Drawing on paper in color pencils, ink gel pen and acrylic. Illustration for “Wild Woman” story of a love lost and found, again and again in the flow of Time. Enjoy!
Drawing on paper in color pencils, ink gel pen and acrylic. Illustration for “Wild Woman” story of a love lost and found, again and again in the flow of Time. Enjoy!
The sand of the hourglass turns into tears
Inside a space
Where Time slowly evaporates.
I sit here and the sand of the shore is fading around me
The beach is turning into a river under my feet.
I jump from my vantage point
Of the dark, rugged rock,
Splashing the mix of sands and water.
The Sea has already turned into mist
And Time has died with the last cry of the seagulls.
Mist colored moss invades my branches, hanging from above in veils of despair…
The frozen sap of love, crystallized in my inner circles,
Is painfully stretching the walls of my soul…
In the night of the Blood Moon, the light is a dagger and the ocean bleeds out with each and every wave…
The hour-glass breaks under the weight of Time, the bits of moments scattering in noisy roll…
The shards of the echoes are tearing apart the fabric of my soul and I slowly die in the agony of loss…
Inside the crimson thud of my broken heart the grain of hope peacefully sleeps.
Minutes, seconds, days,hours, years and millenia were falling scattered with the sound of a thousand wind-chimes. The last tick of the clock tore the fabric of the Universe, dismantling Time.
Ground vanished under his feet and he fell backwards. Slowly. He was falling for an eternity when he finally reached the surface of the primeval ocean. He splashed into the deep blue surface, breaking the thin layers of water. Gloub, gloub….The Ocean opened its mouth, swallowing him. He continued to fall, sinking deeper and deeper inside a history larger than life.
It was an endless, dense blue of nameless particles, the incipient plasma of atoms and eons. The silence surrounded him like a cocoon and his limbs slowly relaxed, as he kept floating into the blue abyss.
Was he still existing? He couldn’t say for sure and right now, the answer itself seemed senseless and futile. His mind reached out to his extremities, somewhere far, far away and he called them back, curling up into fetal position.He closed his eyes.
The child was peacefully sleeping in the warm, calm waters of the womb, suckling his thumb. It was all quiet and peaceful in the point of singularity.
The Universe was not born yet.
(Photo credit: via Poullo Occone, artist/FB)
This time the scenery was one of a solid family house, with flowerbeds in the front yard and a playground guarded by a magnificent cherry tree in the back. In deep contrast with the serenity of the place, the noises coming from inside were disturbing. The high pitched voice of the woman and the low baritone of the man were fighting furiously over something. After a few steps made in the direction of the house, the girl could see them well, standing in the room, facing each other. A silent and frightened child was standing between them, covering his ears with his hands.
-She’s my daughter, I want her to wear this ribbon in her hair! -shouted the mother. I want her to look pretty!
She dragged the child closer to her and she was about the tie the ribbon around the soft, hazelnut strands when the father intervened.
-She’s not more of a girl than he is a boy! Leave him alone! Come, Jordie, let’s go out. Here, I have a nice beret for you! I know these are your favorite colors!
He took the child by the hand and put the blue and green striped beret on his head. The mother watched him, shaking her head in disbelief.
-She’s my daughter….
-And he is my son- said dryly the father.
The child said nothing. He stood there, frozen in the wind of parental ambition, in the clash of wishes and wants, alone and scared. His tears were falling inwardly, in a world where he was safe and where he used to hide each time the tempest erupted around him. In that world, sounds were soft and people were friendly and no one pushed or dragged him, no one shouted at him for reasons he couldn’t comprehend. And while his parents continued to sneer and hiss at each-other, the child grew into the rebellious, wild teenager that was taking harder and harder the fights around him.
In the incessant rumble of angry voices, the scenery changed like a fragment of an old movie on celluloid melting under the hot touch of passing Time. The room was that of a teenager, with posters, music, a guitar…other things scattered in a very personal chaotic order. The inhabitant of the room was standing in front of a tall mirror, dark brown eyes fixing their dark brown reflection in a mix of anger and despair.
As much as I could see by now, it became clear that whoever that person in the mirror was, it wasn’t an average one. The changes in the outside, with their everyday challenges were matched by the complexity and elusiveness of its inner world. And the conflicts inside the house were just getting worse. The Jordie I’ve met was almost imperceptible inside the young person grabbing the frame of the mirror and with him, gone were the carefree laughters and joys of the age of innocence. A sense of loss engulfed me as I was standing outside the room and I wished I could find a soothing word for the troubled young before me.
A wave of angry shouts surged from somewhere and I saw the one in the mirror cringing in pain.
-Stop!! Stop it!!-shouted to the quarreling adults. Stop arguing over me! Leave me out of this! I am who I say that I am!!!
With an angry movement of the fist it hit its own the reflection, shattering the mirror. The powerful blow brought Time to a halt, resulting in an awkward, slow motion dance of the glittering shards of glass…To my deep astonishment, each splinter of mirror was carrying à different face. There were faces of men, women, children of various ages and features, dancing in the light, reflecting bits and pieces of a soul that has been broken gradually in time….These were the faces of the ones inhabiting that hidden inner world and now, they were released into the daylight and scattered into a world that wasn’t their home.
