Thursday 3 September 2020

Like Breath

I want you to know that I'm still listening, my friend.  To the rivers, the breeze. Trying to stay attuned and of service.  Just as you taught your students.  Now the world is harder, darker, and demands so much more from all of us.  But there is still unimaginable wonder hidden everywhere.  The book, the hand, the song.  What it means to travel.  To honour and to dream.  Wolves.  Angels.  The way we circle back.  This kind of dreaming can happen anywhere.  This shining reciprocity.  In the forests of dusk and dawn.  At the city's edge where lost things dwell. Or upon the bridge, the refrain or verse.  These are questions of faith in the end, aren't they? Ritual writ large, and blind.  The oldest songs are always songs of place, of love and the unseen. We need to believe that something cares, that something underpins and reveals.  We craft hymns of creation and experience, that we might know ourselves and each other.  That we might order the maelstrom with such holy writ, and soothe our fear of wraith and shadow.
   As it was on that fragile edge.
   I remember how the emissaries all continued to build stunning halls and schools in Ethri-sol, even as mirrors bled and stars began to fall.  We weren't ready to simply abandon everything we knew in fear of those terrifying shades.  Instead we held steadfast to our principles and our hopes.  Churches of higher thought.  Libraries, archives.  Places of learning and rest.  We cherished them even as they slowly darkened.  
   Even as the sky itself began to fracture.
   But I still recall meeting a girl in one of those schools.  A beautiful musician.  She could write songs with only a glance, just as Yash’a did.  A gesture.  A palm against the heart or a hand placed gently across the eyes, to invoke such melody.  Summoning even the subtlest harmonies. We became great friends eventually, despite our world beginning to darken all around us. Slowly at first, then with increasing rapidity.  A thousand years was nothing to the teachers and students of Eth'iri.  This girl was a true visionary.  She taught me many things about music, but never how to play.  We would joke about it now and then.  I still haven't learned an instrument beyond word or sky.  But I often sat listening as she taught the others, enjoying the sweet poignancy of her wisdom.  She spoke of how she could hear music in the rivers and the breeze.  In birdsong and forest murmur.  We carry that music with us, she said.  And we shape it.  A continual, constant exchange.  
   Like breath.  
  More than simple conceit or metaphor.  A literal music of the spheres that could be heard by an attuned soul or ear.  In our depths, our graces.  The joy of our fingers on strings and keys, the dexterity of the hand that moves a pen.  The promise of a kiss, or the sculpting of a star.  Wherever we go, there the music is.  It's something I've never really forgotten.  Flowers planted on the banks of the river.  Prayers sung on the sands of the shore.  The way spirits breathe and mortals imagine.  My friend described this hidden music as a powerful secret, in that enigmatic way of many teachers and poets.  A traveller's secret, she said.  She wasn't wrong.  I still remember.  "With love nothing is impossible.  Can you hear?"

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