speed, dived and bubbled up in huge streaks of murky waters, scattering and mixing up the threads of life before they all fell through the Galactic Waterfall into the abyss of Real Life…

 

 

He stood tall and erect on his horse, watching the come and go of the small community. It was a warm, sunny day of early autumn when the grassy plain was still luminous green and the sky was enameled in the brightest azure.

He was returning after years of traveling and wandering over the remotest, wildest places, driven by an inner resort and by the thirst for a deeper knowledge. He had spent the days and nights of this lonely quest in watching and learning the ways Nature moves, unraveling her deeply veiled secrets to quench his own thirst and for the benefit of his supportive community. As he finally fulfilled his dreams and wishes, his body and heart matured under the strain of Nature’s hardship and he was ready to open up for new feelings and different experiences. His horizon widened, his soul grew soft wings of dream….all he needed was somebody close to share the marvels inside.

Many new faces, smiles, laughter, chit-chat filled the premises as he rode slowly through the village. Despite his stern posture, nothing escaped his intent gaze and sharp senses. He smiled inwardly noticing the reactions towards his mysterious appearance; many of the youth around had been small kids at the time of his departure. He gently kicked his horse into a light stroll and picked up the way to his own tent.

Graceful, slender girls with sparkling eyes gathered in small groups, giggling and throwing playful glances towards him. They fled like colorful birds as he came closer, the crystal-clear sound of their laughter echoing in the crisp air. He kept his pace and his mind wandered…

The girl stopped midway, gazing at him with unhidden curiosity. She wasn’t impressive at first but there was a catching depth in the velvet of her dark brown eyes and when she smiled, her entire being lit up and radiated warmly. He held back his horse and took her gaze. She watched him for a moment and then, as he kept his serious, unmoving composure she shook her head playfully and vanished inside her tent. He stood there, puzzled by the short moment and something moved deep inside him, like the echo of a long forgotten touch over his soul…

In the bubbling flow of the River of Time, two threads collided for a fraction of a second, the momentary touch sending waves of sizzling light along them, back and fort, recalling the memory of a connection made long time before…But time had not yet come for them to be together as misunderstandings veiled the pathway between them. He took her undisguised openness as provocative and her easy going nature for shallow character. On the other hand she interpreted his shy and reserved manner for boyish cockiness and treated him as unreliable and egotistic. The spark that had ignited between them on this first encounter sank deeper and deeper until it faded out…or at least, they both felt that way. In short time, he found his match in a beautiful and quiet girl that followed him closely, just like the Moon follows the Earth while the girl found her balance in the strong arms and supportive personality of another young man.

So they drifted away, pushed aside by the strong currents of life, carrying deep inside the first grain of the blaze that was meant to ignite one day….Years and decades and centuries passed as the planet kept rolling on its heavenly orbit around the bright yellow sun. Generations switched place one after another, history rose and died out while the threads of life kept tangling, stretching, crossing, eluding each other in a swarm of endless moments carried by the sail of Time. He and she met or drifted apart on many occasions and despite the fact that, on a conscious level they remembered nothing about their previous encounters, there was always a subtle flow that kept touching and troubling their hearts, leaving them each time with more questions than answers. A secret yearning echoed inside them, growing in intensity with every moment of closeness.

Inside them, love was unfolding its iridescent wings, spreading her seeds of flame in the hope of the magic moment of full blaze that was meant to come.

 

 

The first day of autumn started in the sound of good-byes chirped by the long rows of swallows leaving for forever-summer shores. Yet the green of the tall forests, grassy hills and deep curved meadows was untouched and light showered from the skies in dusting gold. Under the crisp blue sky the air was rich in fragrances and humanity was rejoicing in nature’s calming embrace.

At this early hour a young woman was heading towards the little art-shop she was keeping with some of her close friends. They were emerging artists, selling their creations, art, small pottery, intricate jewelry, clothes and artful books and things were going pretty well.

Her morning started with difficulty, despite the fact that she had slept well all night. Barely come out of the bed she realized that the reality surrounding her refused to solidify. It was waving and wobbling, constantly slipping through her fingers like she was still adrift in the world of dreams. Things were floating around her and nothing seemed to fall in place. The milk was spilling on the floor as the small cup  set for the cat danced away a few centimeters, the coffee suddenly decided that it disliked the mug and even her hair had a mind of its own this morning. She fought to get a grip on things, over the shifting space coordinates but gave up after a while; resistance was futile….

-It’s Friday, this should be my lucky day-she murmured. Oh, well, let’s see what can be done….

She stopped gazing stubbornly at the cat’s cup until she was sure about the current position of the item. She filled it with milk, scratched the head of the purring kitty and left the kitchen. Washed and dressed up at high speed, she left the house with the hope that a coffee at her favorite cafeteria will fix the day. On the way out she remembered to send a mail to her friend, Margo so she took out the cell-phone and started typing, while her feet ported her on the well known road to the coffee shop.

