Friday, January 18, 2013


Bobby Derie

“Close your eyes.” The master said, and I let go my sight.

“Find a position that is comfortable for you to sit.”

I did not exactly loll in the chair, but placed my feet flat on the floor and held my hands before me on my knees, palms curled inward.

“Relax your feet, your legs.”

I felt the muscles in my calves unbunch, made fists with my toes inside my shoes and then let them lie still.

“Feel the tension in your core, your back, your chest, and let it go. Breathe it out.”

The chair took my weight, and in the darkness behind my eyes I felt how tight and stretched my flesh seems on me, the heaviness on my bones. I let out the breathe I hadn’t been holding, felt like the balloon when the air hissed out of it.

“Relax your shoulders, your arms. Feel the weight on your neck, your head, and let it find its own level.”

My shoulders didn’t quite droop or sag, but I felt a dead weight then, a limp thing of sticks and rags held up under gravity. I was emptied out.

“Now relax your head. Feel the muscles of your face, your brow, around your mouth. Let them relax, and breath. Imagine every time you breath out, some of the tension goes with it.”


“You are on a beach, at night, and the moon is full. Look around you.”

Pink sand on a gentle slope, the jungle close by—vibrant streaks of color against dark waxy greens and browns, like every tree and flower was a poisonous toad warning things away. The sea looked warm and grey-green, and carried the moon’s wavy twin.

“Know this place. Become familiar with it. Know that you will always be able to return here, whenever you need to.”

I stood up, took a few steps on the beach. The dark tide drew near, the little things that scuttled in the surf playing at the legs of my chair where it was being drawn into the sand. I moved farther up the beach, where the tide did not reach.

“Now I want you to draw something in the sand.”

My knees thudded into dry sand, and I surveyed the blank canvas. I stretched out a finger, scrawled a crude R, hesitated. I drew out the long stroke to forge an L, a runic Y out of that, and so on until I had made a logogram, projections off of a single line, headed by a rounded sickle-crook.

“In your own time, in your own fashion, come back from that place. It waits for you, when you wish to visit it again.”

Looking around one last time, I took in the moon and its illusory twin, the dark jungle and darker sand, and the symbol sketched into the skin of the world. There was a breeze that carried sharp scents—salt, dying fish, sticky-sweet fruit and fresh-crushed green things. I sat back on the chair, the tide sucking at my ankles, and sank back down into the real world again.


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