Just as quick, the motion reversed and the surface of the mirror wobbled, then quieted down, unharmed. The youth staggered, holding its pained fist. The mirror was intact. But it was empty. The pieces of the shattered child were gone. Heshe turned to me and I could read the question in the deep brown eyes:
-Do you remember me?
I woke up crying.
She woke up gasping for air, her face wet with tears. Leaving the embrace of this dream was becoming increasingly difficult. Each time she was stepping outside the gates, the call of the powerful emotions left behind was tearing into her heart.
She wiped off her tears with a sigh and jumped from the bed. It was getting late. She went to the bathroom and washed her face, then confronted the image in the mirror. Dark eyes, chestnut hair. The average face of an ordinary girl, living and happy, comfortable life. She had no reasons to complain. She had all the reasons to be cheerful and content about her life during the day. But her nights….
Well, that was an entirely different thing. Her nights were opening into another world and another life. It hadn’t been always like that. Her sleep used to be just as quiet and peaceful as were her days. Then everything changed. It happened one night, one particular night when the Moon knocked on her eyelids and she woke up, slightly confused and with an eerie feeling…
She was sitting on her bed, in full moonlight, shivering at the touch of a faint breeze. The walls of her room were gone and she has awaken in an unfamiliar milieu. Wrapping the blanket around her shoulders, she stepped down and walked into the surrounding light. This place was shrouded in a silence so deep that she could count her own heartbeats. She walked cautiously, trying to decipher some contours inside that glow. Emerging under the reign of the Moon, the space unfolding before her wasn’t entirely dark.
Only a few steps further, the night ended abruptly before the pair of round gates opening in an old wall of bricks. The landscape visible behind the intricate pattern of bars was in full daylight and she could see a grassy pathway curving into the patch of summer forest. The girl stopped at the gates and gingerly touched them. A strange current seeped through her fingers, running down her spine and shaking her confidence. It was a kind of warning and for a moment she felt like she was intruding in someone’s intimacy. She suddenly realised that this wasn’t her dream anymore. Somehow she has awaken in someone else’s one and the gates she was facing were guarding the entrance of another person’s soul.
The weight of the discovery was overwhelming and the girl turned back sharply, running to her bed left in the moonlight. She curled up under the sheets and closed her eyes. The wave of dreams washed over her, sending her back to the swirling river of fantasy. Hours later she woke up at home, carrying only a faint memory of her awkward trip.
But when her eyes popped up the following night, she knew exactly where she was. The gates were there, slightly cracked, inviting her. This time, she took the challenge and entered the realms of the opening land. The grass was soft under her feet and the air was warm and fragrant. The sound of the excited giggling of a small child reached her ears:
-Kittyyyy! Kitty-kit!! Wait for me!Kitty!! Where are you?!
A little boy, four or five years old perhaps, came running, chasing a small white cat that was escaping towards the forest. With a playful spring, the ball of fur disappeared in the greenery ahead, leaving the child baffled but determined to pursue his goal.
-I’ll catch you, kitty! I’ll catch you!
He ran into the woods with arms open, eyes shining in expectation. The girl looked around for a parent but she saw no one. Oh well, this was a dream and logic was the last thing you would expect….Still, she felt responsible for the child so she hurried to catch up with him. Under the canopy of the forest it was pleasantly warm and the light was playing in dots and shimmering patches around her. She caught a glimpse of the child’s white shirt and she sped in that direction. The kitten was nowhere to see…
-Kitty! Kitty?! Come back! Kitty…..
The small voice was turning upset and tearful.
-Hey!-shouted the girl. Hey, little one! Wait! Don’t go further! It might be dangerous!
But the child didn’t seem to hear her. His whole world was focused on his quest for the runaway kitten. Eyes glued on a moving spot of light, he jumped back to action shouting joyfully:
-Here you are! I saw you! I saw you, kitty! I’m coming!
The girl ran after him but despite her best efforts, the distance between her and the child wasn’t shortening. The pathway under her feet was propelling further the little boy, while somehow it was slowing her down. She fought the strange feeling and gathered all her strength to run faster. The contours of world washed into a blur and her vision tunneled towards a shadow-filled perspective, with its only bright spot the small, running silhouette of the boy. The fragments of giggling and laughter were bouncing in the air, disorienting the girl. But she kept running and finally she saw both the child and the kitten.
The cat was sitting in the middle of the path, teasingly moving its tail. There was a mischievous glint in the yellow eyes. With a victorious cry the boy jumped forward to catch him. All of a sudden,Time slowed down while the shape of the white cat broke up into a fistful of butterflies and a pit of darkness opened under the feet of the boy. The girl launched forward quickly to catch him before falling…The child vanished and she bumped into…someone. She almost fell but two strong hands held her up and she heard a voice questioning her:
-Do you always smash into people when you run?
Softly raining flowers of Moon-light
Enchanted waters of the dreaming skies
Lands of the heart
Soul rising high…..
He woke up to the tickling scent of salt and algae and he was puzzled; his house was nested in the arms of a grassy field, near a small path of forest, so where was that familiar scent coming from?
