TEODORA DUMITRIU - THE GAME
Teodora Dumitriu was born and lives in Campina, Romania. Passions: children, books and English. Sometimes, she writes.
To my children … to all children
It is only a game in the beginning – like children being “only” children when acting in that dreamlike theatre next door.
Absorbed by their role, absorbing it whole, they enter stage left on white horses with wingand they beam as they bow to their proud, gracious peers: explorers, cartographers, architects, archers and farmers and poets and kings.
Children playing, enjoying a game are the game: all colours are welcome, no prompter is needed; they already know each speaks true and does right;
no winners, no losers – whatever the costumes, all flowers are fair in a garden of light.
Then comes the day you stumble backstage, airy-fairy actor,
and, in the dark, the sound the penny mercilessly dropping makes, awakes you, in the end.
“This is the real playhouse, Childe – a theatre of war;
good news: you graduated to the real play;
bad news – only two parts available today
for you (or anyone). Just two:
either a hapless soldier that a thousand sleazy generals command
or the ringmaster of a circus crammed with beasts no-one can tame.
The stage directions? Crystal clear: ‘Hunt or be hunted; eat/be eaten; conquer/fail.’
A torch? Feel free to earn it. Sweat. Despair. Repeat. Again.
Light up. Then meet your shadow. Welcome to The Game.”
It’s not “only” a game when your whole Being is at stake; when you’re the battlefield and both armies rallying round their sires the fleet, artillery and air-force of the missing, the forgotten and the living…
…oh, let them clash under the jungle laws: there can’t be finer accolade and glory for the fallen than grass and coral growing on their graves – but the survivors shall have learnt the hard way: life can be hollower than death unless dissolved in the immortal tide of gathering, then giving.
And then it’s – yes, only a game again… dreamworkers bring awake a broader, brighter dreamland to belong to and belonging is the meaning… losing and splintering themselves only to feed a stronger wind, a deeper stream… only to find those scattered selves recast and reinvented as the eternal substance of a Dream.
Once upon a time, there was a rainbow man: a warrior, a poet and a scholar. A prince. A sower. An explorer.
One day, he raised the rainstorm of a lifetime to rain upon a desert colours, hope and trust; from them, an unforgettable love poem stemmed – a charm to free, to lift. To last:
E = mc2
Maybe it was the World Tree, Yggdrasil, that whispered through its leaves the sacred spell; maybe the sunken shingles of Atlantis throbbed in tune that day – but for the Mystery to speak and to be heard, the rainbow man had first to gather (sweat-despair-repeat), then give all colour shards away.
Only a blue-sky-minded student could have seized the secret of life’s swinging between Everything and Nothing; only a blazing, golden poet’s soul might have flung up that magic spark; only a true, red-blooded man-at-arms would have completed such chancy quest throughout the dark.
Three travellers to meet their bliss: as the enraptured party disembarked, the world ceased spinning for a long, long second – when the green-fingered reaper’s arm, in princes’ purple raiment clad, waved the explorer’s orange banner and thrust it into sacred land.
The sky above that land was Seventh Colour – which stormed down in a blink to meet the other six … melting together into pure light… flashing the lightning of perfection … for a long second, flying colours stopped to mix.
“The stars look daggers at the planets”, roared the warrior, “only the Sun-stabbed Earth will bleed but life – smell thoughts of rocks, taste dreams of trees, feel fires climb; hear rivers breathe, watch rainbows’ beauty, grace and magic lengthen time.”
“Seeds soaked in colours”, gasped the scholar, “garner power... as much as their own body rocketed two times by speed of light… Blood cannot fly that fast – but, strange enough, there must be something or someOne who might.”
“Humans”, whispered the poet, “start the journey with three seeds – Blood, Mind and Soul; three colours – Red, Blue, Gold… besides, as if this weren’t wonderful enough, there is a way to grow and mix and merge them as a whole. There may, there should, there has to be a meaning – and we have seen it into perfect light: when seven colours melt inside the seeds and weld them, they’re strong enough to sweep away the night.”
Then came the doubt after a triumph – colours split; the high tide stumbled, sank and drowned into the low; the flare died down like wilted flowers’ scent… aloof, three tired drifters limply tried to paint the ebbing dream in hues of yes-and-no.
They were now wistful, worn and worried - as they had seen the light, for they had been the light… but now their eyes felt old and their Dream Land lay barren, meaningless and cold; aroused no more, amiss, they stood out there: High Priests of Nothing, brave kings of Nowhere.
Soul was still glowing, though – so, kneeling down between the soldier and the sage, the poet gently grabbed, then tossed away their compasses and swords… and, smiling, turned the strange and sacred code into a different language: rainbow-words:
for a spark
like the Spirit of Fire
trapped in the dark …
for a stroke,
like a rioting dragon
harnessed in smoke…
for a hand
like the bow and the arrow
buried in sand…
for a spell
like the seeds of a storm
asleep in a shell…
for a call…
and we’ll shine
and we’ll fly
and we’ll fight
to be whole.”
“Don’t you remember this? Our first and final harbour; the one-and-only place where we’re untouchable and free – it’s home!
Oh, we’ve just proved the Earth is round, the World is round, all Life is round: the longest, greatest journey one can make is back to start, the sweetest destination is back home… and funny things - like ice and fire, hope and fear, day and night – are simply meant to keep alive and wheeling that graceful, heart-shaped planet of one’s own.
We came this far to seize one magic second; we reached and touched the very heart of Time… and all we gathered was that heartbeats can’t be kept. Yet, never mind…
…the rhythm of the ocean gushes out of every drop; from flippant notes is holy music made; bold rhymes envelop the deep reason of a myth: into the wholeness of the ground a kernel melts to birth another and another surge of pith…
As long as we have got a home, a place to catch a breath within the chaos of the swinging and the spinning, we’ll travel back and forth on beats of life and light – another time, another and another… we won’t stop… and, maybe, that’s the gist beyond the meaning…”
2.Parents and children
We’ve painted Gods as scarily almighty, scowling parents - stiff on their blazing thrones, nailed to their frozen skies … weird, oversized self-portraits framed in glaring lies.
Oh, whining human children, power is no prize…
To spin and swing and fall is sweeter than a thousand kingdoms in the sky, as Mother Earth is there to catch us every time… surrendering to storms, allowing winds to blow and carry us means rest … Just let Gods be - they couldn’t give us more than they’ve already given … won’t take from us more than we’re bound to waste.
Leave Gods alone – parents do have their own entangled lives, you, selfish brats … and do you really think they’re interested in catching greasy balls of litanies and threats?
And please don’t blame them for our foolishness… poor creatures, rash enough themselves to spoil such fussy children; showering us with scents and seasons, winds and waterfalls only to hear us constantly complaining, throwing away and breaking good old toys … yelling for new, expensive, deadly joys.
