Alifeless monotonous scent hung in the air. The aroma in the air complemented the dead-end highway that lead nowhere. There were no telling talismans. It was complete inertia. There was nothing to do. Vertigo. Indeed there was such an abundance of idleness the imminent sign in plain sight was one proclaiming “nothing can be done”. The belly’s full and the womb’s a full moon. It now waxes and wanes. It’s lyrical, and as if picking up the vibe the tides touch, kiss and caress the shores of the babe in the cul de sac’s safe banks and within the little unborn is ready to get out of the protective pool. Enough surf. Enough waves. Let’s see what gravity feels like. That’s how it is. That’s how the seed grows. We live immersed in water. And then one fine day Dangphu had enough and took the first step – out of the water and onto an unknown and hostile sphere called the earth. He walked. And the hostility he encountered were some of the most astonishingly beautiful creations he’d ever seen. Ironic. Paradoxical. Sardonic. And bewilderingly beguiling.
The sand. The gravel. The pebbles and stones onto the huge gigantic rocks and boulders. The bush. The brushes and the plants. What were these green beings that stood firm and rooted yet swaying to the commands of the gentle passing breeze or a sudden gusty wind? The plethora of flowers containing every imaginable color emitting fragrances stirred in him something peculiar. Dangphu had never known such a sensation. He couldn’t tell what was happening but he didn’t worry. Anything that smells and looks and feels that fragile and beautiful are things one does not worry over. He saw insects; bees, ladybugs, grasshoppers, dragonflies and butterflies amongst a sea of minuscule beings. Fascinating. Beautiful. Indescribable.
Then she stretched her hand out, inviting him to hold her hand. They both rose up, eyes firmly locked unto each other.
The blue sky engulfed him, along with those cotton-ball clouds moving gently leeward with the high wind. The vastness of the skies didn’t scare him. He felt calm, relaxed, and completely at ease and at peace. It was a whole new world. Then something melodic pierced the quiet air. It was the sound of birds of prey circling high up in the skies gliding with the wind and the breeze, and absolute freedom.
Their sharp shrills made him smile. He kept walking, but did so at a pace that moved with his surroundings. When dusk fell and the silver moon arose in a perfect crescent, he fell where he stood, paralyzed by the sheer sight of what he was seeing. His gaze was firmly placed upwards. The evening star made her twinkling appearance; a faint light at first sight that twinkled invitingly against the gradual unfolding darkness of the night. The sun was long gone. And as abruptly the crescent glow of the moon was surrounded by one, two, three, four and more glittering jewels. They seemed to be coming from all directions in what was just a vast blue sky a couple of hours earlier. Dangphu sat transfixed. Mesmerized. He was under a spell that was so positively strong he didn’t even notice the fact that he’d hardly eaten anything the whole day.
The daylight woods and forests, along with the songs of the feathered flying brethren now dissolved, quiet as the sea he knew. The only orchestra at play was the insects and creatures of the night.
The nocturnal sound was magical. Sitting under a huge Baobab tree, Dangphu watched the curved moon and the twinkling stars even as his ears stayed pointedly tuned into the sounds of the night. It stirred him. He was totally still – almost motionless. He could not fathom anything but that didn’t matter, he was already under the magical spell of the sound of the earth, the heavens above and all that lives and dies and is reborn again in a continuous vacuum of emptiness and form; form and emptiness. But that was the least of his bother. His receptivity to everything; from the glittering star-lit skies to the comfort of feeling his own sense of worth, literally, gave him a feeling of such peace and rest he could hear his own heartbeat, feel the bones in his body, and even tell the flow of the blood from his toes all the way up to his knees, thighs, the waist, and to his stomach up to the chest and to his shoulders and arms to the end of his fingertips and on to the head, to flow back down the channels to the heart, and just as he was about to touch the untouchable, a star shot across the glittering night and went down in a south-easterly direction leaving in its trail a glimmering luminosity that made him sit all the more solid underneath that Baobab tree.
He took in a long and deep breath; swallowing the fresh midnight air, and for the first time in his life, he suddenly became aware of the air going in and coming out of his lungs. Dangphu was as suddenly aware of himself and that mindfulness brought about the recognition of all that he’d seen, touched, heard and felt.
The interconnected web of life was revealed, and together with that the universal nature of beings. Dangphu began to drift, peacefully drowning into a slumber he’d never known.
The dream seemed as astonishing, bemusing, confusing and wonderful all at once. There was the presence of a woman who glowed and glimmered, radiating a smile so pure and true as if she was the source of all the joys he’d felt this most perplexing day. She was smiling at him from what felt like a distant figure; sparkling, luminous and familiar. She was so close to him he could almost feel the features of her face. Her eyes sparkled and twinkled. And all the delicates on her face shone with compassion. She moved effortlessly. Her grace made him both happy and humble. He was kneeling at her and she in turn was facing him in a bowing fashion, emitting such empathy he got a feeling she could read whatever was happening to him without uttering a single word.
Then she stretched her hand out, inviting him to hold it. They both rose, eyes firmly locked unto each other. Everything he’d experienced today reflected back from her pupils. And then he heard the sweetest voice. She was talking to him and he understood, even though he’d never heard such sounds before, he somehow understood and spoke the tongue.
“Dear Dangphu, I’ve been waiting for this moment for such a longtime and now that you are finally here, I’m so happy,” she said. “I know what you are thinking… my name is Dingphu. We’ve met so many lifetimes. Once I was a Blue Poppy flower and you the honeybee. In another I was a small brook and you were a fish, a trout. We were also tree and bird, sands and stones, deer and grass. And then we came back, always, in some form or another.” He listened, enthralled.
“You refused to hunt me once when I was a Blue Sheep and you the Snow Leopard. But there was nothing bad about these incarnations. The reason we kept meeting, as we did right now and its cause was very simple. We helped each other in all our avatars. I helped you get away from a fisherman in that brook. When I was barren as a tree in the autumn of her life, you spread what little seeds I was able to fruit and even built your nest in my crevice. As a flower, I’d store the nectar just for you. Each time we helped one another our bond grew closer and closer.
We were never far apart. It’s been many avatars but that sharing and caring gave us more intelligent forms. I knew we’d both come back as man and woman in the human realm when the time was right. That time is here and now. It’s the reason why you left the water world and ventured out. It’s also the reason why I stayed on land, for I knew this moment would happen. So did you, you just didn’t know how but the question of why you took this path was always within yourself.”
Dangphu smiled. He finally understood the waves for the water and the water for the waves. Instant Karma took care of the rest.
The writer is a freelance journalist.
He maintains a blog at iamdrukpa.blogspot.com