The Garden

When I was a child, I had a special relationship with a garden. It filled my life and I filled its lanes. They seemed to contain endless life. Brilliantly, I remember parceled fragments of it, iconographed forever into the chapel of my mind. Littered among discarded balls, slowly waving leaves, carefully tended stones and distant dolmens made of trees are my own lanes. First memories and dreams, first fears and thoughts, nestled throughout the checkered corpse of what the garden was. Like a figure moving across a desert that never sleeps, I can at any moment sink into these lanes, swim in the fresh grass, gaze over the intimate horizon, caress the crescent of my own childhood. I go there rarely, both mentally and physically. For me it is a rarity of being, a state which is both intoxicating and dangerous as it contains myself in a nascent form, a fractal of who I am and will become.

But now, I turn to it. Lost in the shapeless clouds of my own fabrication, I am without purchase. I can feel the tender tendrils of the white water slowly slithering in my meditating mind, seeking to wrap themselves across the clotted nadir of my identity. I feel no anger towards them for they are not evil. They only do what water does best, cleaning cavities and leaving nothing behind but the shape of what was. The vessel without the substance. Before sinking, or are we after sinking, I reach out, hands flying to grasp at whatever strong point remains. And I find the garden. Now though there is something more. Imagine the face of your mother, slightly changed. Feel your hand running over the door to your own house, knowing something has changed in a subtle way. In the garden now, something minute yet monumental has shifted.

I have to get out. This is one place which I refuse to give you. With childish movements, newly powerful hands moving frantically, I smudge the leaves, the lanes, the dolmens, stealing them from your sight. Returning now with a jolt to the clouds, I hear someone screaming hoarsely before I realize it is me. No. No. There is a different way to leave this place or if I must give you the garden to leave it then I'd rather stay here forever. Rising now, shaking off the lethargy borne on my shoulders for so long, I scream a torch into existence. Waving it around me, I scream fire into its head, into your head, into my head. Around me the white walls are receding. In their dying, sinuous arms I can see images of what was so far: islands, corners, cicadas, her, kings, edges, her, her, cores, coils, bridges, her, she, her, companion, lover, her, her, a road, she, she.

Her. Was this all about her? For now, yes. I am in the middle of the garden now, in my mental flesh. Not observing but there. And yes, all lanes lead to her. All leaves bow to her. All dolmens sing to her. And I'm done. I won't give you the garden and I won't give her the garden. Stoking the forge I find here, I begin to set fire to the hive. Lanes twist in burning under burnt twisting leaves that wave between crumbling dolmens. The structure of the garden slowly blows away, turned to charcoal bones. At some point I closed my eyes against the heat. Now, the wind slowly speaks to me a single word, a single world that I had forgotten: "Open".

And open I shall.

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