Had they been lazier, they’d have retired, let us run the Game – grumbling, spoilt, reckless gamblers that we are; had they been happier with it themselves, they’d get down to the nursery and teach us - but what would happen if one day they left the doors ajar? Oh, how we’d mock their carelessness and weakness; snub their fading voices, trembling hands, grey hairs; demand and snatch the keys, the crowns, the gowns … fine bunch of hasty, greedy heirs!
Now what about that joke – frail humans, godlike hand-made puppets? Good people, puppets we might be – but crafty, knavish, high-tech puppets… we have cut them to suit our figures, haven’t we?… and each of us ends up with the Gods they deserve… the Gods they can afford… the Gods to match the hat and shoes… the Gods to suit complexion… the latest, smartest styles and hues.
And we are wearing them so ostentatiously - artfully showing off the label, haughtily scorning those already out-of-trends… Yet life is quite expensive nowadays, there’s little left for famous fashion brands. So how about a clever cheap fake? Ah, never mind the sweating and the itching under ersatz fabrics as long as we can storm downtown all smartened up for quick success: top hat, sunshades, briefcase … and bogus Gods as fashionably-labeled business dress.
Strange need for uppity attire… Good Mother Earth welcomes us naked and doesn’t teach us how to check the price tag on the swaddling-clothes of our friends … nor does she feed or soothe only the haute-coutured babies … Good Mother Earth is not aware of fashion trends.
As for the Unseen Stars – our unknown, distant Fathers… Mind & Soul alimony seem quite enough to buy a fair share of healthy food and clothes, provide fine education, allow us to become accomplished boys and girls … not to forget that, now and then – as Daddies oddly, whimsically get a taste for fatherhood – they throw the Seventh Colour ball to us, out of the blue … when we behave and if they’re in the mood.
Well, they may be a little careless and absent-minded when it comes to family; the choice of watching their offspring from a distance may translate as lightness; but to imagine them obsessed with glamour and to assume they’re men of fashion… haven’t we swerved a tad too far and truly lost the plot by turning our presumptive Dads into a bunch of pompous dashers?
Oh yes, it’s so frustrating to grow up not having them around; and our stepdad Time is such an iron-clad, grave guy – severely punishing and never praising… no game, no tale and no excuse accepted… no compromise, no holiday, no joke … no present, no surprise, no fantasy … and such a deadly bore – oh dear, how we all resent this bloke!
Yet Mother Earth obeys him blindly; he’s the one to trust: her Mr. Right – solid, reliable, hard-working, loyal, self-made fellow; unlike that easy-going Rover Star King, who charmed, seduced … and left her all alone to look after his noisy, naughty offspring.
No wonder that his orphans, raised by a worn-out single mother, yearn for the presence of a gallant, overwhelmingly majestic Father – The Prince of Light, King of Creation, Lord of the First Day… the one to storm into their lives aflare and blow that boring, frowning Time away.
They sense his spirit for adventure boiling in their blood; they feel his generosity and charm blaze in their heart; their dreams are streaming from his sparkling eyes and looking for unbounded skies to chart.
The need for this mysterious daredevil has been so intense that human children kept reviving His mirage over the years… but the bold, handsome rover stayed forever out of reach – one never to be touched and nowhere to be seen… and the enthusiasm itself for painting our missing parent in chimeric colours started fading, turned into spiteful and frustrated blindness – What if he’d really, really left forever? What if he’d never ever cared? What if we’re nothing more than long-forgotten bastards of the Prince of Lightness?
Thereafter, out of bitterness of dreams betrayed, the awe and longing ebbed and went astray; sad, brittle children stiffened up their bitten lips – no one out there for them to play…
They ended up, as broken children often do, putting on coats of plates and hats with horns, collecting shiny gimcracks for their armours to adorn - each claiming that He sent the gaudy gifts to “Me, me, me… his one-and-only, most beloved heir”… giving the Unseen Rover different faces, fighting over His colour of the eyes or hair… and troops of solemn children keep on marching, wielding loud banners to conceal the grief and hunger in their eyes… poor foolish, hurt and lonely orphans of the skies.
We couldn’t help it – wily, moody kids… did-it-ourselves… revamped a mystery into a horror show of clockwork ghosts and mammoth bones… and now we’re growing up as self immured rebels – each in his hallowed fortress, blindly playing the Big Game of the Maze alone.
Why should we feel abandoned and forgotten when each day gentle, playful blows keep moving on and on the crammed old ark … when each night streams of sparks and colours harass and chase away the dark?
Why don’t we fully and wholeheartedly enjoy the Game, why don’t we open-mindedly embrace its call… why don’t we willingly release the power of our blood to break that wall?
Why do we swing so frightfully between submission, awe and worship on one hand - defiance, anger and frustration on the other? What do we lack, what do we need, what expectation or belief did they so carelessly deceive … why should sons fear or scorn their father?
Old story – children of the One-and-Only Star discovering the old theatre, whose walls are hiding doors impossible to seal: old shaky boards whose narrowness we can’t forgive; old play, whose bitter lines we can’t forget; old stuntmen, dressing wounds impossible to heal; old actors, learning parts that they won’t get.
There was a time when kids and parents played together; there was a time of freedom, happiness and trust… and suddenly they changed, we changed … then always became never … our house of light collapsed in clouds of dust.
Sad, distant, feared Old Men… you wouldn’t be so lonely, misunderstood and lied to; we’d have enjoyed and treasured the old story … if only you had tried to use the wisdom, courage and compassion of three simple words: “I’m sorry…”
“Sorry for sharing my own shadows, sorry for turning on and off the light – but I can’t think of better ways to teach you: there’s no belief without a doubt, no hope without the fear, no day without a night. I’m sorry for pretending not to know where darkness came from, blaming Another One for it - since it was just the downfall of my triumph, the madness of my wisdom, the twilight of my dawn…”
Bad news: All parents are no more than older children …
Good news: … at least, we’re not alone.
Bad news: There are no reasons for the Big Game …
Good news: … there may, there should, there has to be a meaning – and we may, should, must find it if we try.
Bad news: They’ll never give up acting in the dark; we’ll never really see and get to know them as they are… unless a child puts up another house of light – a port of call for the estranged but deeply caring Unseen Star.
It’s tough, so tough for parents to admit that they themselves feel doubtful, scared and freezing in the Maze sometimes. But… maybe that’s the meaning of the Game… perhaps that’s what they are expecting us to do with our own lives: be better, keener, braver players that enjoy and treasure the sheer taste of passion, miracle and pleasure… stop worrying, stop hiding, stop complaining … release their tired shoulders, fading hearts, old minds and pass the burden to a fearless, sunny breed that would defy the Maze, embrace the thrill, complete the quest…
Good news: that breed exists – the Masters of the Game, the burning-people. Much more than winners: players at their best.
