I keep dreaming and having flashes of a stag? An elk?
First, like a burning desire, leaping over me. Escaping.
And now, this dream.
A gleaming white elk.
Lord of the Undergrowth, rare and godly,
I will follow you through the dark, misty cover of the canopy,
Avoid bureaucrats and zombies,
And join you amongst subservient wolves.
And the swirling, electric light unfurled into a creature of blue. He stepped out, forming paws. Majestic with each stride, he was as shaggy as a wolf and as large as an elk. His fur offered a psychedelic glow to the blackness; almost like luminol yet phosphorus in the fade of his movements. As he walked, he stood proud, chest first. Calmly refrained, his face took that of a wolf but with fluidly moving antlers falling behind. The rest of his body trailed away, an icy fire.
Padding softly, as if weightless in the void of space, there sprang strange plants uncoiling round in tendrils and flickers. They appeared as a rippling white light before they became green, rising up in front of him. An endless jungle bloomed into sight and he gazed into the emerald undergrowth of unknown origin. It was, all at once, tropical and submerged in the waving and pulsing. A quiet mirage. Vines swung low with the buttressed roots. There was no clear pathway through the jungle but that dim radiance forever falling beyond your gaze. Silhouetted ferns and numerous floating plants created shifting shadows in the foreground.
He began to pick up speed, head lowered. From the black, he leapt up a tremendous trunk and into the canopy. With the elegance of a sphinx, he began to ricochet through the tree tops as if he had wings; a trailing comet.
Strange and beautiful drifter, where are you going? His eyes are mine.
Faster, he darts from one entanglement of trees to the next. The emerald gleam of the foliage and the shadowy imprints tunnel around him.
Faster, faster, tree to tree, deeper and deeper to beating drums.
It looms on him that he is being followed.
A stalking presence lingers in his wake. There is something below and it is fast. He is running from an unknown entity. He feels it. The darkened forest keeps it hidden. Whatever it is, it is relentless. One quick glance confirms its existence; the blackness moving with the sound of rushing leaves.
Swift-footed force, stay back! But it refuses to give up the chase.
Am I being chased? Or is something just trying to catch up with me?
I keep plummeting forward.
It cuts through the forest floor; powerful. My mind is growing tired of trying to escape what is evident, and I begin to realise the vibe. The creature that I desperately attempt to outrun is strong and intimidating, but it is not here to hurt me. This is a simple misunderstanding.
I can hear it calling,
Can you slow down?
The scenery parts into a clearing and the dust rises like a mist. Cautiously, he slides around in the trees, looking down upon the space in wait.
And out emerges the tigress. Her body is black with glittering diamond stripes. I have known her before. Back then, she had a mask made of clay, painted fierce and bright, somewhere between that of a Chinese dragon and a blazing big cat. Yet, here, her face morphs like smoke with each growl. She stalks the perimeter of the circle. Indistinguishable, she peers through smoky vapours looking for him.
My first encounter with her was several years ago; she was motherly in a way that was austere and firm. At the time, I knew she wanted more for me. She wanted me to move, to get off my ass and take control of my life. I have a sneaking suspicion she is back with a similar message. Only, she is more defiant now. She will not be ignored. The removal of her mask tells me so. I can sense her urgency as she paces, roaring around wildly for him to show himself. She is anxious and upset at his notions; he has been arrogant in his selfish escapism. You can’t blame her for this confrontational manner. Respect is due.
And my God, is she beautiful! She is anger, passion, sexuality. She is all desires and raw emotion. How could you leave her behind? This is where you come from! This is who you are! The pain of her dismissal fills the atmosphere.
Now, he can finally see. From his lofty view in the canopy, he traces her movements like a mirror. For all his regality, herein lies his cowardice and shame, betrayed in his actions. His wolfen nature is revealed, snapping at her from the shadows. Who are you kidding, defensively obscuring yourself like that? Throwing his head back in composure, his antlers shake like a mane as he slinks out from the cover of the bushes.
Eyes aglow, he finally approaches her. Slowly setting aside his fear, his apprehension is staggered with increasing curiosity.
They snarl at each other for a minute, circling carefully.
Canine v Feline.
One treads with precision and accuracy, measuring his every step and keeping his fair distance. He keeps low, cool and collected. The other, bursts forward with the surge of a wave, her face rising away with the smoke. She is an infinite creator, driving forward with tireless motion.
At last, he stands before her.
They acknowledge each other in the light of the clearing.
Will they make peace? Will they move forward as one?
Will he take into account the significance of emotions?
Feel love! Fearless love!
Will she think clear?
Will she see the way he leads through the primeval thickets of the endless jungle?
Together, they could be informants of truth.
For now, the innocence of curiosity has brought them mutual respect, and eventually compassion will come naturally. This, they both know.
🎨/📷 by Franz Marc, Fighting Forms, 1914