He slowly got up from the bed and went to the window; though it was summer ( or at least this was what he remembered), all he could see was the crawling mass of thick, white vapor, like if a huge cloud had suddenly decided to descend upon his house. Intrigued by the unexpected scenery, he opened the door and stepped out…in the sand! The grassy field was gone. He was standing somewhere on a shore, not far from the sea. He could hear her breathing slowly, with each wave hitting the land, slowly and majestic…peaceful and soothing, like the heartbeat of an invisible mother…
This was very odd, but on the whole, he couldn’t complain. After all, it didn’t matter where he was right now…The strangeness of the situation was just adding to the long row of unexpected stumbling and miss-happenings of his life. He was bright, talented and passionate…but the threads of his fate were tangled somewhere and his pathway seemed to run into dead-ends over and over again. Annoyed and disappointed, he decided to take a vacation and move to a remote spot. The rent of the house came at a comfortable price and the place was full of mystery and local legends.
But what was to do with the current situation? He stood there, facing the convoluting cloud…
“ So-he thought, I’m at the sea side now…Well, let’s have a closer look. After all, what can go wrong besides having this hallucination?”
He took a deep breath and made a few steps, heading towards the sound of the sea. As he entered deeper and deeper in the mist, the cloud slowly split before him, unraveling a narrow pathway in the sand. After a few minutes of walk between the soft, cotton-like walls of vapor, he felt his mind relaxing, lulled by the ongoing sound of rolling waves. As his sense of orientation dissolved in this eerie surrounding, he felt light like a feather. Suddenly, the curtain of mist lifted before his eyes and there he was, on the white sands of a blue-green body of gently rocking waters. The whole scenery cleared behind him, leaving just a far horizon blurred by a dull glow.
The shore stretched far to left and right with a few spots of strange trees scattered from time to time. Daylight danced on the tips of the waves and the air was warm and spicy.
“Oh, well-he murmured –at least it’s summer…What else?”
He took a turn to right, and walked towards the closest bunch of trees, playfully kicking the sand. The waves followed him, splashing his feet, leaving patches of white froth to bubble in his footprints….As he reached the shadow of the trees, something unexpected caught his attention: there was a row of footprints leading to the same place. The imprints looked almost fresh in the wet sand; somebody smaller, a woman probably has been there before him. The line of marks was coming from an inconspicuous area, just like his ones.
Who could that be and where did she come from? What was she doing there? What was he doing there? What was this place anyway? The light reflected by the waves gave him a sudden headache…He shut his eyes in pain…and woke up in bed.
Her dream has been so vivid…Sitting on the top of her bed, she could still feel the taste of the sea-breeze and the caressing of the waves on her feet. Something was calling her and her heart resonated inside the dream. Somewhere in this wide and complicated world there was a ray of light waiting for an echo and all of a sudden, her soul caught that faint vibration…The River of dreams changed course, rushing into the sea, leaving her on the blazing shore, under a strange Sun…She sat under the trees, eyes closed, breathing in the raw scents and tuning into rhythm of the sea…The walls of her soul opened, acquiring the wandering light…The sparkling bits of that unknown soul were seeping inside her, settling comfortably in the protective corners. Something was telling her that this would not be her last visit to this shore…
“ So….back to reality” -he thought. He didn’t need to go to the window to realize that he was in his house in the middle of the sea of grass. The sun was reclining towards the hilltops and shadows were stretching over the land. He decided to socialize this evening; there was a cozy pub in the village with friendly and talkative people, eager to tell fantastic stories to the unsuspecting towns-people. The young man dressed up quickly and took a ride with his motorcycle. The pub was almost full, with youth and elders lively chatting and laughing. He passed unnoticed for a while and he sipped his beer in a corner, adjusting to the general atmosphere…His moment of peace ended as one old guy, with a mischievous smile sat next to him. He looked like an old, sun battered goblin and his voice was raspy.
-Hello, young man…Eh, I see you have decided to descend in the middle of the crowd…So, how do you like your place?
He watched the young man with a strange glitter in his eyes. The young man grinned.
-I’m adjusting to it but I’m fine thank you.
-And you haven’t encountered anything strange yet?
A shrewd smile accompanied the question. The question caught the young man’s attention. He decided to take the challenge.
-Well-he sighed and took another sip of beer-there’s a strange smell of algae and sea in the air sometimes. I wonder where it comes from….There’s no sea in the proximity of this place, as much as I know….
-Heheh…You’re right and you’re wrong at the same time…There was a sea once on that spot, a strange one, a “stranded” sea….It slowly faded out, became a moor and then it dried out, the grass taking over the land. When I was a child, elders were talking about sea breeze blowing from time to time and eerie lights glowing in misty nights. They even said that the house you’ve rented was built on the ruins of a lighthouse, but who knows…Hey, cheers!
The young man smiled and raised his beer.
-Cheers! Thank you for this piece of local history…
-Oh, Joshua Pierce, you old goat! Trying to scare people with your ghost stories…
The voice was of the pub owner’s wife, a sturdy lady with a healthy sense of humor. She shook her head to the old man and then turned to the guest.
-It’s been a while since somebody stood in that house. People usually prefer to live in the village where it’s livelier. But if you need to relax and have peace of mind, you’ve chosen the proper place. I hope you will enjoy staying here. You’re welcome and as you see, Joshua is a tireless supplier of mysteries.
The young man relaxed. The happy noise of the place, the colorful faces, the warm glow of the yellow lights, the spicy taste of the home-made beer, the flickering in the piercing-blue eyes of the old man, they all tangled, swirled, entwined and dimmed the restlessness building up inside him, ever since he….returned from that dream. When he left the pub, the night was already stretching its wings of glittering lights and whispering winds. A bright Crescent Moon was glazing the country road that was crisscrossing through the large meadow. He stood there for a moment and took a deep breath. The air of the night smelled of daisies and poppies, of heated grass, with a tint of…sea.