3.The Burning People
In-and-out, high-and-low, yes-and-no … inspire-expire, bloom-fade, gather-give… as long as the rainbow-wheel turns, Blood flows and Mind flies and Soul shimmers… Life breathes and travels and burns.
We have been handed seeds of life and grains of light, but our parents didn’t warn us we’d be prone to falling from the minute of our rise, summoned to leave since the first day of our arrival, sentenced to lose everything that we keep. The Game just isn’t fair – but wildly cruel and beautiful… and round … the highest high would only match the deepest deep.
Maybe stepfather Time – who pushes, rushes, scolds and punishes – is our greatest friend, most helpful and devoted parent, after all. He didn’t set the rules – but helps us learn them: he breaks – to urge us build; he takes – to make us give… Humans are not allowed to own, to hold, to spare - but they may flow and fly… and they can shine and share.
Mother Earth gave us courage, will and wisdom – to fight, fast and endure; the Prince of Light brought faith and hope and love to glitter in the sun… but when the darkness comes we’re on our own, alone… unless we meet the Burning People on their run.
There they are… tenderly sheltering within mysterious, sparkling sprites… feeding those beautiful and cruel aliens on their blood and bones, their days and nights… birthing them bright, raising them strong, flying them high, setting them free – hot sparks of inspiration, glaring waves of passion, foaming streams of dreams.
They sometimes make us stop and cry, the Burning People – the kind of thunder-lightning storm that shatters, scatters, blows and clears… some other times they make us spin and smile – stirring and steering rusty, creaky, long-forgotten wheels.
Either they make us cry or make us smile, they capture and unfold the sweet and scary miracle and curse… and leave us staggered… and relieved… to be alive.
The Burning People are the ones who pass along the gift and mystery of Fire while others stumble, trip and shiver in the dark – too weak, too poor, too cold to save a heartbeat for those who shared their warmth or sent a spark. The Burning People do not mind - they can’t be daunted and won’t feel robbed or disappointed… they thrive on giving, grow complete by spreading their secret, the ultimate command and wisdom of the Universe: don’t stop, don’t steal, don’t keep… and you shall speed the flow and spread the glow and feed the deep.
The beauty, warmth and wonder of the world – which we’ve been blessed to sense from time to time – rise from the ashes of the Burning People and fly upon the wings of their chime.
It’s such a cruel and beautiful emotion to remember how one of Them happened to be – for such short years, for so long seconds – my own child… a roving star, a bird of light took shelter in my own home for a while. Rose as a smiling baby of a Sun, grew as a magic messenger sharing the secrets of his Star… and waved good-bye as an amazing, peaceful rainbow – flying so high, aiming so far.
He played the Game so willingly, so open-mindedly and so wholeheartedly… loyal and humble as a soldier, regal as a prince, hard-working as a scholar… firm and committed as a sower, fired as a poet, keen as an explorer… burning the dark, cold memories of his blood in a bright blaze of selflessness and strength, building a house of light around – higher than skies, deeper than seas, tougher than time, firmer than ground.
There were no shadows in this home he built for us – no fears, no locks, no walls, no stains, no night… just shards of stars, just drops of dreams, just waves of beauty – sent by the daring, charming, generous Prince of Light. We met Him there, too, for such long seconds; we grew to understand without words his Story… but only when he came for one last time, he spoke – a deep, heart-rending, soft “I’m sorry…”
I watch the sun rise, catch a snowflake, listen to the sea, remembering my little bird of light: he’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere - he walked his way, he played his game, he fought his fight.
I miss his eyes, I miss his smile… but those sweet, secret waves of peace keep comforting and telling me:
“The little prince regained his realm, the little ship surpassed the storm, the little traveler got back home; the little soldier may rest, the little star can shine, the little bird is free…”
4.Seeds and Sparks
A warrior in red, a sage in blue, a golden poet; it seems the perfect party for a start – Blood can be bold, Mind can be magical and Soul can shine… but it’s a long way back, to recompose the whole from which they came apart. The Game is on – the Big Game of the Maze, the Quest, the Journey. It’s just a game… but if you lose it, any tear of perfect light that drips away will change into a wave of guilt and waste… frightening to face and terrible to taste.
Turn to the burning-people, then, to learn the spells; search for the secret stars to share their glow; gather and give away all sparks and colours; spin with the wild whirl; go with the hot flow.
Red-blooded trooper, golden-hearted bard, blue-minded seeker – each save your colours, let them meet and, once they mix, The Three will come together as The Six: poets who dare, soldiers who dream become explorers… emotion armed with knowledge, wisdom spurred by feelings make strong builders’ teams… out of a visionary’s battle and a free man’s grit bolt the most passionately-coloured, princely dreams.
Not only have been human children blessed with the desire to restore the balance of The Six – lead, build, explore, feel, think and fight; they also long to dive into the Seventh Colour sky – where rainbow-fires blaze and fire-rainbows fly… stop Time, complete the Game, recast the Light.
Blood is about how tough a fight you can face; Soul is about how bright a fire you can make; Mind is about how long a journey you can take – how far you can sail, how high you can fly.
Blood is the ember for all mystifying quests that spark out of forgotten fires past.
When every tree’s been felled and chopped and burned, Soul is the kernel standing last.
Soul splinters darkness, Blood defies oblivion; Mind is the web, the sail, the wing, the flow and flight that’s casting sparks of light on memories and running streams of memories into light.
Mind glides, Mind flies… Mind weaves, Mind tears… Mind builds, Mind breaks… Mind fights, Mind fears… whimsical starlet in her make-up cabin, trapped in swings, switching the weapons and the wings: sly, shining sword that blinds its bearer, majestic eagle in suicidal dive… or fearless spear aiming blue-sky secrets and faithful hawk to hunt down Time?
Mind humbly serves as slave of freedom, generous thief and loyal beast… shamelessly cheats as painless killer, poisoned medicine and faithless priest.
Mind is a giant trickster-tree of many roots and fruits: up-here, a dome of song, a home of soft, unruffled birds… down-there, a jungle gym for hungry, angry monkeys shrieking, smiting, stealing, fighting… sometimes its quiet, steady juices save the starving, build up their brittle bones and wash away their tears… some other times, to lure the lazy and befoul the gluttons, it shoots will-o’-the-wispy sprouts of doubts and fears.
Mind is a wave, a battle cry of storms - the flood to thrash, to drown and bring a thriving citadel to rout … Mind is a well, a lullaby for corms - the drops that stab to death a desert’s blazing heart of drought… here, it breaks a warship; there, it sails to shore a nutshell boat… kingdoms of science sink; beggars of dreams may float.
Mind is a wind, a sigh of skies – that blows or carries, lifts or lies. Mind is the pulse, the in-and-out, the high-and-low… the beat, the day-and-night, the yes-and-no.
Mind weaves the web of stealthy light that each and every Secret Star gracefully spreads over the beautiful, mysterious Hidden Planets that we are.
