The Hermit Chronicles: Hounds

 “In this world of memories, there’s no need for strangers.” – Watsuki Nobuhiro
  “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined – 
to strengthen each other – to be at one with each other 
in silent unspeakable memories.” – George Eliot

I hear their cries of excited pursuit as they push their noses high in the air, hoping to sail on the scent of people long gone, caught on the thistles along the paths. Memories, they are the hounds that play along my side as I travel, howling in the night when loneliness stalks me and creeps its way into my tarpaulin refuge. They quietly dig at the unseen footsteps of my past loves when my bottle is near empty and the flames of company have faded to only the dull warm glow of afterthought. I love it when, in the mottled light of sunrise breaking through my shelter of branches, my faithful hounds nudge me with the wet nose of many mornings past. Those mornings when waking to fish my dreams from life’s rivers flowing gently past, I found that elusive “granddaddy”, and pulled it from the muddied water with a rush of victory and pleasure. My camp is filled with many of those that got away. This where my humble abode now sits, along those paw marked muddy banks, that disappear in the fog of today, ghosts of Then floating through Now. I see your quirky look as you wonder at my friends. You have friends like me, though they complain you don’t spend enough time with them, your fires of denial burning bright enough to chase them far away. Relax here in the warmth, lets let our friends mingle, they know how to make smiles and frowns dance with youthful vigor, and just the watching of it will make us tired enough to pass into the night with sweet sleep.


The Hermit Chronicles: Fallen Trees

“But other people also ‘invite’ us to behave like victims, when they complain about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask us to agree, to offer advice, to participate. Be careful. When you join in that game you always end up losing.” – Paulo Coelho, Bythe River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
My life is at odds with the general push and shove of crowds. A crowd may be many people, or many words, both which are troublesome. My obstacles aren’t those of briar and bush, but of opinions and gossip. I’m a solitary traveler, troubling no soul along the way. Yet, here he comes, shoving my shoulder as he flies past, mumbling to himself about the error of my way. He assails my peace, that very thing that led me to wander alone. Why am I a trouble to those who hurry to find themselves at some dead-end, or worse, find themselves exhausted at journeys mid-point, gasping and lost? They are fallen trees and I step gingerly around their bulky frames of negativity that I may be unaffected by the nervous energies of their cumbersome discontent. At times they come in packs, each agreeing with the other and with faceless anonymity, slaying those who are at ease along their way. Their unique talent is to destroy dreams with doubtful comments and hinder progress with the attraction to follow their crowd. I maintain my distance though, and to dissuade them, I turn down a path of unknowing to find pastures of unsurpassed beauty. Follow my way through the brush, apart from the crowd, you can see the grasses and limbs bent to my will, a will that holds peace and protection from their diseases of mind and offers fellowship with the wind and the birds that fly on it, neither of us holding anxious thoughts of tomorrow.