I want to share something with you. By now, I figure we know each other well enough to play a little game – and I’d love to hear your response to this very short exercise – I’ll share mine as well, if asked, but won’t volunteer them first. I’d love for you to comment here, but if you’d prefer it, I’ll keep your confidence – send your responses as an email to blog at ianmrountree dot com.
Please, turn off your music if you have any, and at least press the mute button on your television. Politely pause any conversations you’re in the middle of, and read the following as slowly as possible.
In the north, there is the sea.
Calm waves stretch out onto white sand, tickling your bare feet. In the distance, the colour of sea and sky blends so well it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Waves reach up toward the clouds – which pour their tears down. Lovers, separated, yearning to reconnect. The crush of the waves and sky against each other creates a never-ending breath, pouring ashore as fine misty breezes. Refreshing. Pleasing. Calm, and well known.
In the south, jungle.
Dark expanses of trees girded by low bushes. Foreign noises. Animals. Darkness, even in the light of day – perhaps danger. Perhaps discovery. Abrupt and abstract. The brief purity of the unknown.
Each way, to the east and west, there is the beach. Sand.
A pale expanse of shimmering, soft sand, barely the width of some highways you’ve driven on, stretching as far as you can see in either direction. In the west, the sun is setting over the beach. In the east, there’s a small house. Bamboo construction. Simple. Likely just enough room for a single bed and a small kitchen. Just the right place to escape.
There’s a patio attached to the small house. A small table in the middle, and two chairs. One of the chairs is empty. One is not.
As you close in on the house, the calm breath of the ocean keeping you steady, you begin to recognize the figure occupying the chair. Distinctly cropped hair, a familiar ear. A nose, a chin, shoulders you’d know anywhere. Those eyes. That smile.
This is the most important figure in your life. A family member, a life partner. An idol you aspire to become or embody. In every way your living/passed personal god(dess).
You sit. You greet.
You are asked three questions, each one systematically shattering your sense of serenity.
Here you are, in this beautiful divide between the calm of the ocean tides and the dark unknown of the jungle, and the entire assumption on which you base your existence has just been challenged.
Stop thinking about the location. Stop thinking about the figure you sit before.
Stop thinking about the answers.
What questions were you just asked?
Photo by ((brian))