Blood is the hearth, Soul is the fire, Mind is the wind – blowing to keep it alive… and the river that’s flowing, through canyons of Space, sailing the fleet of the Whole safe into harbours of Time.
The Seventh Colour
Blood – the red planet, Soul – the golden star… bold, loyal, generous and kind… wisely or whimsically ruled or ruffled by the blue streams and winds of Mind.
Mind is the sassy heiress and despoiler of two realms: meant to explore, thrilled to defy, eager to conquer, born to reign… Mum and Dad’s hope and worry, comfort and dejection, pride and pain… in turns a scruffy outlaw and resplendent queen, residing in two worlds – at the same time, seen and unseen.
She’s wandering and winding through the maze of flighty orbits that begird the two men in her life – the Warlord and the Poet, Blood and Soul… and her two halves, the Scholar and the Dreamer, seldom make a whole… she knows their stubborn clash may freeze or set both worlds aflame - unless they tamely team to play an all-or-nothing game… courting in turns each fiery colour… cloaked in steamy patience, the twin misty twisters… walking on thinning ice entangled, almost doomed to drown - either as tragic widows or embittered spinsters… but, faults and tricks apart, Mind’s brave… and Her Serene and Stormy Highness wishes to be surrounded at her grave by all the humble kings, all heathen healers, fearless nuns, wise warriors, tough dreamers she can birth and raise – she wants the rainbow-children to inherit all the treasures, all the shades.
Still, there’s one colour to surpass her magic… the double-headed charmer, sorceress and fairy, shall not succeed to hold the Seventh Colour with her might; it can’t be lured, imprisoned, bought or stolen … that one is either Soul’s award or Blood’s birthright.
To stop the world from spinning for a long, long second; the meaning of a lifetime in a trice to find – it happens once in a blue moon to barefoot pilgrims wrapping the music in their soul round all the colours in their hands, round all the mirrors in their mind.
The Seventh doesn’t bow to swords or ask for shrines, it doesn’t show when begged or hunted for; it takes a spell that only Burning People can recall… and when a sacred spark has flared, for an enchanted, endless second, Blood and Mind and Soul remember - to breathe and glide and glow as One; their doing might not have a name yet - but never would or could it be undone.
Then, there’s that sparse and scary breed of humans - their skies are always Seventh Colour lit; they have to face a different, tougher challenge: they needn’t search for it, but live with it.
They’re odd, they’re outcast, misunderstood and feared… their eyes throw Seventh Colour spears, their smile stabs like a Seventh Colour knife… doomed carriers of the rarest illness in the Universe – severely suffering from Life.
Their blood is thundering the heartbeats of the World… the storms in their Mind are travelling at speed of Light… the hungry fires within their souls are feeding on the darkest, coldest coals of Night.
The Seventh Colour as a gift for life can be a burden and a curse – as close to darkness as birth is to death… as lightning is to blindness… as thunder is to deafness… as wisdom is to madness…it’s so deep, dark and thick that living in its shade is fearsomely freezing… and any other one would have been poisoned by the air this wayward maverick is breathing.
It’s terrible to feel that weapon in Blood’s hands, sharp to the touch… painful to watch that gale shred Mind’s thin wings… it’s frightening to hear Soul’s frozen shell crack in its icy clutch.
So scary… and so childish, though, that raging rebel: he threatens and defies and blows and thunders… but all he really misses is a home: a place to treasure and adorn with wonders he’s gathered in a journey of his own. The other Colours know they needn’t fear this angry brother… so wild and troubled, yet so generous and kind… he may be wearing the most wanted of all crowns – but still a child … the heir and spitting image of his Father.
They’ll take him home to tame his bitter smile and edgy eyes … he’ll share the tales and secrets of the skies.
5.The Story of No-One
“Once upon No Time, snug in the halcyon cocoon of Never, over the peaceful realm of Nowhere, No-One majestically reigned… the land where Nothing was and Nothing happened bowed to his power, still yet unrestrained.”
Yes, we can take a huge amount of pride in having grasped such crystal-clear nonsense… surrounded as we are by Everything, imprisoned on the giant ship of Everywhere, steadily driven by the Everlasting flow… dumb understudies in a drifting show.
Lost fellowship of hopeless mutineers, we’re either lashed for less or crucified for more… why wouldn’t we paint Never on our flag as the blind lighthouse of our shore?
How might the prisoners of Being imagine freedom otherwise than flying flashy kites of Nothing; the worn-out slaves rowing within the bowels of their galley, trapped in a journey with no end, how could they dream of rest in other place than Nowhere - that peaceful and forgotten land?
What better name than No-One for the King of Nowhere, God of Nothing? - grim captain of a creaky ark crowded with ghosts and mammoth bones… sad, queer craft whose crew are throwing food and water overboard.
As far as sailing children can agree, this is the one-and-only memory they share… the one to feed their hazy dreams of glory, lighten these days of slavery and doubt, bring them together as proud peers of royal blood: their serene un-being as unyielding Lords of the Lost Land of Nowhere, the realm where each of them was king - under the famous name of No-One, Master of No Thing.
And then – then there’s a ceaseless, stubborn, barren, useless struggle to recast that Something… a giant library of witchcraft books written in long-forgotten languages… carnivorous plants thicket we persist in growing… a mean, pathetic fight over a glass bead crown that widowed queens keep trimming up – then throwing…
Isn’t it sad, isn’t it mad, isn’t it foolish to keep quarrelling over the names of messed-up skeletons and worship sneering skulls and brittle bones, rather than rearing living, breathing creatures on the wane – rejected, cheated, hurt, despised, unknown…
Yes, Something happened… Something we don’t know… but do we really care to hear a threadbare history in a dead language, when we’ve been blessed with dreams that breathe and fly and glow? Why can’t we all agree it’s sound to paint a dream exactly as we see and hear and smell and taste and feel it: in human hues and beats of in-and-out, of here-and-there, of high-and-low… of day-and-night, of now-and-then, of yes-and-no?
Oh, we might get as foolish, mad and sad an answer as the question - and yet, as long as we can smile… what better place to smile than opposite a mirror made of a child’s wide-open eyes?
Now, couldn’t we just skip that tricky “Something” part and follow, kids… plain, childish stories tell no lies.
So, where were we? …
“Well, Something must have happened, though, as seeds of storm broke through and cracked their shells… an eerie cry of Never hit the utmost note of Now as timeless peace was stabbed by short-lived spells… a flaming breath melted the icy, stiff No Where into hot, roaring streams of Here and There… a raging heart-attack splintered the core of Nothing, and No-One was besprinkled Everywhere… discharged, diffused in every spinning, swinging drop of Being… shredding the spells that stabbed the silence into twin rags of Shadow and of Light – that no belief should be without a doubt, no hope without the fear, no day without a night.
Silence and Darkness bled and scattered sounds and sparks of Life around… huge heartbeats ticking newborn tears of Time… low voices whispering waves of newborn words… wide-open, glowing eyes of newborn storms.
