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 Sam W. Pisciotta