“This beer was too strong-he decided. I’m already hallucinating.” He nervously shook his head and started the engine, heading for home.
She was sitting on the window sill, watching the Crescent Moon. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of the night. Shhhh….Shhhh…Shhhh…The sound of waves were faintly audible in the symphony of crickets and nightingales. The moonlight was drawing strange, moving shapes on her eyelids. Deep inside her soul’s chambers the hidden echo was coming to life, sending out waves of calling to the wandering ray of light…Shhh….Shhhh….Shhhh…The Sea of 100 years was gently rocking in a place out of Time. Barefoot, the girl ran along the shore, picking up colorful sea shells. She gathered them in pile under the trees and cleared a spot in the sand. She picked a shell and then another, pressing them lightly into the sand, drawing a growing spiral shape until the last nacreous piece of sea-jewel was set in place. She tilted her head, watching the result. She was pleased by the outcome. She closed her eyes again…and then opened them. She jumped from the sash and hopped into the bed. The first signal was sent out…
The night went on uneventfully and he woke up fresh and in good mood. It was a good start of the day…that lasted until he stepped on a shell on the floor. Surprised, he stepped back and almost fell; he quickly regained his balanced and bent his knees to watch closely the pattern of shells on the floor. It was an open spiral of tiny, colorful sea-shells on the sand that was covering a round spot of the floor. He stood there for moments, eyes glued to the floor, heart pounding wildly in his chest; he held out a hand and touched a small, pink shell…It felt soft and silky; he picked it up, holding it in his palm. It was delicate and rounded like a peach-blossom petal…He looked again to the spiral but while he was studying the little shell, the spiral vanished, leaving no trace on the floor. All he was left was the shell in his hand…He jumped to his feet and turned around, searching for an invisible prankster.
“Hey-he said-this is not funny! What do you want from me? Damn’you!”
He nervously exhaled and left the pink shell on his desk. He forced himself into the daily routine and after a short breakfast, he went out for a walk. It was a cooler day, with a fresh wind running above the grass-tops, pushing the sea of balancing vegetation into a smooth waving. Walking through the undulating green expanse felt like walking into the oncoming waves of the sea…On the shore of that sea there was a spiral of seashells and one piece of it was missing, breaking the harmonious coiling of the pattern…He felt something in his clenched fist; it was the missing shell. He opened his hand and replaced the little shell on her swirl and…somebody was coming. A girl. She was heading right towards him but she seemed oblivious of his presence. She stopped at the spiral and added a few more shells. As she ran her fingers over them, she touched the pink one…She stopped and looked around.
-You’re here somewhere-she said and her voice was warm and soft. I cannot see you but I can feel your presence. I don’t know who you are…I don’t know if you can see me, or hear me at all but I know something: we are both part of…this.
She pointed to the spiral with a small, shy smile on her face then she stood up and ran away, vanishing into light that was blurring the outlines of the shore. A butterfly came into his face and he raised a hand to drive it away…the grass was gracefully rippling in the summer breeze. He returned to the house and the first thing he did was to check for the pink shell on his desk. Just as he expected, it was missing. He bowed his head, then took a soft drink from the cooler and sat to the desk. While his mind was wandering, he kept doodling spiral after spiral on his notepad…
The spiral was turning…turning…opening and expanding….like a swirling galaxy…He touched the faintly glowing center and suddenly, his reality fell into the vortex of light. The travel ended in a room that smelled of childhood memories…with the curtains and shades shunning out the light and his heart, his frightened little heart beating wildly, like a sparrow caught in a fist….The world surrounding him was like a labyrinth of shifting mirrors and trap doors and he was running, running with all his might, just to end up over and over again before the same huge mirror in which his face was floating, stretching, changing and he couldn’t find himself anymore. He screamed in terror but he could not utter a sound; the silent scream was the worst feeling ever….The silence of hopelessness, the silence of defenselessness, the silence of cold indifference, all these silences were surrounding him like huge walls of ice and concrete and he was buried alive, with no one to help him, no one to love him, no one to care…He couldn’t remember when his tears started to fall, drop by drop until they grew into a flow that threatened to flood the whole world…A warm, soft breath tingled his neck and that warmth enveloped him like a blanket of love.
“Ssshhht….don’t cry….I’m here….I’ll never leave you alone…”
He woke up shuddering, with tears smeared all over his face, his palm covering the spiral on the white sheet of paper…In the moment of Times Once Passed, the little boy slept peacefully for the first time after many days and nights of harrowing nightmares. There was no one in the room but he could feel the warm, loving protection of the arms of someone who was whispering in his ears with a soft voice about a star that would always watch over him, a star that was his only…She kept rocking him, until the ghosts of uncertainty vanished, the mirrors and traps disappeared and he could finally face himself in the mirror.
On the white sheet of paper, the spiral has grown and opened like an acquiring galaxy that was gracefully swirling…while new stars danced into her outstretched arms of light. He watched the unfolding of the tiny dots until he realized that from a certain moment, the arms of that feature doubled with another row of star-dots, closely following the curvature of the primary galaxy. The two lines were rushing in pair towards the infinity of Space. By now, if this was meant to be his lifeline, he’s got a companion, one that seemed to be willing to follow him in his journey… That wasn’t quite surprising on the whole; so many strange happenings added up in the latter days…He decided to pick up the challenge, set himself into action and write. After all, writing was his best asset.