And then… Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime, three rainbow-spheres rowed out of the foam, sprang off the fret, danced through the storm – and met… for a long second, Magic, Grace and Beauty merged into Someone whose strong wings laid waste dark winds of doubt and fear… whose iron right hand clutched and thrust into the nearest eye of storm a lightning spear… whose velvet left hand stroked the Night and carved the Light… whose loud voice spread the bold, defiant words of World’s first tale… and World’s unbounded skies mirrored unbounded oceans on which huge ships set sail.
One first long second only granted to pick out his match and mate and maiden ark of choice; and that which guided the tall, winsome wheelman was called Music – painted by dancing stars across the Noise. Taletellers say that Earth’s blue, graceful caravel has always been his flagship - and heavens have been moved to sweep away the gale, to take her to the most flamboyant harbours, defying fears of ravages and fail. He took her there to be adorned with splendid stardust, raw wreaths of whirling winds and rains… bedecked with masts of fire-mountains and lightning… loaded with lavish fragrances, charms, gems and grains…
He raised the rainbow-flags to wave and shine, laced them with Seventh Colour haze…but there was no way out… he knew it… as he had sensed the power of the Maze.
He understood the crystal-clear nonsense of Perfection… that long, long seconds have to end,,, that Time can’t lend them to be kept… that they were his to share and spend.
He sighed… and for a stunning last long second embraced her in high tides of Perfect Light… then hid his face, silently cloaked himself in Shadows… whispered three words… and vanished in the night.
Maybe he ran to heal his own unrest and fret – how draining to fill up a dream… to lay a last touch on a work of art… to grow ripe just to trigger ravage… and never know if there might be another start.
Maybe he went away to sweep the dust of madness off his dreams… to shake the worm of doubt out of his triumph… to hide the grain of Death that Life itself had born; maybe the rules of his own Game commanded to hate the love for that long second of perfection waiting to be torn…
The ultimate Artist, enshrouded in spleen… no way to be touched, no place to be seen.
Maybe he’s up, maybe he’s down… maybe he’s peaceful, maybe sad… maybe he’s in, maybe he’s out… yet he can’t fool us – he’s our Dad.
He might be sailing other ships… he might be resting for a while… but we inherited his eyes… and we can flash his winsome smile.
We breathe the winds of change blown by his battles… we burn in our hearths hot embers of his heart… we storm the seas and skies he founded… searching and catching glimpses of his Rainbow-Art.
He must be there, Anywhere… his bloodstream thundering the heartbeats of the World… his mind’s winds traveling at speed of Light… the hungry fires within his soul still feeding off the darkest, coldest coals of Night.
We shouldn’t feel afraid, ashamed, annoyed to save for him our trust, our love, our smiles – he’s just a brilliant older child, you see… he also sometimes fears and doubts and cries…
He can’t be Everywhere, All the Time… perhaps he’s tired, lonely in the dark… but Sometimes, Somewhere we may sense a shade of his amazing colours in a spark.
We miss him…but the legacy of Light keeps streaming, stirring, steering from afar… he left behind his sunny shell of Beauty and seeds we cannot see… yet feel and know they are. He sometimes sends his Grace and Magic to float on waves of stealthy light… they’re captured by the Secret Stars that wait their turn to tear the night.
They’re waiting for a Hidden Planet inside a human child to call… and share their hidden light and power to make the little planet whole.”
That’s it… why should we spend our too short seconds trying to fill a sad and useless Gallery of Ghosts? Why pay curators, keepers, experts to lecture, guard and argue round the One-and-Only Picture they like most? Why should we hang that One-and-Only Portrait in a faked, faded sky flung on a wall… there’ll always be a witty, naughty child to reach it – and paint on whiskers or a funny mole.
Why not go outdoors… under the rainbow, near a waterfall, within the magic garden of another human child… the Light is there, and then – a mirror-shard will do… just draw your own face near it… look … and smile.
And here we are – another generation of tired sailing children – equally fearing and yearning for land.
Gone are the days when our splendid ship set sail… crowded with Everybody… cheering, excited sailors drunk with dreams, illusions and beliefs… rowing so willingly, so open-mindedly, and so wholeheartedly… and that strong, gallant SomeOne steering the wheel for years and years and years…
…until, oh dear… strange news from the blue, graceful craft… a smart kid sneaked on captain’s bridge and found the helm on unexpected course: the ship heading Nowhere… and – stately clad in doubt, majestically crowned with fear - Lord No-One looking forward to get there.
That was a recklessness we can’t forgive… trying to break the chest you can’t unseal; a desperate attempt we won’t forget – touching a wound impossible to heal… Yes, we flee home only to find ourselves so badly missing it and longing to return – released and then recalled by a relentless heart… but the abandoned lodge of No-One has been crushed; there is no turning back… and there won’t be another start.
“We can’t go back to the green, peaceful shores of Nowhere; that lonely beacon, Never, put out its light for good”… the youngster’s eyes dripped darkness as he spoke - and after a consuming second, stared-down and downcast No-One understood.
“The home without is gone… Time had its walls pulled down… there is no shore behind… no king, no throne, no crown…”
“We can team up, old man… you’re tired but I’m keen; I’m passionate, you’re wise… let’s find a home within.
Don’t count, don’t weigh, don’t measure; let’s just go… let’s play the childish game of yes-and-no… maybe we’re not supposed to get back or get out – but stay… and somehow build a house of light somewhere, someday…
Maybe there’s Something we can get… maybe the spark that never dies… and you’ll find comfort in my smile… and I’ll see SomeOne in your eyes.”
Not all smart kids like wise old men around… not all wise men approve of smart kids’ ways… it’s tough for them to row in the same boat… and it takes Seven to unwind the Maze! They’ll have to search and mend the ailing vessel, to put up in its core a house of light – then travel further, deeper inwards… till swirling skies meat seas and day meets night.
There are not many left inside to join the journey… rebellious old hands have rushed out of the belly of the galley; there comes a time when any child of Earth, orphan of Stars discovers Fashion – and models grown-ups’ clothes with pomp and passion.
Crippling, outrageous and distressing dare… how carelessly they tamper with and raffishly then wear the regal ornaments – as if they were some jingling jokes, some whims… pathetic jesters masquerading kings… sceptres of selfishness and crowns of crime and orbs of greed… death masks cemented in a grin and cataphracts pretending to be skin.
So sad, so frightening that day of wasteful growing-up…they shed their thin cocoons of Beauty, Grace and Magic as worthless, out-of-fashion rags and call the naked child of Earth and Stars a shameless beggar… the day they mummify their dreams and dress them up in glaring, hollow armours of indifference: “And now get lost you stupid, stubborn punk – or meet my dagger!”
Maybe a day like any other day; maybe it’s worth a sigh, maybe a grin… oh, nothing much to say – it’s just the day they lost the chance to find a home within.
