I remember when Ngkol stood against the sky
instead of lying on it as she does now.
(See, that is her face on the horizon
 as she watches the sun and her sisters, the stars.
 Her hips there, and her feet.)
Under the edge of the sky came fire which ate the land,
and the sea spilled into the lower forest
ten thousand years ago.

I remember seeing petroglyphs in the midwest,
off the side of the road and unreal,
somewhere in the great american desert,
surrounded by the graffiti of inconsiderate travelers.
The true american natives were so distant and faded,
"Ryan + Sally" next to a herd of bison.

I remember the underworld,
and the guide who took us to the cave of hands.
He bade us drink a vile milk while we held the wall,
and spit it onto the backs of our hands.
We did not understand until we stood away;
we had become Old Ones.

Walk the storypath, and sing of the trees and stones.
We must remember them or they cease to be.

-- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- --

I am sorry, Tenzin, my dear friend,
but I'm going to be pissed if it's difficult to return
to this world when I leave it (as all dreams are).

There are some things I have become attached to:

- the ocean, which you gotta get in and let slap you around,
  get it up your nose, come out with your feet cut and your whole body ringing

- the cool evening, which dews and crickets, and my god, is full of stars

- the sky, which touches us most when we move quickly across the face of the earth,
  and speaks to us through the trees

This list is not exhaustive.

I imagine it will all seem insignificant, slipping off the wheel,
up out of the small holes we lie in for a lifetime
(gazing up at a small portion of the sky),
and seeing the mountains for the first time,
and the fields and serpent rivers gleaming,
and looking back down at the small hole.

It is something we need to do, I think.
An initiation, a ritual, a cleansing.
How large and terrifying is the world!

Please find enclosed, and translated, the parchment you lent me.
It was quite enlightening, and is clearly not of our world.
As to how it found its way here I can only speculate.

-- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- --

One time on a trip past the third border of the unnamed country I came upon a man who told me a story I was reluctant to believe. With a pipe in his hand and a pick in his teeth he slowly began to mold a new reality for me.

The vastness of this new realm was unquestionable. Everything within it broke down to one simple miniscule form, beautiful in its simplicity and simple despite its beauty. One might call it a clever manifestation of elegance. The miniscule forms in turn composed gigantic forms, at the same time precise and vague, interacting in unfathomably complex ways. The gigantic forms' behaviors were completely governed by the incredible multitude of simple interactions between the incredible multitude of miniscule forms. It gave the appearance of chaos - this writhing mass of interactions - but the rigidity was undeniable. Everything occurred at the behest of the miniscule forms. But behest they hadn't really, for their behest was merely the behest of the forms before them and before them and before them until - well. He didn't need to tell me the ultimate causal resolution.

He went on. As the interactions progressed, holes began to appear. Thousands of holes, millions of holes, billions of holes. You could slip into the holes to forget for a while and the trick was perfect - utter immersion within an inescapable lie. The constraints in place, movement became severely impaired - but those in the holes didn't know any better because they all forgot. And not until the hole released you did you begin to regain full control:

At first you wouldn't remember where you were. You would think - you would believe you were someone else. But then it would all come rushing back, rushing back with the renewed strength in your limbs. And you would remember - the holes, the forgetting, the illusion. And it would seem funny but somehow sadly profound - because the life you lived in the hole was not yours yet it had become yours as a dream to the conscious.

A dream, yes, the perfect comparison by extrapolation. Like waking, coming out of a hole restored to you that precious commodity of being - consciousness. The experience of the hole would be remembered only in pieces - an image, a smell, a flash of color and movement, a sound - if these things have any meaning outside of the holes. One would assume they correspond somehow.

But one day, he continued, everyone fell out. The holes shut up and haven't reopened. I told him I didn't remember that. Memory functions in an odd manner outside of the holes. He nodded and shrugged slightly as if he had given up and thanked me for my time.

He had dressed up,
For once,
For her.
The love of his life
Came marching down the aisle,
To him, to home.
He thought they could last forever
On that hopeful day.

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