The tale begins between night and day, at the time of dawn to be correct. Nothing unusual, it will be a morning as any other, but not for the one person still sleeping curled up in a roll in a hollow between rocks and stone. The head resting on one of the bent arms, the long hair cascading over face and shoulder, the chest moving as the breaths come and go. It is the body of a female, completely naked and though the air of the morning hour is as always the coolest it does not seem to be disturbing her sleep at all.
At the horizon the new morning starts to linger encroaching on the fringe of the night. Pale is the light as it moves through the misty veils and there is great stillness, no twittering of birds, no rustle of grasses or leaves. The night disappears in silence and the sky between heaven and earth turns orange-red. Over the horizon spills warm light. A red golden river flows down to the land to cover all as it goes.
Touching the sleeping body it stirs it up. There is a stretching of the limbs and the opening of the eyes but the sleepiness trails off only slowly. She sits up and just then the sun appears from behind the horizon. First there is only a shiny golden rim but steadily moving up and up he shows himself in all his big full roundedness and as he rises through the still lingering morning mists, they leave hastily, reddened as if they felt ashamed. It is a wonder-some sun because he seems to be as light as a feather, floating, though he must be heavy, being so big and shining as if he was a sphere of pure gold. One could imagine he needed a helping hand, well hidden behind the horizon that pulled him out of the depth of the night to set him on his track and ensure a new day was born. Or maybe he is just so full of warmth that lets him rise like a balloon and that is why he can be a body of gold but float like a feather.
The newly woken watched the sun rise in awe. Now she looks around. This land is unknown to her. Surprised, confused, without understanding she scans the immediate surrounding and the far but no matter where she looks it leaves her bewildered. She cannot remember how she got here. Behind her is a wall of rocks like a barrier that runs to the left and right and seems to go on forever just like the plain in front that stretches out to the horizon. The rock walls tower high and are built from smooth stone. They claw with their stone fingers into the dry barren ground reaching into the plain, initially fringed with huge boulders, but further away they form islands, getting smaller and smaller until all drowns in loose stones and gravel. The plain is flat like pressed wood without a tree or bush and grasses. The yellowish soil is cracked by fine fissures all over. Even the hardiest plant is sparse and clings to the ground, too weak to rise up to signal its presence. There is no sign of water and there is not a single sign of animals, not even of insects.
The young woman closes her eyes again trying to unlock some memory. Maybe she is still dreaming? But soon she has to accept that this is no dream. She is awake but she has lost her memory, cannot remember anything.
‘Damn it! How did she come here? What could she have wanted from here? Why at all?’ She starts to search again and again, delving deep into herself scrutinizing everything that her brain has to offer, but there are only a few clear and many vague images, nothing that would or could point out relevant information, let alone answering her questions. In fact, it gets worse. She finds herself not even knowing who she is, nor her name.
Panic takes hold of her. She jumps up trying desperately to find a way over the rocks and up the rock wall. Very soon it is clear that this is a pointless endeavor. She would only risk to break her neck without a chance to succeed. The walls seem to grow higher and higher as she attempts to climb and the stone is too smooth to find a real grip. To go this way is impossible. I is truly no option. Despondently she sits down. No problem with that, stony seats are aplenty.Slowly she calms down. She even scolds herself. She really has no reason to give up so quickly and in desperation. After all her brain is still functioning. It should help not drive her into panic!
‘One step at the time,’ she says to herself and starts systematically to take stock. So she has no memory. This is the basis she has to operate on. Secondly, there is no direct way back up the rock wall and from where she may have come from or where she possibly could find clarity, or so it seems. She could run along the rock wall, there may or may not be another way, but this barrier looks as endless as the plain in front, and who says that she would find a way. She may even run a circle. Besides, even scaling successfully the rock wall it may not bring the sought after result. It may just give her a better view of the plain. She sighs.
‘What has happened? And why?’ She cannot help it. She is lost and feels utterly abandoned. Tears begin to run down her cheeks. There she sits, sobbing and for a while she cries. But realizing that this makes no difference, she stops.
‘Damn black vacuum in my head! What did you do with my memory?’ Anger and aggression begin to stir and take over, but that is as useless as any other feelings. She could only direct it against herself and that does not make sense. After all, she must have contributed at least to a certain extent to what has happened. Who knows what she was up to and for what reasons! And now she has to deal with the consequences of it. She sighs again. Self-loathing and self-reproaching don’t help her either. Now, what can she really do? Hang around here? Wait? The sun has already done good way, undeterred, and the shadows are walking with him. He shines now bright in white, his red and gold a story of the past.
She slowly understands and opens her mind to new thoughts. Okay! She may have lost her memory, but she has gained a brand new consciousness. That might be an incredible advantage! New possibilities! Not to know the past, to be free of its maladies is like opening up a book that has to be written yet. It offers the opportunity to walk roads that might not be considered otherwise as the memory of past events may put up gates or block the way.
All of a sudden she does not see her situation as bad or desperate. She even feels some optimism. Despite that everything is puzzling she can put up with it. She is in a way a fatalist. She can take what is there and, after all, she does not need much. The decision is made. She will not stay here and wait for ominous things to happen. She is ready to walk choosing the plain as her future. It does not matter what it will bring. The main thing is she is doing something that makes the most sense to her. May be, eventually her memory will return. May be the new will remind her of the old. It is always easier to live with hope and courage of which she has enough. What does she have to lose anyway? Her life? Well, that does not seem to be a big loss, - she cannot even identify it. She better sees herself as fortunate than lamenting because she has all her senses, a functioning brain and body. She is neither hurt nor in any way incapacitated. That is enough to be grateful for. But one thing is clear and nothing will stop her, - she will search for her memory because she knows too well, old knowledge is useful and no knowledge can ever be lost. It is there, it cannot have just disappeared. And if it is somewhere, she just will have to find it. Therefore she will take note of any hints no matter how vague they may be. She needs, no, she must find clarity and the past is part of it. She renounces to listen to her brain’s ifs and buts, being far too late for that. She may have been better off to do so earlier. But she has no place for regrets either, - she does not even know for what anyway. It is better she concentrates now on what is, and what she has.
Her eyes scan the environment all over again and very carefully. She wants to familiarize herself with it intimately. She has to admit the landscape is bizarre. It seems no life exists. Still, there is a beauty in this barren simplicity and there is movement as well. It is the eyes that do not see all.
The sun has well passed the zenith burning down on earth without mercy. The rocks absorb the heat and reflect the light that make them shine as if they were of metal. She observes everything for a while with all her senses engaging in a dialog with nature understanding the language the land spoke. It was about existence and finality, about ongoing change, about illusion and reality and about information and evidence.
She feels like a sponge, soaking up strength from the rocks becoming stronger and stronger. She will have to be contended with the little morning dew that the mists leave before they evaporate just like the sparse vegetation that holds its ground in this arid land. Despondency? Despair? What for and why!
She gets up and begins her walk straight into the plain. While walking she can contemplate, expanding her consciousness and enhancing her conscious being. Instead worrying she can learn, leaving despair to her critical mind. So she is on her way and does not care any longer for not knowing what may happen or will be.