But what a touching choice if they decide to keep those humble gowns, walk back inside – guided and warmed by stealthy sparks and words – and mock the radars, fashion magazines and swords.
Here they are together, keen to enter, begin the sweet and scary, stupid, stubborn search: the warrior, the poet and the scholar… the prince, the builder, the explorer… and lonely No-One with a brave new heart: old crew, old ship, new story set to start.
They’re all out-there, they’re all in-here… believing, doubting, loving, hating, fearing, fighting… mourning and celebrating the wildly cruel, beautiful and round, mysterious adventure of being at the same time star and planet, guest and host, hunter and prey, traveller and way.
Their parents watch with chests and temples thumping… their fingers crossed, their eyebrows raised… well-wishing, worried, grateful, thrilled and proud… amazed.
Old Time is there, too… to preach and teach and take the toll: “Just gather Everything, my child, then give… You can’t be Any One unless you’re All.”
The Prince of Light – ah, he’s a man, alright… an older child – he boasts and winks and fusses amongst the other Princes of the Universe: “There goes my kid - the tall and handsome one… oh well, a Seventh Colour crown would match the eyes… yes, by tomorrow I shall see to it and have this done.”
Good Mother Earth still doesn’t care for crowns and gowns… the only thing she needs to see is her sweet baby’s smile: “Just like his Daddy, isn’t he?”
As we walk in, Mum’s words keep echoing behind: “Wherever you will go, whatever you may do, you’ll always be my child… I dearly wish I could – but I can’t give you more today than you were given at your birth: a scary, sunny, solemn, funny, plain, overwhelming, touching, wild, absurd, amazing, random life on Earth.”
I. Entrance Hall
Busy but peaceful in the shadow of a giant tree… rustle of leaves and fingers knitting flimsy strings: unspoken words, dried flowers, broken wings.
Then you can slowly, solemnly move on… when having tied those frail cords to the Tree of Thought… too bad they weren’t long enough to wind them round the trunk – all you could do was choose a branch and pick a twig and make a knot… and feel a sudden shiver wondering how long they would hold on – the branch, the twig, the thought…
Oh, you can trip around and spend a lifetime in that shadow, stretching the twines second by second, step by step and fear by fear… or drop them down – and wisely, madly try to break away, break free, break out, break clear.
All praise and love for the old tree… the food, the peace, the shade it brings… but, at some point, you must decide – one cannot sail with strings or fly with strings.
II. The Rooms
There is a room for everyone within the Maze… dark, silent, cozy spots… oozing a sense of confidence and comfort that only toughly-earned belongings proudly displayed can give. There’s room for everything inside – cheap, faked, antique emotions, stolen illusions, borrowed thoughts… the one thing you can’t do in-there is live… with warders slowly knocking heavy boots along the narrow, winding corridors of Hollow Fame and Glaring Lies… staring and sneering at your vain possessions, splendid uselessness and empty eyes… but oh, of course – they have their own dark, doorless rooms, the warders… and, anytime you like, you’re free to solemnly inspect and contemplate their own crammed shells – it’s a free space, the Matrix… full of self-confident, trustworthy, open people swapping cells.
III. Abstract Art Gallery
Vast, noble herds of gentlecattle grazing green-painted sand and pebbles… majestically sipping bluish mud from frantically advertised blue swamps. All peace and quiet… and lovely clockwork larks spontaneously performing clockwork tunes… deaf, lame and blind sweet little rabbits giggling and playing hide-and-seek among the dunes.
Still, there’s a tree… hosting a jaded snake that dozes on a branch, I think… but I can’t tell for sure, because it’s winter… and the bejeweled tree’s all wrapped in hurtfully resplendent furs of sable, stoat and mink.
All genial, smiling, shining faces: people who lunch, lend joys, borrow sorrows… make do, make hay, make friends... make up, make out, make over... make sense, make believe, make waves, make amends… chit-chat, wish-wash, mish-mash, ping-pong, zig-zag, sing along, relax… feel free to join, dear guests; you’re welcome… but please no touching – it’s wax!
A lamp of every simple-minded moth: huge, open-air, breathtaking ballroom… soft, mesmerizing sounds of sirens’ voices… enticing, freedom-scented breeze… clusters of gleaming constellations… more than enough to lift you in a blink, floating up fast on a high tide of feeling… and – bang! … that was no sky… it’s only the damn ceiling!
How high are the walls of the Maze? Good question…
Well, high enough to daunt a hardened climber… and low enough to fly a simple-minded paper plane. You cannot map the Maze, you’ve got no compass – but finding fallen paper planes along the way are the most powerful of omens… and can make one’s day.
Yes, there are secret gardens scattered all along the Maze… filled with enchanted herbs that spread a rainbow haze. Too bad they live just long enough to catch a glimpse, to catch a breath; the secret gardens bloom no longer than a heartbeat… then they fade to death.
Sometimes, when we get lost, we happen to return to places where we’ve been – and cannot understand why our hearts miss a beat. They’re echoing the restless ghost of a forgotten garden… too far off to meet.
IV. The Natural History Museum
Dust, rust and cobwebs… skeletons and ghosts… it hurts to enter – tripping upon thrashed bones of crumbling memories and forgotten lies; oh, let them cry and curse… don’t mourn, don’t stop… you need, you have to see once more the butterflies.
They’ve got the colours… they’ve still got the colours… you can’t remember how you caught them, when and where… who knows, who cares, what does it matter – since butterflies and colours are still there.
Just close your eyes and see them fly; remember… sense and enjoy their power to reflect the light – and turn into a flower, flame or rainbow; still, there’s no day without a night… and, after sunset, broken skeletons were splintered and torn by hungry packs of rats… dark swarms of butterflies began to bustle as overwhelming clouds of bats.
Now you recall the sad and sacred ritual…collecting butterflies was neither cruelty nor fun – you had to carefully capture, mercifully kill and dearly treasure their too short time of flying in the sun. You only nailed and killed the fears and doubts they carried - but saved the sunny shades about to die; it’s worth to trade the wounds on wings, the pain on colours; it hurts, it heals to kill and keep a butterfly.
And now you’re grateful and relieved to see them there, young and daring – beliefs, illusions, dreams that failed… all dead, but shining, as you’d stopped their turning into bats – remembering them crushed, deceived, betrayed.
Still, you don’t actually hate the bats… explorers of all hidden caves, abandoned homes and narrow corners in your mind; brave little creatures they are, though… and, as they feed on vermin – useful, too, and kind.
If vermin feed on flowers… as fields are turning into deserts on your planet, there’s little you may save and nothing you can do; it could take years of heavy rain until they harboured life again… but deserts, though, are hot and pure – they kill the vermin, too.
