It seems, she has to adjust to the sudden silence. Her senses are still in overdrive. Lying back using the unpacked sleeping bag as a pillow she stares into the cool watery blue sky. The damp of fog can be sensed already and may be, she won’t see any stars tonight. Her cheeks feel the touch of moist air. How hurried the sun suddenly is. Just before he could be seen behind the trees, now he is gone and the shadows are getting longer.Femina jumps up, grabbing a few items she rushes to the waterfall. Better to get ready for the night now, not later when it might be too late for anything.
She washes herself quickly. The water is cold and certainly stimulates her circulation. After rubbing herself dry and slipping into her tracksuit she feels comfortably warm and refreshed. She fills the flask and returns to the campsite where she gets busy collecting wood for the fire and preparing the nest for the night to sleep in. Suddenly she becomes aware of the many birds gathering in the trees around. They are a noisy crowd, chatting and screeching and carrying on like children in the school-yard. She looks around. Dawn has well settled in and fog gathers in the valley. The sky is iridescent in a darker shade of blue. There are even scattered stars blinking now and then. But the moon has not risen. She is in her waning phase, not romantic at all. Neither is Femina, and there are the smells of mold and musty vapors rising from the forest grounds. Spices of autumn, a taste that leaves no doubt.
There is nothing important to be taken care of now, so she sits down, legs crossed. Gazing along the valley there is mist creeping up the hills and the fog is thickening. She loves the fog, always did, even as a child. There were the white fog fairies, who covered their beauty with veils, and there was the prince who fell in love with their princess after he saw her once playing in the fields. He could never get hold of her because every time, as soon as he tried to reach out to her, she was gone. He became sick with love until one day he decided to follow her into her land. There he must have been able to join her, because he did not come back and was never seen again. Sad beautiful story!
Or is it beautiful because it is so sad? This is a contradiction she finds suddenly annoying. Surely these words can’t be used together! Or is it that she dislikes and opposes their connection? Hm, it is really just the mistake to isolate the absolute and to neglect how it may associate. Sadness is beautiful?? Well yes, as long as one is not in it. That's why everybody loves fairy-tales because there is drama but it is not real.
The fog has swallowed the valley, covering all with a grey blanket. It is now almost dark and it is very quiet. Now she can hear the waterfall rumbling and the forest rustling as the creatures of the night wake to carry on with their business.
She starts the fire, takes care to make it strong. No wind is stirring and the dry twigs crackle, spitting sparks playfully up in the air and all around. She dampens it down with bigger branches and finally places big pieces of wood on top. It does not take long and she has plenty of coals. Now she can roast the corn-cobs she has brought with her for dinner. The fire high and warm will last with little effort. The ember may keep right into the early morning, when she may want to stir it up again. But there is no need tonight to worry about that, because she will have breakfast with her friends in the local inn.
She fetches the cobs from the coals. They are perfect, deep golden with some specks of burn, just right for being juicy and harbor the taste of the wood. The alu-foil serves as plate and container for the molten butter. Hmm, yumm! She has to reign herself in not to devour the cobs too quickly. She wants to savor every bite to prolong the pleasure. She eats therefore with all senses focused, chewing slowly to give her taste buds all the time to process their impression and to let the aroma rise up the nose to make their entry into her brain an immediate event. Having finished she throws the cobs into the fire and puts more wood on to lighten it up once more. She cannot be bothered to make herself a cup of tea. Instead she drinks the clear water straight from the flask. It tastes very good and she leans back, belly and mind fully satisfied.