-Right-he said loudly. You want to fix my life and so do I. But since it is MY life we are talking about, I will write the script from now on. Watch me!
He grinned and opened the computer. The first words emerged on the screen:
“ As the mist thinned under the rising sun, new features emerged on the shore. Between the high piles of glistening, black rocks there was an intimate little lagoon, with white sands and a few palm trees scattered on the sides. It was a quiet place, with a romantic feeling and the sea was washing this shore with a touch of gentleness. “
The morning was opening its gates, releasing the Sun into the world. The first rays quickly spread and the mist covering the land turned pink, then thinned, rising in the warming air. The sea was still calm and quiet, like a lake, only its margins splashing discreetly white froth over the shores of silk. During this timeless night, the scenery changed. Two dark masses of rugged, black rocks were holding a small lagoon inside their arms. It was an oasis of intimacy…Here, the sea rushed in playfully, only to retreat in a hurry, like a child caught red handed, leaving iridescent sea shells and occasionally, a few stranded starfish. From the top of the high rocky wall a narrow row of stairs leads down to the sands. The top of the cliff is actually a large plateau, covered by long stemmed, yellow-green grass and there is a small, dark forest somewhere in the distance…In the middle of the little lagoon, on the crescent of sands there is a spiral of seashells…
He shut the computer and left the house. On the large plateau opening before him, the long-stemmed, yellow-green grass was swaying in the salty breeze…She was standing on the rim of the plateau, looking down to the small lagoon and smiling. It was such a lovely place, like a warm and dreaming heart hidden deep inside a delicate creature. Her sea-shell spiral was dimly glowing and radiating life, while the wide Ocean was breathing in and out with quiet waves. She descended the steep row of stairs carved in the black rock and ran to the spiral. She sat next to it and closed her eyes; the one connected to her soul was close, very close…As he came and sat on the other side of the spiral, the inner flow of energies connected. The invisible effluvium coming from both sides reached out with delicate fingers, touching, retracting then touching again, until they embraced each other, entwining in a rising fountain of soul-threads, opening into a protective dome above the two of them….
-You made this place so beautiful-she whispered. It’s like you’ve opened your heart and let me in…
-My heart guided my mind when I’ve dreamt this place-he said in a soft voice. I wanted to see you again…How did you find me?
-Your light found me….It reverberated through the stars, touching my inner world…It was like a coming home, like it has never left me…just wandered a bit. So I came here, guided by its echo, hoping to meet you…
-What about the spiral you drew?
She kept thinking for a moment. The spiral was born almost by itself; she had just gathered the shells. It was like an invisible hand guiding her hands in placing the silky petals of the sea in a magic shape.
-It looks like a portal between worlds, or at least it’s how I feel it. It has magic powers over Time and Space…But this one here it’s not my spiral; it is our spiral because it was you who move it here.
-You’re right. It intrigued me from the beginning and I have decided to place it here to see what might come out of it. I also changed the place to get a bit more intimacy. That infinite shore was almost frightening. Hey, I wanted to ask you something.
-Ask –she said with a smile.
-Can you see me?
She shook her head.
-No. But I can feel you and that is all I need. Sometimes the eyes are blind, even if they watch, they cannot really see…I have always seen better with my heart. My feelings never failed me…By the way, can you see me?
-Yes-he said. I have been able to see you from the first moment. I just don’t know why…
-I think it’s because this is a dream that you are dreaming-she said. I came into your dream. Maybe we need more time to see each other as we truly are.
-Perhaps you’re right- he murmured. I’m sure this place is holding its own secrets. Oh, well, we’ll see. Now, would you like to walk with me to the shore?
She stood up and smiled again, turning in his direction.
-Don’t worry, I can feel your presence quite clearly and I won’t get lost as long as we keep talking. I wonder how much the shore has changed….
They walked towards the exit of the little lagoon, leaving two rows of closing footprints in the wet sand. Behind them the spiral was pulsing in the rhythm of two hearts connected….
As usual, she was the first to leave, running up the stairs with a faint smile on her face…The following days and weeks they kept meeting, walking and talking on the shore. They even made some additional changes on the features of the world around them. They laughed a lot, swam in the warm waters of the Ocean of memories, built sand castles and watched them vanishing under the touch of the rolling waves…The inner connection that brought them together was strengthening with each moment spent together. They’ve opened secret doors and personal pathways of their worlds as light travelled in and out their vibrant souls…In this timeless place, it was the only thing that counted and made sense.
-My dear, why I are you staying all day long locked in your room?
Her aunt was intrigued and somehow worried by her reluctance to socialize with the other youth in the village. Luckily, she accepted her explanation that she was studying and never checked on her. So, she could step into the River of dreams and run down to the shore, to meet the one who was filling her soul with love and light. Who was him, how he looked, where did he come from each day….it wasn’t important for her. The magic of the emotional connection, the intimacy of the echoes inside were priceless and she was living this dream with the trust that whatever brought them in this place, was watching over them with wings of benevolence wide open…
But tonight she had to go with her aunt to the local pub. Midsummer night was coming and people of the village were organizing the annual celebration; her aunt was an active member of the organizing committee. She couldn’t refuse her; luckily, she told him previously that she won’t be able to meet him this time. Oh, she wasn’t happy at all; she dreaded the usual attempts of the local people to connect het with one or other young man from the village. They were nice people and the youth was funny and friendly but her mind was elsewhere and her heart was already given.