You’d better set on them a storm of bats when vermin feed on fruit and try to make you carry, hide and bury guilt inside… instead of rottenness at heart, you can afford some whirls and heavy flutter in your mind. Just keep a fair cluster in the attic… when swarms of nauseating little beasts would try to sneak and spread the threat of turning your house rotten, free the bats – and never mind the mind, just save the soul… Mind’s thunderstorms are easily forgotten.
Mind’s magic gardens can be frightening and wild… but who needs well-trimmed hedges to surround bleak, solemn graveyards crammed with miracles and thrills…now, won’t you bear a wound that hurts than take the cheater pill that kills? Why envy other people’s ship-shaped flower-beds and straight flat paths if you can gather volcanoes, ice-fields, jungles, rivers, deserts, mountains, thunderstorms and rainbows altogether?
A sweet and scary endlessness to roam about… strong winds of freedom to take off and glide… light ships to sail, dark storms to trail… new shores to land, old dreams to ride.
Oh, you may choose to lock the gates and seal the doors and stage inside a neatly dignified and peaceful freezing… or wildly sail and fly and wear scars with pride: all battered, bruised – but warm and breathing.
You’ve gathered sparks and embers that may burn your fingers – but also wonderfully prove you’re not alone… and then, when feeling cold or doubtful, hurt or tired – just come home.
Sit by the fire, rest and close your eyes… remember the still shining, wildly-coloured butterflies.
V. The Tower
You’ve got sparks, you’ve got colours – now go… in-and-out, up-and-down, yes-and-no… go to that jagged tower, overgrown with thorns… and that forbidden, hidden door…
…your heart is dripping bitterness and oozing guilt as the key turns… remembering the faithful, awkward baby beast you locked in-there centuries ago… expecting scattered bones and splinters to be covering the floor… and then it stops, as time itself has stopped…
…oh, no – no anger-bats, no sorrow-webs, no bones…
…oh, yes – amazingly serene, majestically patient, there it waits… so sweet and scary, shy and stubborn, eager and defiant, set to fly… your gracefully-winged unicorn did not die.
And suddenly you hear a voice that calls your name - a muffled wail. The Keeper’s quarters – shadowy and cold. A lavish dinner-table. Cups and plates of gold. An old man on his throne, aloof and frail.
You enter – hunger, thirst and silence pounding. The old man nods, stands up and offers you his throne. You sit down and you freeze. He sneers. You shiver. Chains rattle. Shadows thunder. Mirrors roar.
This used to be the Music Chamber, you remember… and smoking in the fireplace you see the hips of violins ablaze … you sense the frozen terror of blindfolded ballerinas straying through the Maze.
“So… shall we?” said the bespectacled, distinguished gentleman in front of me. “You say you aren’t hungry, child… but since we’re here, that’s what we’re supposed to do: you either care to slice and swallow this old piece of meat… or I’ll be eating you.
You see, nobody’s entering a game to lose it, that’s for sure… and would you please wipe off that sneer! The rules, the tools, the choices are the same for all of us and we must eat to stay alive … a little closer, please – thank you: delicious ear…
Strange… you don’t seem to care – but I can teach you, kid, a thing or two: when you don’t give a damn about hunting, eating, winning, when you break the rules – they break you, too. Or… do you happen to belong to that pathetic breed that feeds on dreams… ha, I have touched a pretty sensitive young nerve this time, it seems!
The liver now – thank you, my favourite… mmm… bitter – just as I expected… you people can’t accept you have been eating, drinking, breathing lies… the healthy truth is simple, raw and tasty: all birds are made of water, fat and protein – not notes; there is no music when La Traviata dies. What you can’t touch and you can’t weigh and you can’t eat is not; and they don’t ride winged horses or use silver swords in real wars, you lot.”
He helped himself so sternly and effectively, the plain old man, that in about an hour he got there… the thing that’s technically called a brain… oh, there you’d have expected it to hurt – a lot… but, strangely, although he was deeply cutting through – no pain.
He seemed bewildered, too: “I’ve finished – or almost… there’s only bones now… and I so distinctly remember having swallowed lips and eyes… but who are you, that are still gazing… you, that sing… and you, that snigger – artful bunch of lies?”
And then I knew – he had to eat me, bit by bit and nerve by nerve, the Ghoul, to finally acknowledge and accept – they didn’t count, the odds and ends that he could slice and swallow – it only mattered what was left.
“Don’t you sing me your creaky tunes, fat leech, when you can’t even read a score… and don’t you dare to talk of wings when you can’t raise above the floor! You say that what you cannot touch or weigh is not – but eat your words: I’m here, I’m alive!… and didn’t need raw meat for dinner to survive…
You may have eaten all the audience, the orchestra, the prima donna, the conductor – but there’s still something you can’t do. You cannot touch it, weigh it, slice it - and that’s exactly why you couldn’t eat the music, too!”
Then colours start to gleam like brimming teardrops in your eyes… the sneering mirrors blast and darkness shrieks and dies. You saved the Music. You are free - you broke the chains of lies.
No thoughts. One feeling to be felt, one deed to do. Just trust the unicorn – he waited. Just ride the unicorn – he knew.
The embers in your mind explode in constellations, glow and shine… they show the way, and colours tell the time. The magic beast kneels down for you to mount - and then you know. That’s it. It is. You are. You’re heading home.
VI. The Mountain
How come you haven’t seen it until now… it’s there… dwarfing the walls, defying any dare: your chance to outplay the Maze, to snub, to tower, to leave it shrunk and humble at your feet… and swelling passion, throbbing fervor stir up the stumbling, slumping beat…
He’s taken you this far; now getting frail and worn… embrace his hanging head, dismount the unicorn. You have grown up; your loyal servant has grown old. But you’ve been kindling fires, working wonders of your own. Unfold your pinions and take off… then ride the gentle winds and glide… his wings are yours now - you’ve become an eagle… you can’t hide.
Oh, what a strange and bitter triumph, though - you thought the Maze would lie defeated on the ground… only to find your wings entangled with the winds… only to feel the Maze entwining with your mind. Exhausted trekker, sparks have waned and colours strayed in carousels of Time… your dreams are trapped and songs are matted in the chime…
So what? You are. There is a Mountain there to be climbed..
And up you go… and up you go, on foot this time… and leave behind all swamps and deserts, walls and ceilings in your mind.
So funny, though – no sound… no flowers and no scents, no trees, no house; the sight is awesome but the air is thin… and everywhere around, just ice and clouds.
Dad’s cheering: “Fearless kid… tough kid… feeding on clouds and melting ice… unlike that crowd of lazy, fed-up fools down-there, pretending to play chess and casting dice.”
But as you’re slowly crawling – frozen, out of breath – Mum’s cry is joining, staggering along: “Don’t stop… you can’t make this your home… you don’t belong!.”
So, after having reached the highest peak that both of them created to reward your strive – don’t breathe that air; just grab the magic second, dive… and gracefully roll down the slopes… down… down… down…. down…. down… home.
