Unscathed but scared. It was yet another great white shark attack in the open immensity of the deep blue. Here it comes charging again (or does it merely come?), its sawtooth grin above the surface. My fist repels it.

The stalking has been relentless and my hand shakes in profound grieving at this lonely, tragic fate. Perhaps the echo of a danger and fear experienced in an unsafe and uncertain biological womb?

Yet in this ocean i must swim. It is who i am, this is what i do.


My kinship with trees runs deep but this whitebark pine is special: the isolation, the solitude, the setting. Its massive trunk is broken, with a good half of the remaining half dead. Yet the tree survives and keeps on growing, on growing old, on reaching for the unfathomable mystery.

Solitude, i said...? Maybe not. For in that tree lives a bird. A complementary, even symbiotic relationship: the tree provides shelter and the wisdom of the old, while the bird brings movement and the fragility of a transient life.

I myself seek shelter and wisdom tonight ― my bivy set amidst the glorious broken ruin of twisted limbs. But hold on: where is my elf hoodoo hat? The irreplaceable p-r-e-c-i-o-u-s is missing. That cannot be! Panic sets in. At just that moment the bird flies off the tree and ― BAM ― hits the top of my head (where the hat should have been).

Is the bird trying to say: “This is my tree”? Or do i just happen to be in the way of a routine off-the-tree back-to-the-tree flying circuit? I can’t ponder these imponderables right now. Where is my hat?!

It's finally found in a (never used for that purpose before) backpack pocket. Heavy relief.

Now, what was the message of the spirit bird? Or was the message THAT?


Decades of exile have shaped me into an old, poor, wise-eye itinerant musician in Uzbekistan. When a messenger informs me of her death, the sickle of truth is dug out of the sand, its curved blade reflecting the blinding light of the sun [like the eclipse to come].

It is time for the story to be told.


Seeking to experience what our distant ancestors experienced i deny myself the warm jacket at hand, initiationg body tremor. Emotion sets in... The shaking goes up a notch.

The last sliver of sun, light, life, becomes a point and disappears (screen goes black, a second goes by... Take off your glasses, dummy!). Near catatonic state of shock at the sight. The body stops shaking.