In the depth of the night the spiral is glowing on the sand….The Galaxy of Love is swirling, it’s sizzling arms sending sparks throughout the fabric of Space and Time….In the blazing core of the spiral there’s a sudden move….the flames rise high, like a lotus flower, opening petal after petal in a graceful ballet. The newly born Phoenix is flapping his wings, his long, bright feathers catching the wind. He takes a deep breath and launches itself towards the starry dome arching above him, while the magic of love showers over a sleeping, unsuspecting world….
The pub is full with people and joyful chatter. Midsummer night is an ancient and magic filled celebration. In the treadmill of everyday chores, magic moments are sought by each and every member of the community. Local villagers and tourists seek this place for a three days fun. There will be a local fare with goods and traditional cooking, games and dance, music and a final bonfire. For old pranksters like Joshua Pierce this was the best time to tell his stories over and over again in exchange for a good treat or to simply watch the strangers getting hooked by his tales. And tonight, there is a fresh customer; the young niece of Martha Johnston, a good looking girl, coming from the city. She’s nice and friendly, so Joshua keeps an eye on her, hoping to find a moment to fish some secrets out of her and fill her with some creepy tell-tales.
-Hey, little lady-he croons, trying to get her attention. How come that you came down finally? Your aunt says that you are stuck in the house and not willing to join the youth….
She blushes and laughs.
-Good evening, Mr. Pierce. You need some company? Has anything weird happened recently in our sleepy little village?
The old man grins.
-If you can get me a beer from the lady of the house, I’ll share some fresh stories with you..
-All right, all right…Wait a little. I’ll be back in a moment.
She takes a beer from the counter and returns to the old man, carefully avoiding some of the local boys trying to catch her. She gracefully sails through the crowd and sits next to the old man. At least, he’s harmless. By now, she’s fed up with all the advances and encouragements she’s got from her aunt and neighbors.
-So, here’s your treat, Mr. Pierce. How are things going with the ghosts around?
The old man takes a sip from the beer and smirks.
-My dear, strange things are happening every day but not everyone can see them. Young people but even the older ones tend to overlook certain signs. But since I have nothing else to do, I keep listening to the whispers of the world….Ehem…
She smiles at him encouragingly.
-And you have witnessed something unusual? I know from the tales that Midsummer Night opens the door for magic…
-Heheh… You’re right. And this year seems to me that we will witness unexpected things…There’s a salty breeze blowing over the plain and strange sounds of the sea in the night. Ey, and there’s this young fellow, a writer who rented the house there…a bit of a recluse, like you, my dear. Just sitting in that old house, writing and walking in the grass….though he came here once or twice and listened to my stories. I am not raving, little lady…He said he could smell the scent of the sea in some evenings….Pity he didn’t come down tonight. I think you would’ve liked him. My guess is that the two of you have something in common…Heheh…
Martha Johnston stopped next to them and gave a small push to the old man.
-Joshua, Joshua….she’s too young to believe your ramblings and you keep her here with you while all the boys around are waiting to take her for a dance. Come on, girl. Leave this old goat to drink his beer. We have finished the organizing; now it’s time for fun. Dance is about to start!
The girl sighs.
-Thank you, Mr.Pierce and good night.
She turns to Martha.
-I’m sorry, auntie but I have a headache. I’ll go home now. No, please. I am not staying but you should stay and enjoy the evening. Maybe some other time I’ll stay to.
And before Martha could utter a sound, the girl smiles gracefully and leaves in a hurry. She cannot see much of the young man she bumps into, as she leaves the pub. She takes her bicycle and heads home without turning her head. But the young man follows her departure in astonishment; the girl of the shore has just run into his arms…
-Hey, my friend!
The raspy voice of the old man brought him back to reality. He turned to Joshua and greeted him.
-It’s a pity you couldn’t come a few minutes earlier. You missed a fine little lady. She’s just your type, heheheh….
The young man gave him an inquisitive look.
-How do you know she’s my type?
-Eh, I was not born this old, my lad. I have an eye for love, huh. Believe me, there’s something the two of you share….
“If only you would know”-sighed the young man inwardly.
-Tell me: who is she?
The old man raised his empty carafe with a smug face.
-I have a sore throat….
The writer laughed and brought him another beer. He took a smaller one and sat next to the story-teller.
-She’s the niece of that lady there, Martha Johnston. She’s a city girl but she’s friendly and nice. Come to the Midsummer Celebrations! She will be there; she’s helping her aunt. You cannot miss her; don’t miss this chance, young man. There’s a load of lads here lurking around her! Hehehe…
The night is soaring….The black velvet cape covers each gentle curve and sharp crest, each breathing wave, each undulating meadow….There’s a cricket-concerto in the grass and a nightingale leads the music with her soprano. The Moon climbs the stairs of glittering stars until he becomes the High Lord of everything. On his shores of silver, the young Phoenix is resting by now. The invisible world of Lost Shores of Time is preparing the next stage of a love story unfolding…
She got home with the feeling that she just missed something important. But she got fed up with the pub and she didn’t want to dance with any of those pushy youth. Now all she had to do was to “survive” the three days of Midsummer Celebration…She opened the window and sat on the sill. She missed the sea and the shore and yes, she missed him badly….Oh, this was such a bright night! The Moon was bigger than ever, his pull on the world almost tangible. He was the undeniable power that was making the Ocean to run high, in an attempt to touch the one that was troubling her translucent heart. Sitting there, watching the celestial lover spreading magic over his unseen darling, her eyes filled with tears…She felt the sudden yearning crying out from the depths of her soul and, at that moment she wished she could fly. She closed her eyes, shutting out the flood of light, searching for a sign, for an echo, for his soul-print. She found him…incredibly close. Where was he?
