An unrelated event.

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, giving me a sense of belonging, even in this element where I have no home. The strong scent of the pines, wet from November rain, fills me with memories of family gatherings at Christmas. My sister, my mother; the well-prepared duck, caramel potatoes; presents given and received.

It’s a funny thing, the memory. How it bends and stretches, forever finding different situations to fit the one you’re in. The way a simple scent of pine can send your mind racing back years, decades. Into different settings, a different life almost. Letting you travel through time and space in no time and in any space, until you find the memory you most want to stay on—and only then it fails you, when you realise a memory is not the present, and though you feel like you can navigate through it, its sensations will only stay with you for a fleeting moment, until a gust of wind forces drops of water from the pines down onto your unprotected head.

‘Trance’ might be the closest thing we have to a describing concept of the feeling of being lost in thought. Not unlike the sensation as you’re guided into hypnosis, breathing first slowly, then with an ease as if you’re not even breathing at all. Your muscles tensing up for a moment, before letting go, making you wonder afterwards how you even managed to stay upright—was that just your insistent spine keeping your head above ground? And finally the closing of your eyes, either metaphorically or physically, as your mind wanders off on its own while your legs are planted in the damp moss with all the other trunks.

What separates human beings from other animals, I believe, is this ability to escape the present and become overwhelmed by something outside the frame of the picture.

What separates human beings from human beings is what place we go to.

I’m not suggesting that animals have no imagination. I have seen my dear dog have what I can only explain as dreams, with its legs running, its mouth making little sounds, while deep in sleep. But as soon as the animal that is not human wakes up, it seems destined to face the world it’s in.

The human being is able to look at the world and say: not today, and close its eyes, going to a different place altogether while staying put. It’s possible for me, on a lonely day, to hug the trunk of a pine tree, and believing this piece of nature to be my mother. That, to me, is a human skill. And one that we’ve only just begun to explore.

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November rain.

My candles are still unlit
sitting in the windowsill
a summer gone by
half a life gone by
reckless smiles painted on the walls
of every room in this room
and your hair is still on my floor
your hand still on my door
pulling it closed behind your tiny frame
hiding a world of heartbreak
obstructed from view
all I see is you

Spaces left.

There’s always a you and a me in all this mess. Sometimes there even really isyou. But the me, the I, is forever floating, fleeting, unable to be pinned down by nails, hands, grips or the sky darkening above.

I could say it is a search, but that implies action. I could say it is a question, but that implies asking. I could say it was delusion, but I’m far too clear-headed for that.

And so I keep not watering my plants. And I keep not combing my hair. Because I hope some other I will take care of all that. And so I let the future come and go, as unnoticed as a gust of wind, only rattling the leaves on trees we don’t speak of.

But even the wind is never more invisible than the broken fingers on the trees, and the future creates ruptures in the magic field we call worldlife. There’s just a simple choice to not notice before it’s gone.

There are bread crumbs left from all the yous. They show up in every word; both the real yous and the imagined ones. But I never dare to follow them back; fear I might see what I left behind. Or some other I.

Think nothing of me tonight, except for the motions of my fingers, as they reach for something resembling truth.

When did the air become impenetrable to advances? When did the great horn of heaven stop playing its tune for man?

There once was a dream of an endless ocean, and I could sail my ship forever, forever bathed in sunlight and joy, direct or reflected off the silver moon.

The ocean has dried out.

The ocean has dried out.

Burial.