VII. Anthills and Beehives
Dizzy, but breathing… yes, it’s warm at home, after that stubborn search out-there, in the cold… but as you’re stepping in the garden, there it hisses, the sneering rattle-snake of madness: “They have been thriving, since you left, those beasts – the jaguar of doubt, the elephant of sadness. One has been hunting down all colours, the other trampled on their cries… and heavy murk’s been pouring since… this land of yours now drowns and dies.”
Oh, you’ve been drunk with dreams before – and woke up in a hangover of spite – but now… that muddy wave of darkness has covered every blade of light.
“Why, in the first place, did you leave… what was it all about, that reckless climb? … some twinkles in your hand, could they be worth an age of emptiness within your mind?”
You had to go away, so far away and for so long, only to reach new heights, to storm new shores… while rampant beasts were laying waste your land – uncared for, abandoned and ignored.
You’re haunted by the fading ghosts of colours and poisoned by the thickness of the air; you’re missing that long second of perfection… and, sharply, you remember – it’s still there!
Yes – painfully, amazingly alive… it’s burning both your fingers and your mind.
Strong waves of memories wash the pain away as you catch up your breath, recall your story… and that outright and unforgettable “I’m sorry!... There is no up without down, no gain without loss, no day without a night; no triumph left unstained by doubt… but what you fear, you must fight.” “We tried and tried so hard to save it through The Hours… and All we Ever gathered was that… it wasn’t ours. You take it… here it is… the spark that never dies… the spell that never fails… the story with no lies.”
They delicately slipped it in your hand… swift touch, caressing fingers of the blind… then – grateful, brightened up, relieved – they smiled…
And you remember what they told you while gently closing all those doors: “You’ve earned this perfect, shining second – but, mind you, child: it can’t be yours. Just let it loose – or it will end; it’s only lent to share and spend. That’s the supreme command and wisdom of the World: don’t stop the Game, don’t keep, don’t own, don’t hold.”
Oh, how could you forget; unclench your fist… release the Light to drain the land and lift the mist. You sigh… you may have saved your garden, but it’s empty, still… and, suddenly, you stumble… an anthill! Peacefully busy, humbly wise, complete… it’s there – alive, more precious than a thousand mountains – at your feet.
And there… they have been also waiting, all this time – peacefully busy, humbly wise, childishly wild… waiting for you to share to the last crumbs the spark, waiting for it to chase away the dark. Those good old bees are not at all majestic, colourful or flashy – but would you be so kind and mend the hive; seems fair enough – help them and they’ll help you to stay alive.
Any fields, any flowers would do for a start… and you won’t mind a sting now and then… but there’s more than a cramming of crops in your heart – you’ll admit… it’s a question of when. Admit and understand that neither wax nor honey were the things you wanted… small candle, little food – not quite enough to make you truly, deeply keen… it’s the sweet sway, the magic beat of gather-give you’re after… and, at its core – the hidden eye of storm … the queen.
You wish to build, Lord of the Bees, to reign and to explore… and save, amongst the swinging and the spinning – the trigger and the harbour of all sparkles, spurs and springs: your planet, Prince of Lightness… and your meaning.
7.The End (?)
Plain, childish stories you must deeply trust – they never, never tell you lies: the heart of Time’s been only reached and touched by rainbow-eagles, unicorns and butterflies.
You’re going to become and be those stunning species, as soon as you have filled your land with flying colours, sparks and sounds… don’t worry, anyone can do it – for Earth is round… and World is round… and Life is round.
As long as you keep stumbling upon anthills in the grass, don’t be afraid – your magic garden won’t decay or fade. As long as bees keep buzzing in the hive, go on – the beat of light and life will take you home.
Yes, home – that place where games are played with passion, won in smiles and lost in laughter; where every story ends in “ever after”.
Plain, childish games are meaningfully clear… plain, childish tales are wise and powerful… plain, childish words can charm and steer beyond any command or law or rule.
No greater joy for kids and parents than to play together; no words more touching than a deep “I’m sorry…”; no crown or star to shed a brighter light than world’s most plain and childish bedtime story.
Good parents teach a little, preach a little, scold a little… love a lot; and, after giving everything they’ve gathered, can only hope to be whole-heartedly forgiven for what they childishly forgot:
“It’s no use scratching paint, climbing walls, drawing maps, stretching strings… the journey in the Maze is all about colours, fires, sails and wings.
About breathing winds of battles… about sowing seeds of storm… about parching fields of darkness… and then, at dawn – returning home.
Yes, home… the place where rainbow seeds have spread a blooming garden – where every sprout has reason, root and rhyme… where in-and-out or up-and-down mean on-and-on-forever… where anything can happen, anytime.
The place where travelers may rest; the peaceful harbour where skies and seas have merged to build a house of light… where Mother welcomes tired rovers with her sweet “Good morning”… and sometimes Dad drops by to rock the kids good night.
The place that frowning Time won’t dare to crush or crumble… so, when the bleeding wounds of Stars and Planets seem to have sprung a final curse – the humble art of gathering and giving finds its meaning: to save the fleet of Life and sail it into another Universe…
…a place where Time himself is young, where kids and parents play together… a shore where walls of grief collapse as waves of hope arrive… where in-and-out or up-and-down mean on-and-on-forever… a sparkling seven-colour space where stories are alive.
As long as stories have a home, they won’t get wasted… when colours split, it’s not the end … for anyone can find the charm to twine them, bounce the Story back to start: when having drawn complete a childish maze – to round, embrace and shelter the graceful shape, the magic beat and beautiful emotion we call Heart.
The End ?
People come, people go, people search, people find, people steal, people give, people hide. People gain, people lose, people chose, people try, people learn and forget and then die.
History books are filled with graveyards.
Each tombstone has a name, a date of birth, a date of death.
There are no sounds, no smiles, no tears, no faces in-between.
No feet to chase, no hands to hold, no hearts to host a dream.
History is about dates and names and tombstones.
Music is about kings and queens and dreams.
People forget the numbers and forget the names.
People remember dreams and fairy-tales.
Who cares about those names and numbers –
the silent, splintered skulls and bones of Time and Space…
but rustling voices in a tale stir up warm waves
and you cannot forget a dream’s embrace.
They’ve got voices and fingers to fondle and thrill, to touch and to hurt and to heal.
It is not what you see and it’s not what you think. It is always about what you feel:
“Seven terrible wounds caused the death of the king
but he’d managed to kill the three-headed Dark Dragon:
a ruthless and harrowing seven-day fight.
People say that the heartbroken queen also died
but the seven red rivers she cried
water seven blue trees
that grow three golden leaves
People searched, people found, people chose, people tried, people learned and forgot.
But the kings and the queens that have fought and have cried
and have laughed and have loved never die.
They just fall into rivers and flow.
Then they colour the forests and grow.
Then they follow the Music and fly.