The morning opened in a symphony of light, bird songs and wild-flowers fragrance. People gathered in the large, green pasture in the center of the village. The colorful stands were quickly raised and filled with all the goods given by the earth as a gift to the diligent villagers for their hard work. By noon, rows of cars and busses were arriving one after the other and the noisy chatter of excited tourists filled the air, muffling the sounds of Nature. Martha Johnston and her niece were busy arranging the boxes of small, home-made cookies. On a larger plateau, placed in the middle of the counter, the girl created a Sun-wheel made of bright-yellow lemon cookies and flower petals. It was a symbolic feature, celebrating the power of Summer Sun and its life-giving light. Martha placed a large jar with lemon juice and she smiled with content. She threw a short, furtive look to her niece; she was good looking with her shoulder long, copper-brown hair tied in a lose pony tail, her gently tanned skin and her melancholic, dark eyes. Her openness and nice, catchy smile contrasted with the hidden shadows of her eyes. Martha chuckled as their tent was attracting people like a magnet. The fare was a real hit this year…
He stood there, watching the girl, hidden by the constant flow of people thru and fro between the tents, stands and music corners. Caught in the constant come and go of the customers, she was oblivious of his presence and he was pondering if he should buy something from their stand. He could tell that despite her cheerfulness, her mind was somewhere else. Amazing how she could radiate upon each customer, while the depths of her eyes were drifting towards an entirely different place. He knew where that place was….the loneliness of the un-walked shore was echoing inside him to. Breaking the row of days walking in magic seemed so pointless and cruel. Reality required the body and mind to work together and respond to the ticking of the wind-up clock but the heart was feeling and living on a rhythm of its own, free from any restriction…The words of the old man at the pub were ringing in his mind; yet, he didn’t want to startle her…Suddenly, he wasn’t even sure if she can actually see him. So, he watched her until the flux of customers thinned and she took a break, leaving her aunt at the counter. She left the stand, walking towards a shaded place, a large, solitary linden tree, on the outskirts of the fare. As he followed her at safe distance, neither her, nor others noticed. She sat on the grass, leaning against the tree with eyes shut. He stood next to her, watching quietly…She sighed.
-Where are you?-she whispered. I can feel your presence so close…
-I am here-he said almost inaudibly.
She turned abruptly in his direction, saw him and her pupils dilated in surprise. She just watched him as emotions were washing over her. She was unable to speak. She was trembling inside like a leaf shaken by the tempest….The dams of feelings broke down, leaving the flood to run wildly inside her heart while she was struggling to keep her inner boundaries from falling apart. His heart captured the turmoil of emotions and he bent and lifted her, not taking away, even for a second, his gaze from her eyes.
-You can see me now-he smiled softly. Am I so scary?-he asked playfully. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
She shook her head and laughed between tears…then, with a deep sigh, regained most of her balance.
-How did you know that I am here?-she asked.
-You almost knocked me off yesterday when you left the pub-he chuckled. That was my moment of being shocked. Then I stood at the table of our friend, Joshua Pierce and he highly recommended you… Oh, if he only knew!
They both laughed and the world filled with light. The old man was sitting atop a pile of empty boxes, with a beer in his hands, watching the unfolding of the scene under the high tree. He smiled inwardly.
He hopped down and headed to the stand where Martha Johnston was opening new boxes of fragrant cookies. She has poured coffee for her and her niece in two mugs. Joshua stopped and watched her with a glitter in his eyes.
-Good work, Martha. But I think that you need to fill yet another cup with coffee. Your niece is not coming back alone.
Martha looked at him frowning.
-Go away, Joshua. I’m not falling for your pranks. Shush, you old goat!
-Heheh!-the old man was deeply amused. Can I have some of your delicious cakes, if I’m right?
-You wish but that would not happen, I know! Don’t anger me, Joshua. You know how I keep trying to get this girl out of her shell…But she always finds an excuse to stay at home, while there are so many lovely people of her age around. I am truly concerned for her, so don’t upset me, will you? It’s not funny.
-I am not trying to upset you. See for yourself. She’s coming right now.
Martha watched in disbelief the young couple approaching. Her niece was radiating as she was talking with the young man from the meadow house. They were having eyes only for the two of them…They stopped only when they realized that Martha and Joshua were watching them.
-You knew each other?-asked the aunt, still finding hard to believe her eyes.
-Good day, Mrs. Johnston. Good day, Mr. Pierce.-the young man greeted them. Yes, we knew each other, but we didn’t know that we were in the same place. Let’s say that we had an unusual connection, keeping us close-he added, winking at Joshua. I wanted to ask if I can steal your niece for a while; I’d be happy if she could guide me through the fare.
-Oh, please. Go. Both of you. Go, girl…go, go. I can manage here. Joshua is here to help me. I’m fine!