I bury myself. I… bury myself. I bury myself in a landscape. A landscape of dreams. I bury myself in a landscape of dreams. Escaping the too real. Escaping the too real reality, I bury myself in a landscape of dreams. I build the walls. I think, and I build. I think, I build. My thinking is my building. My thoughts are my buildings. I build the thoughts as I think them. A landscape of dreams, built on thoughts alone. A wall looking like nothing and everything. A wall translucent and impenetrable. Escaping the too real reality, I bury myself in a landscape of dreams, behind the walls my thoughts erected, I look out on a world that can’t reach me. I sit in silence, staring, bewildered at the too real outside, counting humans as I count sheep, but unable to sleep, unable to dream inside a dream. Layers on layers of walls form. Layers on end. There are no bricks. No ground to shake underneath. I sit in silence, staring, bewildered, building on with every thought. Higher, stronger. Escaping the too real. Inventing games, records. New high score. New record of height. As when I was a child, growing higher, stronger, measured on the wall. New record. New high score. New record of height. Getting close to the wall. Escaping the too real, falling into the wall. Making new landscapes in-between the walls. Burying myself in a landscape of dreams. No people. Dreams. No people. Walls. No people. Thoughts. No people. Escaping the too real. Turning walls into friends. Friends protect, I know. Friends keep the too real away. Friends translucent and impenetrable. Friends in need. Friends in need, escaping the too real in landscapes of dreams. In landscapes of dreams. Friends escaping. Behind walls, translucent and impenetrable. Friends escaping to landscapes of dreams. Friends escaping the too real.

We come in peace, and we leave in pieces.

You tell me you’ve seen it all,
“Haven’t you seen it all?”
you ask me,

“Haven’t you seen it all dissolve?”

“Seen the stars of the night sky
burning up before your eyes,
reveal their flickering lights
as pure disguise?”

“Seen snow melt back in to rain
landing in puddles on the dirt,
understood how every new terrain
transforms into hurt?”

I always thought we were birds
high above the lands,

And you tell me I’m right to dream,
but wrong to wish wings instead of hands

That feathery features is a
fantastic fantasy,
but it’ll tear our skin apart
if we keep fighting our reality

‘Cause even the quickest kiss
might lead to fatality,
and not even broken hearts
escape the laws of mortality

“We come in peace,
and we leave in pieces,
like a fold-up sheet of paper,
cut along the creases.”

Meditation: On purpose.

It’s all a quest. It’s different paths; different mindsets getting you there. But it’s all a quest. It’s all questions asked or unasked, active or potential, and the hunt for answers, tracing their shadowy footprints through the dark, leaf-filled ground of the forests. It’s a life-long purpose, searching for identity in a world without, or a sudden hunch on a clear day, tumbling down from the sky to send your heart beating with wonder, to send your legs beating with wander, crisscrossing the infinite map of thoughts left behind and thoughts waving in front of you, always the naïve hope that this time we’ll make sense of it all, always realising, but never accepting, that the only sense we’re offered is the sense we make ourselves. Call it relativistic, call it a lack of universal belief. I see Evil because I call it so. I see Good because I call it so.

What I really see, is movement; is action; is things happening and things not happening. What I do is judge them. What I do, is try to answer the questions they ask me: Is this action fair? and is this a just war? and is any domestication permissible?

That is the role we’re offered, and the role we have to take. We’re part of the powerful action, but our true power lies in the moment we step out and open our eyes to the consequences. We cannot see the marks on the road when we’re at the wheel. We cannot see the hole in the hearts when we’re sat at the front of the bomb. We must listen to the begging voice, emanating from our minds, to comprehend, to cast new light on the world around us. To always answer the questions better. We must read, and make ourselves read by those who come after. We must listen to the answers already given so that we might learn from them. Mankind’s question has not changed. Only the answers do.

We’re always trying to find ourselves; always learning to live with others; always creating meaning in a meaningless world. We’re taught that from the highest peak is the darkest abyss, and those who dare wander so high will someday fall into the void, devoid of all their gains. But those gains are never shy of worth, for the person who reaches them will be forever a better soul from it, and the persons learning about these gains will themselves be inspired to reach higher, to strive to see the world in a clearer light.

But these gains demand of us that we listen to the questions and put our life at stake when we try to answer them. No question is answered if you’re not willing to bet your life on it. And often we’re not. Most of the time we don’t know the answer so well. We’re rarely that intimate with truth. That’s why we need to get better. That’s the answer to why we need to keep looking.