For The Writer's Cramp. :)
|I think back over many turnings of the wheel.
My first life is as a tree. My roots hold strong to the earth and my branches reach high into the sky, dreaming of pulling down the sun. The wind moves me but it does not hurt. I stand tall and strong for centuries, the seasons passing, balancing.
A lightning strike burns through my marrow.
My next life is as a sparrow. A tiny life, to be sure, but simple and to the purpose. I was made to fly and I do.
The wheel turns and I am changed and I live again. A turtle, a lion, a giant squid. I cross the highest sky and swim the deepest ocean.
I become human. I am a man. I feel alive in the chase. I am the hunter and the hunted. I see the face of a woman reflected in a pool and like Narcissus, I fall in love.
At the end of every turn there is the in-between.
Here, we are nameless, genderless forms of smoke. He becomes she becomes we. There has been another with me always, across lives. I see her face in the pool rippling to me from my old life. A soul mate. We live and love and fight in all the ways imaginable. We hurt each other. We save each other. I wonder where they are now.
I am a woman, centuries later. A tall man saves me from a house-fire and watches me weep as everything that I love burns. Over time, he gives me a new place to belong.
Sometimes we hate each other and spur each other on, spitefully. Sometimes we build each other up instead of tearing down. Sculptors pulling clay from river banks. We soothe each other.
Sometimes the whole turn is a tragedy for us both. Nothing but soul sickness and disease. Loss. Misery as complete as the darkness deep under the earth.
Some turns are as brilliant as the sunrise after rising up from full dark.
I have been spinning on the wheel of time for so long and now they are telling me that this will be my last. My last life. They ask me what kind I would like to have.
I ask after my mate and they only shake their heads. I will not answer them until they answer me.
I think back again to the darkness and the light of all my many lives. I am blinded by the brilliance. I want to go back. I want my mate.
I want to tell them that here at the end there is nothing that I would like more than to go back to the beginning. To do it all again.
The silence stretches. It doesn’t matter, I think. Silence is a better companion than some. I close my eyes. I wait.
I feel a grip as light as smoke close upon my hand. It is them. My mate. I am pulled along to the gate. Pushed through.
We are two acorns on the same branch of a father oak. We fall. We roll. We sink into the soft ground and then we grow, splitting the earth, cutting a way through to each other. Our roots entwine and we reach for the sky. Trying to capture the sun together.