Thoughts return since her attention has nothing at hand to keep them away though she really does not want to be bothered. Too lazy to put up a fight she lets them do as they please. Departure! That is the topic of their concern. Well, it is the last time she is here! Despite being desperate to leave she has to overcome her trepidation, the tug to persevere. The known is comforting, the unknown is beset with fear even though it is excitement. The mind always wants to have control. One may be able to control the known but sure not the unknown. The best plans mean nothing. Something unplanned happens and all the plans are useless. She decides not to worry. The most unsettling thoughts are about the departure from her parents. They do not travel far these days, even short trips have become less and less. She may indeed never see them again. But that is parting. Every instant is a parting. Only because it is so short there is no time for sadness and therefore nobody takes notice. Departure is an end to whatever is. Every breath, every blink of the eye, every hour or month and life itself carries with it the parting like the drain of a bridal gown. There is nothing one can do but accept sadness as part of every ‘See you again’ and every ‘Good Bye’. The unforeseen can happen anytime. There is no protection and therefore the mind plays a deceptive game. Of course! It would be overwhelmed if it had to deal with constant fear, and sadness would be overbearing if every moment was seen as a final event. But she finds also solace in the notion that nothing is permanent. And, her parents will leave her, some when. It will never save her from missing them. at any time.
There is another matter that occupies her mind. What is it that makes her take flight or so it seems being no prisoner after all? She entered into a working contract at her own decision. Sure, she knew it was a country that left a lot to desire, but it really is not the worst either. Sure, people here have little tolerance, are stuck in their traditions and may have little humor and fantasy but that is not worse than other folks are elsewhere. Or is it their hypocrisy, their narrow-mindedness or their conceitedness? It makes them ignorant and impotent. It holds back their progress and gives them fear of anything foreign. They love to fit in and trod along with blinkers and get irate if somebody or something gets in their way. Or is it because they cheat their way out of every responsibility and because their entertainment is crude, ridiculing others. There is no imagination in anything they do. They find value only in work. Femina wonders if they have actually any time for dreaming. Indeed, these are enough reasons why any person who loves life, and health, to take flight. Not that the rest of the world is paradise! That is nowhere where humans are. In fact, this population is now rather docile compared to others, though madness was here as well not too long ago. The signs of it are still evident and the events are not forgotten. She smiles cynically. They talk a lot about overcoming the past. It has not been accomplished, but nobody really wants to deal with it any longer. In the end everything is the same old. May be systems change, but humans don’t. That is worrisome, a bad omen for the times to come. May be ‘Alpha 7’ is also only a mirage. Whatever! It is definitely worth the effort to find out.
She stares into the blazing flames. Orange-red they are and hot. Keeping her legs crossed she moves back a bit. She likes to sit that way. It keeps her spine straight without effort and the body balanced so she can easily relax.
The moon has also risen. She looks lopsided. That does not seem to become her, but what she misses out on beauty she makes up for with a bright silver shine. However, fine haze moves across her. She need not to worry about her beauty. Time will solve her problem and fog will give her a helping hand. Femina’s gaze turns back to the fire and her thoughts to the paradox. But with an altered frame of mind. there is no longer a merry-go-round in her head.
She neither need not to worry. IT helps itself and she has no use for vanities. She is too honest to gloss over her weaknesses, too aware to misunderstand truth and too cognizant to cry over the fate of mankind. As sad as it may be she does not believe man can peacefully adept and rise to the next level. There are too many people to begin with. The numbers have to come down. It is fascinating to watch how determined man walks to his self-demise though he does not want to, at least, that is what he says. It is most likely true too because the majority is ignorant. The program man runs on is on autopilot and knows no mercy. The ones who ought to know better however never consider to self-destruct only to annihilate the other. Eternal life is a rather damned prospect, except it was life in paradise. Earth potentially is a paradise. She would never want to leave the Blue Planet if man was not ruining it. Does that mean stagnation? She laughs. It does not matter. The question is only where is she happy! A thought flies through her head like a shooting star. She can hardly catch it because it is only one word: -- LOVE – that’s it! Yes, that is worth the notion. But as a replacement for paradise? No! As an instrument of this world? Or as promise of the world thereafter? Neither, nor! The thought of love is beautiful because love is the elementary power and moving principle, this side and the other. But love contains the contradictory as well: Grief, pain, hate, dying for love, killing for love. Oh Love, you heavenly force, oh Love you powerful hell!
