The Woods Are Lovely
Yes, some people think that the forest is too dark. Perhaps they could live in it until
they brighten up.
We may need a cheese map to find our way. They can be read in the dark and used
to broadcast intentions. You must not think that all maps are found in caves. Even if the
man who dressed the map is dead. He is not at the end of the road.
The map shows that there is a village in the ocean. These people did not live in
disbelief. This map also shows the mouth of a hunter. This is because there are many
kinds of oceans. We might then say the rainfall is heavy and wish to go hunting. This is
only an idea. It might have a hole for a handle. But with the map we can see that all this
water has a great deal to do with where we are going.
Another reason that maps are useful is that each one is different. Would you expect
to find the same kind of weather in each of these fallen bodies? Have you already
understood that a map is only another way of showing that a sharp stone may welcome
the end of a stick?
The man who made the map was probably a practical man. If he wanted an axe, he
made an axe. If he wanted a stone, he picked up a stone. If he wanted a weapon, he used
the bones found in the neighborhood. But if he wanted to travel, he needed to imagine his
feet doing some things they had not yet done.
Farther along, the traveler found the villagers in rocky beds. The first thing you
might notice would be the bruises on their bodies. These are the bruises you can see.
This might help you welcome them to the next world.
Not so very many years ago, this might have made you a religious leader, but now
you are just a man.
Among these villagers, a father might say, “The hungry man hunted for food until
he found it.” Or a mother might say, “The ocean is never really very far away.” But today
we understand that a potato, for example, is not really just a slow animal. And if we want
natives to eat, we can get them at the marketplace. These people of long ago knew that
many things are not as they appear and the next world is always waiting.
Not one of these people was imitating another when he built his home of mud from
the river. Some things you know without interference. The next world is not a streambed
or a clever pendulous nest in the willows, but a house a man can live in must hold
something more than a man.
If you have played this game or one like it, you know that it is not a disguise
hidden in a smelly map. This is the whole body and this is how we use it.
You can go outside.
You can play in it.
You can sleep and then you can arrive.
You can provide a way for others to suffer as happily as you have.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2013. Tunneling to the Moon draws from fairy tales, a condescending of a 1938 Social Studies reader for 6th grade, an 1890 handbook on marital compatibility, numerous annoying educational advancement studies, the myths and legends of third-world countries and minority peoples, pulp fiction, a history of carnival side shows, folktales, frequent conversations with Crows, Owls and a wide variety of underground inhabitants, insects and the people who collect them, Joseph Cornell, Günter Eich, Russell Edson, the French Surrealist poets, the Quay Brothers, letterpress printing, and the author’s inability to channel his imagination linearly. There’s still time to catch up. Refer to the Burrow Guide.