• Language

Skipping Through Darkness

Traveler:                  This place seems familiar. Have I been here before?

Oberon:                   (looking up from the slow-moving river to take in the traveler) Where are you comparing it to?

Traveler:                  I was walking along a riverbank very much like this one. And suddenly there was this shadow.

Oberon:                   Excuse me, did you say shadow?

Traveler:                  Well, not so much a shadow as a rustling of leaves. I mean it was a rustling of leaves until the moment it wasn’t. And then it was a shadow.

Oberon:                   And this rustling of leaves brought you here?

Traveler:                  Yes. I mean, no. It was a shadow. Although I’m not quite sure where here is. I mean, it’s night instead of day. It’s cool instead of warm. It’s quiet here, and that’s different too—the silence.

Oberon:                   Where exactly do you think you came from?

Traveler:                  I’m . . . not sure. Someplace else.

Oberon:                   And you’re quite sure of that?

Traveler:                  Well yes, of course I’m sure. Do you only ask questions?

Oberon:                   You think I ask too many questions?

Traveler:                  I’m just trying to understand how I got here. I mean, I was standing by the river, looking up at a beautiful blue sky, then suddenly I’m here with you looking up at stars.

Oberon:                   (gazing upward) Haven’t the stars always been there?

Traveler:                  No. It was daylight, you know, blue sky and clouds.

Oberon:                   (picks up a stone and skips it along the river’s surface. splashes illuminate with a trail of starlight through the night.)

Traveler:                  So (clearing his throat) where am I and how do I get back?

Oberon:                   (Oberon moves to a fallen tree, sits and pours two glasses of wine) Please sit and wait with me.

Traveler:                  Very well, but what are we waiting for?

Oberon:                   The next skip of the stone.

Oberon and the Traveler drift through the night. Sipping on their wine, they look up at the passing stars.

  • Image–charcoal and pastel on paper by sw pisciotta

Men in Holes

 

We come from darkness. We come from the earth.
And it’s where we’ve been heading since the moment of birth.

Escape is in our nature. We struggle from the womb, riding the waves of contractions to our first taste of air. The sunlight helps us grow stronger and taller and farther away.

Men in Holes

charcoal and pastel

But our feet were built to stay on the earth, toes curling into the soil like roots. Sturdy legs to bare the weight of a lifetime, standing like stalks, building at the pace of cellular growth.

We look upward into the blue and we dream, and the light above, though beautiful, blinds us.

What we can’t see is that we have never left our holes.

Arms flail. Hands grasp. We stretch our bodies upward like contortionists toward a place high above where only the eye can go. Where only the mind can go. Where only the soul can go.

Hush little baby don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

Let her assure you, this woman who held you deep inside, that this hole need not be your grave. You are not the rot and decay that they will find there. You are above. Shot out like a flock of larks into the morning light.

These birds have the right idea—dream it, and it is so.