She finished sending the mail and stopped; her inner sense of direction told her that she has reached destination. Her eyes told her otherwise; she was standing in front of a completely unknown coffee shop, situated on a street she never walked before.

“Here we go again-she sighed. I hope at least that they have a decent coffee here. I badly need one…”

To her surprise the place proved to be pleasant and inviting. The coffee was strong, aromatic, garnished with a fresh-cream flower, sprinkled with cinnamon. Two small brownies were completing the serving and she found a quiet corner under a curtain of colorful Wisteria tree. She decided to get over the awkwardness of the previous events and enjoy the coffee. She set her book, cell-phone and a notebook on the small table. She took a sip from the coffee and leafed through the notebook. The writing of a short-story was a bit behind schedule…

Reality twisted and relaxed, the subtle wave altering the moment in time; the book fell on the floor…

-Is this yours?-the smooth baritone shook the girl up from her thoughts and she turned towards the source of the sound.

Her deep, dark eyes met the ocean green ones of a smiling stranger, holding her out the boisterous book.

 

 

Inside the invisible stream two threads suddenly collided; the spark of the moment washed over them at the speed of light and they brightened up instantly, their light  harmoniously glowing on the same wave…In the swarm of tangling, the connection that had kept them from drifting away and get lost, that lifetime long entwining born out of the magic of the beginning reacted to the closeness in the historic Space-Time flow and contracted until they met again in the embrace they’d been longing for.

 

 

-Is this yours?

A warm smile accompanied the question and for a moment the air between them sizzled. She lost grip of reality and fell into the clear blue-green waters reflecting her. The crust of consciousness cracked and the long hidden, piled up memories started their inconspicuous flow to the surface of mind. Warmth enveloped her and she delved in bliss…

The sharp sound of the metal spoon hitting the ground broke the chain of spell and the girl landed abruptly into reality. The owner of the green-blue eyes has vanished. She shook her head incredulously and peered into the cup of coffee questioningly. Has this been real or it’s been just something in her coffee? Her eyes caught a glimpse of the small piece of paper hidden between the pages of her book. She took it out cautiously; it was a small, rectangular card, with only a few word printed.

“ JUSTIN Mc CORMACK-Private investigator” –it read.

She read it twice, afraid that the letters might fade out before she could learn the name and the phone number. She slipped the card inside the wallet, paid for the coffee and  fled the place. She only stopped for a moment to read the sign above the entrance door of this strange coffee house.

“DREAMTIME CAFÉ-Come back any day”

She tried to shake away the strange sensation setting upon her but time was short and she was already late.  As she finally recognized the street, she sped up towards the art-shop.

“Margo will kill me”-she thought and sighed. The day has just started.

 

 

Luckily, Margo was in good mood and said nothing. Carrie looked preoccupied about something that might have happened during that morning. She has arrived late, stormed in and was reluctant to share. The usually cheerful girl now looked confused and restless.

But Friday was a busy day and soon customers started to pour in and there was no place for daydreaming anymore. The late summer warmth brought flocks of tourists to the city, keeping the small art-shop buzzing with excited people.

Late in the evening the flow thinned and Margo decided to ask her friend about the things seemingly bothering her. Once again Carrie didn’t seem to be ready to talk.

-Relax-she said with a smile. All I need is a good sleep and I’ll be fit as a fiddle tomorrow.

This was a …graceful lie and they both knew it but Margo wisely decided to drop the topic. They closed the store and met with Robert who was waiting outside for Margo. Carrie kissed her friend, declined the invitation for a drink and headed home. She barely took a turn when she ran into….

 

 

Justin took his usual” coffee-to-go” and was about to leave the cozy little café when something caught his attention. It was a sudden movement that triggered his alarm and what followed left him speechless.

The small book rose from the table up in the air, floated peacefully for a moment or two then fell on the floor with a loud splash!

“I knew it, I knew it…-grumbled the young man. That wine yesterday evening was one glass too much…”

He looked around but even more strangely, no one seemed to have witnessed the unusual happening  and no one reacted to the sharp sound the fallen book made by hitting the floor. Justin slowly exhaled, put his coffee on the counter and made a few steps towards the table. He picked up the book.

-Is this yours?-he asked the young woman sitting at the table.

She seemed oblivious to whatever has happened and surprise was clearly mirroring in her eyes as she looked up from her notebook. Their eyes met and for a moment the walls of the room disappeared, leaving them in a space with no contours. An almost magnetic flow of energy was flowing from the depth of her velvety dark eyes, surrounding him with unexpected warmth. In that fraction of time inner worlds connected in a subtle intimacy while sending speeding pulses of blaze through the threads of fate twisting and coiling in the unseen Universe.

The young man smiled, placed the book on the table and left.