© Joel Seath (2014)
There is something we cannot speak of. Once, a thousand years ago, we told stories underneath the highest canopy of trees, but we whispered them because the stones were on their slow migration north beneath the bluebell swathes. Now we do not dare to even whisper. A whisper with-held, inside, will build to wind though, in time, and a wind will spatter out amongst the petals and cover them as stained, as streaked, as all the milky birdshit there: some of us write what we once whispered, just to let it free before it bursts from us. It is dangerous though, this writing it. What if we’re found out? What if it’s noticed that we’re telling the secrets of the world when we shouldn’t be? ‘This is the true nature of the world,’ we whispered once . . .
I write it but I shall hide it. I shall bury it under the dirty upturned pots, then I’ll cook up fried beans and drink warm beer and let the words just seep there. No-one shall see them, yet, and what they tell of the world. Later, when the sky has drained, I’ll lift one pot-handle, maybe, take a look to see what ferments. There may be a knock at my door: a rattle, urgent, like someone who has lost something. It won’t be anyone of the kind, but it will be someone who wishes to find and hide a thing again: I’ll lower the pot and let the words froth on, though I’ll place a table-cloth over the top for decency and for preservation of my guilt.
When the door creaks open, me on the safer side, but only just, I expect I’ll be confronted with a northern face that’s dirtied with obedience. He will have a beard to hide in. We’ll stare at one another because there are things we cannot speak of, but they are things we both will know something of. He’ll demand I occupy his outstretched hand with the writings I cannot directly speak as words. I will feign my innocence, of course: one bearded man with a rifle can only shoot me through, though I’d rather remain in my current state because there’s a danger I’ll be inconvenienced.
If he speaks, it will be no more than a grunt. What more can such bearded men do? I doubt these emissaries have any thoughts of their own. I could drop to my knees and hope some latent pity surfaces from his Neolithic depths, or I could run and trust his aim is as true as his understanding of the world. What he whispers, at night, are his orders: repetitions and mantras to stop a thought invading his conscious shell. My whispers are curled in ink.
In the steam that reaches my ear, in this scene I sketch in the air, in the heated filigree from beneath the upturned pot, little lovely ‘s’ sounds will slip around. The bearded rifleman will scowl. It is apparent that I will have no other course of action than to run. The ink truth of the world will have escaped and steam cannot be caught, no matter how fine the mesh. I will knock the man on the knee with my boot, and I will trust that his urgent howl and unseemly grappling with his gun will result in shots that cascade off the tree trunks, about — though not through — my ears.
The fermentation will help, of course. It may be that the froth of steam will obscure the marksman’s sights. It may even suffocate him: a death by whispers released. Should trust and luck be on my side, I shall run to the farthest thickness of the trees where, once, a thousand years ago, we told stories underneath the highest canopies. I won’t have burst, which is providence enough, and the stones will be of no more concern, but I will have caused an untimely leak of whispers, unfortunately.
Or, perhaps, we shall come to see this as fortunate: none of us need then hide away the whisper secrets of the world because the secrets would then be out — quietly, marvellously, magically. ‘This is the magic nature of the world,’ we whispered once . . .
MAGIC REALISM BLOGHOP 2014
This post is part of the Magic Realism BlogHop. Twenty blogs are taking part in the hop. Over three days (August 6-8) these blogs will be posting about magic realism. Please take the time to click on the link below to find out about the other posts and remember that links to the new posts will be added over the three days, so do come back to read more.