It was the End of Things. Society had broken down. There was lightning in the sky, and a cross between a comet and a bombing. There was an ongoing struggle against shadows. Fear shadows, pain shadows.
The choices: cower in the ruins of our homes in the woods, apart from everything we couldn't remember. Or start walking. Walking was an act of faith. Of surrender.
At first, there was a veneer of camaraderie. Once you started walking, you found others to talk with as you walked. But as the stream of walkers grew, you lost touch with some, then forgot and met others. Then we just walked in silence.
We walked until we reached covered walkways like markets, but they stretched for miles. Some had people selling eggs, bartering. Then there were concrete paths, stairs through structures with objects on either side, on tables or just heaped. Clothing, watches, phones, shoes, for sale or barter. And also assembled in hopes that one of our steady stream of walkers passing by would see something they remembered.
When we were too tired to walk, we lay down next to the walkway. People gave us something to eat, and a blanket. Then when we woke, we'd start walking again.
As I walked, I realized I had a real left leg, though it should have been an above-knee prosthetic. I began to understand that the people at the sides of the walkways had already remembered, and, more importantly, had found objects that were clues to themselves and what they needed to do now. Gradually, I realized some of them were resistance fighters. Guerrilla warriors fighting for memory, fighting amnesia, on missions to fight the shadows. I identified with them. I wanted to help them. I knew I should have been too old (fifty-three!) and an amputee, but I was neither.
The farther I walked, the more patient, knowledgeable people I met waiting beside the tables to help us remember. I knew the ones who were afraid to remember and discover were still outside this place, clinging to the ruins they couldn't identify anymore. You had to be willing to walk. Everyone walking was ready to consider and confront what they might find.
Then I saw forks in the walkway that led to woodsy, rural areas with animals. There were bears in some enclosures along with cows, and I think the bears had forgotten too because they weren't especially dangerous. There was the potential for us to find the animal we needed to be paired with, like a totem, or an actual individual animal. These people who identified their animal-partner could join with the animal and go fight the shadows, understanding that you both could be obliterated in that battle. Then you'd have to start the walk again.
I found a table of t-shirts, I I shuffled through them. One said Tioga Park [where I exercised racehorses in the 1980's] and I said, This means something... At another table, a phone rang: an old, black phone with a curly cord. Whenever this happened, the person closest had to answer it. It was my boyfriend, Perry. But he wasn't sure where he was. I wasn't sure whether he was walking yet.
Then I passed through a building built on a pillar. To clean it, everything was secured and the whole structure tipped on its side so the wind could blow through, then tipped back.
Then I reached a farm with ponies and cows and pigs in a field. I said, THIS IS ME! We crawled under the fence and I put my hands on a chestnut pony that looked like Cupcake, the Shetland I owned for twenty years who taught my daughters to ride. I started to cry. The people helping me said, Good! This is good!
They took me to see more horses. I remembered Laredo, and I fell down in the grass and clover and sobbed. I saw an appaloosa that looked like her, but wasn't, then another that could have been her just as I was different, with my real leg. I put my hands on this Laredo-mare, and I sobbed. The people with me said, This is your spirit partner! You'll both join the fight when you're ready. You don't have to walk anymore.
So this was my Walking Dream, solstice 2014. My journal entry ended, I'd like to put a photi of Laredo **HERE** but tonight the blog just gives me a frowny-face. Alas. You'll have to use you imagination. Happy Solstice. Tomorrow the daylight starts to increase.