As the youth left, heading towards the colorful crowd, Joshua turned to Martha.
-Now, can I have my cakes, please?
The day at the fare had been wonderfully crazy and joyful. They tried everything from the carousel to the giant swing, from the Midsummer Tea, with its spicy taste and amber color to the small, hot sausages and fancy looking salads, from strawberry-yoghurt ice cream to the sun-colored lemon cookies. They even visited the tent of the Fortune Teller, one of Martha’s neighbors playing the role of the gypsy-woman. It was the only odd moment of the day, because Susan couldn’t read her crystal ball this time. She kept saying that she cannot see them through it and she became nervous after a while. So they thanked her and left. But there was enough fun left outside, so the incident was quickly forgotten. The next two days became just a well deserved following to this first happy day.
On the night of the second day, he decided to return to his writing. He flipped open the lap-top and thought for a moment, then he started to type.
“ A tall, large lighthouse was rising in the middle of the plateau, with red and white striped walls and a large, diamond-shaped light source on its top. On the left, at a distance, a few rivulets were crisscrossing the land, rushing towards the rim of the large expanse of land. As they reached the margins, they fell into the space opening bellow in a row of spraying waterfalls. Under the thin veil of shimmering water, the greenery flourished, pending plants creating an alternate curtain above the steep wall of black rocks. Two large caves were hiding their openings behind this refreshing attire. On the soft sanded shore there was a graceful bamboo house, with an open terrace and a few, scattered chairs. Rainbow-colored braided hammocks were swinging, tied to the strange, tall trees that were growing next to the house….”
In the Timeless night of the Lost Shores the lighthouse was sending its sizzling signals to the stars and the Universe. The Ocean was calmly breathing, in and out, in and out….like a huge, magic beast. Candles lit the pathway to the house on the shore….The house was waiting patiently.
Martha could hardly wait to ask her niece about the young man. She could see that the girl was almost floating in the air, being in love. And the young man was nice and, Joshua was right, they looked so much alike….There was a strange aura surrounding them as they walked together, talking, smiling, arguing, laughing….The subtle emotional flow was moving ahead smoothly, like a river that has finally found its acquiring bed.
-So, my girl, what do you intend to do with this young man?
Martha took a serious face, watching her niece that was sitting in the window sill, dreaming in the moonlight.
-I’m going to travel with him…to the stars.
-And I thank you for watching over me with so much care and love. We intend to leave tomorrow night, after the Bonfire. Don’t worry, I’ll send you postcards from each place we stop and I’ll write lots of letters. You’re my adorable auntie and I love you!
-Oh, now that you say it….I wish I could keep you more here with me. But I know that you have to go; it’s your time and your turn for happiness. But promise me, you will write me everything about the two of you. If not, Joshua will chew my head off…
They giggled and hugged. Midsummer Magic has been set in motion. In the house cradled in the arms of the grassy field, the young man was packing up for the departure. He looked around, searching for important things left out but he could find none. The thin lap-top was already placed in the luggage so, whatever novelty he would’ve liked to add to the shore, it would have had to wait. He stretched his limbs, took a cup of that Gold-flower tea bought at the fare and left the house. He sat in the grass, sipping his tea, following the thin strips of clouds sailing the dark waters of the skies. He smiled to the almost full Moon, knowing that the smile will reach the girl sitting in the window of her room.
Nothing unusual happened at the fare on the last day of the celebration. People were excitedly waiting for the bonfire. During the day, girls and women were hurriedly working on colorful wreaths of flowers and moss to be placed around the huge pile of woods. Children were giving to visitors smaller wreaths of wild flowers and everybody was holding candles and bouquets of Vervain, Lavender and St John’s Worth to throw them into the fire. As the light was dimming and darkness was embracing the land, music became loud and sprightly, beer and wine put roses in the cheeks and laughter in the mood. Boys and girls, men and women, young and elderly, boisterous children were gathering around the heap of wood and branches. At midnight, when the invisible meridian passed above them, the Mayor lit the fire.
The orange and crimson blaze quickly rose, swinging, swirling and biting the wood with hungry mouth of high flames. People danced hand in hand, round and round in a frenzy of victorious liveliness. Only one pair of youth was watching the fire from a certain distance; they were both wearing lavender wraths and they were closely following the flames taking shape on the top of the bonfire. The flower of liquid gold opened its petals of flames, releasing the Phoenix. The magic bird turned to the girl and the young man, shook her feathery attire and took flight into the night, heading to the perfect silver circle of the full Moon. The young couple kissed Martha and Joshua and then took the motorcycle to the house of the young man. They left it in the small shed and each of them took a backpack.
-Ready?-asked the young man. His green-blue eyes were softly glowing, lighted up by the inner fire.
The girl smiled at him.
-Let’s go!-she whispered.
Hand in hand, they run down the slightly sloping field until they saw the lighthouse standing tall, its bright rays signaling to the dreaming souls, sailing on the waters of the eternal love and light. They reached the Lighthouse and then descended the steep stairs until they touched the shore. The small, scented candles were lit up and the tips of the warm-yellow flames were dancing in the salty breeze. They followed the pathway until they reached the house that was waiting for them…
On the magic Lost Shore of the Timeless space love was blossoming under the smile of the Moon and the flight of the Phoenix…The Ocean was rolling her waves, filling with laces of white froth the two pairs of footsteps imprinted in the silky sands of her eternal shores.