She feels more and more amused. The flames are dancing like crazy, twisting and turning and jumping high. Schizophrenia of the natural, torn apart soul, battle within the closed system. Hot licking tongues talk destruction, red hot glowing coals are proof of their success. Like high spirited goblins fly the sparks. It crackles and cracks, it is quite an art, the performance of red hot love. It is no comedy, nothing to laugh about either! But to be fair, everything can be seen one sided and it does not mean that is all there is. Femina does not want to go through fire. Fear? Naturally! Death by burning? Not if she has a choice. It is funny after all: birth and death, owing to love! Well, a force has two directions, says the physicist. A force can be creative and destructive, says the philosopher. Force equals power, says Femina hence knowing the root of all desire.
She straightens the spine, centers her head right into the axis forming a seamless connection as if they were one piece. Stretching out her arms over the bent knees her body achieves the balance that brings with it a feeling of harmony and ease. Her tensions resolve, being collected in channels they flow along without causing havoc. They leave the body through head, knees and fingertips, cascading out and away steady and softly from troughs that have opened their gates. She sinks her gaze into the ocean of fire with her thoughts using it as a bridge to cross over burning away as they reach the other side. Flames come the other way and fire creeps up on her as if there was scaffolding leading it on. Soon she does not know anymore what is fire and what is her. She closes her eyelids halfway, rolling down the shutters. No more business for today. Having lost her body she is free to fly away, into space and through the cosmos. The fog of autumn is no more than a thin barrier that lets her pass without much resistance. Now her mind can beam white like the sun and as hot. She tries to play with the planets and with the stars but, dear me, they have no permission to change their path. The moons seem to be happy about it, even the one shining over earth laughs. Luna thinks the chaos down there is enough, and Femina should not to cause more problems. She should better remember her duties not just wanting to play foolish games. Ah, what a sour-puss Luna can be! Whatever! Everybody as they like! She just transfers herself into another dimension. She is after fun, after the unconstrained, after joy and pleasure, the life confirming and life enhancing, the all and best feeling that is happiness. But it does not happen as she expects. Wherever she goes there are directives, and whatever kind they are, they represent circumstances which one may like or not. Her flight slows down. She feels heaviness taking hold of her pulling her back towards the ground. But the vastness of space expands, is indefinite. There are no shores, no border and Earth is nowhere to be seen. She has no need for her wings any longer and she shakes them off. The feathers follow behind her like flurries of snow. There are a few unruly ones that flow straight into her mouth. --- ‘Pf, ph, tt.. ….she coughs and splutters. So, matter has caught up with her again! But not to worry, one is as good as the other. She sinks down and down further into the depth of space. The feathers follow now behind her like the trails of a comet. It might as well be a peacock’s tail. Both suits her, because it has become very clear: Nowhere but in herself can she find what she is looking for! And her attempt to interest others to play with her has nothing to do with her existence. She can find amusement being alone. It benefits her all the same. But it is fair to say, there is purpose in the “outside”, even if it only means to give help, and pay attention to the meaning of life. Well, it is not all rosy and she can’t say she is overcome with gratefulness. She was often hard done by, and she really dislikes the rigidity of systems, and stubborn minds. In the end, everyone owns his actions and everyone has his own happiness. And there is so much more. There are the like-minded spirits and the fulfilled souls. To choose her company and affiliations is therefore easy and no trouble at all.
