He loved the woods.

Far away from the cubicle, that multi-walled conformity machine, marooned within the lower decks of the information factory, the silence of the woods beckoned.

The green and blue embrace of the day helped purge the frenzy of digital decay.

It won’t be long before our brains are forever wired to the internet, he thought.  There will be no escape.  Close your eyes and all you’ll be permitted to see and imagine will be online shopping, slaves to the selfish bourgeois.

It will be the law.

But not in the woods.  Here in the woods it was different.  There were no traffic jams in the woods.  No crowded subways full of people casting zombie gazes, staring holes through each other like they didn’t exist.  No suits, no ties, no shiny abyss.

Just the company of simple things.

The sun was hot but felt good on his face, as the warm breeze waltzed its way through the fragrant evergreens, back and forth, back and forth, beneath the bluest of skies.

As ancient stones glowed in the daylight descending, it was time to transcend into the sacred transcending.  Blue gently turned to black as he lit the fire and breathed the night air.  And sitting in the calm of the moment, he surrendered to the woods, and the woods answered him in kind, granting those elusive gifts, self-awareness and peace of mind.

We should all love the woods.

 

 

In the sheltered forest of emerald shade

The trees are dancing, sharing the sun

Embraced by daylight, which soon will fade

In the sheltered forest, together as one

 

The forest fades to silence

As the daylight she clings

And whispers her song into the night

When silence gently sings

 

Can we listen to the waters

Hear the woodlands speak

Open our eyes to the skies

See our follies and deceits

 

Can we learn from the stars

Ever straining out of reach

Like the sharp edges of truth

Always hurt, before they teach

 

Can we listen to the sounds of wisdom

The wind through the trees

Open our eyes to the skies

Begin again to see

 

In light of the absurd depths to which our species willingly descend to obscure reason, defile the earth to achieve power for its own sake, subjugating all living impediments opposing this myopic pursuit, building impenetrable institutions designed to exalt and protect the smallest minds among us behind their gated walls and nonsensical litigious fictions serving only the material world on the hamster wheel of our endless human parade…

I wonder, perhaps in retrospect it would have been wiser to be satisfied with the discovery of fire, and called it a day.

 

“Why are you bothering to learn guitar?  It’s such a waste of time.  I mean, you’ll never get any good.”

What a statement.  It was all he could do to contain the disappointment.  It’s surprising, he thought, what people you call friend can sometimes say.

A few minutes into practice, he paused in frustration thinking about the question ‘why bother’.  Why bother doing anything creative?

“Let me ask you a question.  Do you remember how Aristotle described language?”

“Vaguely.”

“He described language as sound with meaning.  What do you make of that?”

“That makes sense.”

“It seems about right to me too, until you really think it through.  Now ask yourself, which came first, the sound or the meaning?”

“Well, I guess you’d have to first create the meaning before you create the meaningful sound.”

“I think you’re right.  It’s what goes on inside the mind first that’s the prime mover behind our creative efforts.  So it may turn out that Aristotle, in a sense, had it backwards.  Language is most likely meaning with occasional sound.”

“What’s you’re point?”

“I’m answering you’re question.  Our language or ‘higher’ intelligence, however you want to describe it, gravitates towards the imaginative.  Poets, philosophers, photographers, particle physicists, Lascaux cave painters and yes, budding guitarists all do what our minds instinctively do:  liberate our most inspired thoughts.  And in these times, the world needs more poets and physicists, the more the better. People should be free to create in whatever way suits their talents because it’s the essential and inextricable part of being human.”

His friend sat silent, quietly deliberating. It was a risky quiet.  He knew from experience that friendships, like wayward vessels, can sometimes unexpectedly run aground.

But then the jury of one calmly stood up, walked to the kitchen and grabbed two beers.  On his way back, he picked up the guitar.

“Will you teach me how to play this thing, please?”

 

Paint me a picture

Weathered and wise

Today not tomorrow

Leave the disguise

 

It’s not hard to see faces

Worn and weary cases

Drifting between raindrops

And the silence between spaces

 

And so easy to see hatred

Blinded to what’s sacred

Bought by the foolish

Frightened and naked

 

So paint me a picture

As tall as the moon

Show us some wisdom

Say now never soon

 

In the silent hour

When words need not apply

The earth beholds her wisdom

Beneath the harvest sky

 

The wind speaks to us

Through the trees and across the sky

Softly dancing in the midday sun

 

It whispers then roars, an ancient companion

Reminding us we are never alone

But nurtured from the very earth

The forest calls home

 

See the dragonfly serenade the wind

They speak to us

Through the trees and across the sky

Softly dancing in the midday sun

 

Her soul it withers where the rivers don’t flow

Where songbirds cease their wistful chime

What’s not been sown will never grow

In faraway woods of distant rhyme

 

Yet silence bears witness to waters so deep

Like moonbeams shining into the night

As mother nature rises from misty sleep

Into the dawn of wisdom’s light