She just passes by the waning moon. She forgives Luna the criticism from before because her smile is so bright. She takes a rest on her slimming side. The peacock fans out his tail. The moon recognizes her quickly and is not grumpy at all. She actually likes her beautiful plumage and offers her to stay as long as she wants. 'They would make a beautiful pair', she says, beaming all over her face. Femina does not mind to live in symbiosis but naturally, Luna can’t help but dictate the course. Therefore after a while Femina bids her ‘good bye’. The moon is sad and turns quite pale, but she understands and wishes her well. Femina leaves her the peacock's feathers. That helps to cheer her up again. ‘She may like to use one of her beams to glide home sure and safe’, Luna suggests. What a good idea! It sounds fun and she expects a wonderful ride. So she hops on and off she goes. But, oh my, starting smooth she soon speeds up and gets faster and faster, accelerating on a track of shiny ice with nothing to use to as a brake. Friction makes her hot and glow. So be it! Nothing matters now! She finds there is no difference to burn midair or splatter on the ground. Better enjoy the ride of a lifetime! But nothing of the kind happens. It is the autumn’s fog that catches her, slows her and cools her down. True, she feels quite shaken and stirred. Everything is spinning and nausea whelms up. She tries to find something to hold on to. But where? It seems to be a hopeless endeavor. All around her is coal-raven blackness and her hands grab emptiness. --- THERE IS SIMPLY NOTHING ---- !!!!
NOTHING??? She breaks into laughter. Nothing? That is something after all! In an instant comfort spreads in her heart and being a pump, the comfort is soon spread throughout her body. Her laughter turns into light. She can suddenly see herself in the darkness. Even if nothing does not seem much, it is ALL there is, it is all that she can have. Indeed! This is a dimension she has never knowingly gone through. Now she has not much of a choice. Of course, she struggles! She is not game! She fears to be lost.
A screech-owl calls coaxing her: “Come-with me! Come-with me!” So she is back at the starting point from where she began her trip. She hears the waterfall rushing and sees the fire burnt down, the glowing ember going dark. She does not move. “Now or never!” flashes through the stillness of her mind. She needs to tackle her fear. It was fear that cut her trip short. Fear is the millstone round the neck and the log tied to the legs. “Come-with me! Come-with me!” calls the owl with a sound so sweet that she cannot resist. The glowing coals are covered in black and the fog is thick, locking her away from the moon, stars and trees. The waterfall murmurs a monotone song.
Before she goes into Nothing she needs to feel herself because that is all she can take with her. She closes her eyes, turns her gaze inward. All is calm. She flows with her blood throughout her body, flows into all cells and out again. Riding along the tracks of her nervous system she finally ends up in her brain. There she collects herself with a clear focused mind. She checks all her sensual centers, all the energy levels and reservoirs, batteries and relay-stations, memory bank and networking cables. All is as good as it can be. It is reassuring or, maybe it is just a habit to prepare for a trip. Of course, going into Nothing means there is really nothing she can rely on, but waves don’t need much to travel. They transverse emptiness, they can transcend and be reflected. They can carry on, propagate, communicate, they can generate and transmit They can in fact do anything. That is enough for the journey she has in mind.
Her final destination within herself is the belly. She slides down the elementary track and diffuses into the cavity of the abdomen. And there she finds a hidden lake in a cave of muscle. Its water is inviting warm and it is protected from anything disturbing. She discards any belongings she still has on her, all cloths, all jewelry before diving in. Ahhhh! Amazing!!! Her body is engulfed by a fluid that is like silk and she is nearly weightless floating in suspension. She lets herself drift. Sometimes soft ripples caress her body. Sometimes she hears sounds like waves lapping up on a shore of sand, or splashes, bouncing off smooth walls of stone. The water carries away all thoughts, all worries, silencing even the sound of breath.
A current grabs her. She does not object. No need to stay on. She is on her way not knowing where it will end. The current gets stronger, there is no escape, even if she wanted. Time is left behind. Coal-raven blackness is her only companion. Suddenly she realizes that there is no water anymore, only a vacuum. There is also no current, but suction instead. It pulls her strong and unstoppable. This is it! There is nothing left to do. Is this the end of her journey? She begins to dissolve. Nothing is left of her. Nothing remains.
NOTHING? Ah, but that is Something! Waves carry on, this side and the other, inside and outside.