Turtle the Observer

Summer passes, falls into winter.  In lonely contentment turtle observes: the birds who migrate and those who do not; the bear who sleeps; the fox who hunts; and the hare that evades.  The people put on their heavy coats.  They spend less time outdoors and often smell of smoke from fire places both warm and beautiful.

Much is silent and turtle’s days become tired and repetitive.  It is so  long til the grand party; the night of his grand speech.  The night all the animals gather under the grand trees that stand enormous and hold the ground to the sky.  The night he is no longer the observer; the night he is the observed.  The stars shine brighter like a hundred thousand candles, and the moon dusts himself so that the spotlight is that much stronger; the silence and respect for turtle is his microphone, and he is ale to speak strong and tenderly and musically.  But it is still so long til the grand party.

So turtle walks his path and hardly thinks, to find peace in thoughtlessness.  He decides, very much in the spur of the moment, to visit the larger forest; today he would like to see a wood sprite, if chance should grant him this bit of entertainment.  The larger forest is not far and soon he is there.  He walks about not  looking too hard, because as we all know you never find a wood sprite if you look too hard.

The trees peacefully rest; they are not cold with scarves of snow.  Much like the rest of the world the forest is quiet.  Still as it is, peaceful as it seems, the whole day long there has lingered this uneasy feeling.  Turtle knew it couldn’t possibly be from him alone that such unsettling cloud.  Now that he has thought of it the feelings becomes stronger and though it isn’t at all nice he follows; like walking barefoot along a grass field, to a road, to gravel, to glass: it is unpleasant.  As he pushes along the path the forest becomes dense.  The trees are thicker and there are many more of them.  Even as a turtle, he finds it difficult to push on.  And he continues, though it becomes ridiculous and soon he can not go on as much as he persists.  There is a wall of trees blocking his way, and the feeling is so very strong, that glass walking feeling, but there is perhaps an end beyond this wall, or he is stubborn beyond any reasonable belief, there is no reason he should think that he will find relief beyond the threshold.  And there is no gap in the wall, so he can not penetrate or even see what lies ahead.  He calls out to one of the many, “tree! Allow me to pass, I can not possibly get through with my awkward body, but I must pass.”  The tree does not answer because it is stubborn, or impolite, or because it hides great secrets, or all of these.  Turtle calls out again, “tree, did you not hear me?  Did I not ask politely?  It is turtle the observer, and to be true to my name I must see what is beyond you.”  Yet again there is no reply.  He is discouraged.  It is impossible.  He could easily cut down this tree, but won’t, no matter how unkind the tree has been he has values.  Kindness must remain, especially when holding such an important title.  Passing through is beyond reason.

Still turtle persists.  If breaking through is beyond reason than he will suggest the unreasonable.  He’ll break his shell and climb through the icy cold.  Break his shell, somehow that will pass him through.  But what is through?  It seems so familiar but he can not trust what he can’t see, nor can he rely on distant memories.

Now to slip out of his shell, gently and peaceful like?  He tries as he thinks, but no.  This won’t work at all.  Any how it will be better to do it quickly, fiercely, get it over with, with speed, to do the task most violent like.  Breathing in deeply he gathers courage and brisk.  He counts from five to one in his head.  Racing towards a larger rock, with surprising athletic force, throwing himself onto his shell, jumping up and  repeating, again, and again, ignoring the pain.  In and of itself this is beyond reason, a man who could choke himself to death, but with such unreasonable persistence he is free, the shell broken off.

He shivers and cries because it is very cold and he is exposed.  He is uncomfortable and insecure, the blinding whites and tones of blue with brown are agitating, abrasive.  His one eye is wide while the other is puffy.  He wants to speak but he can hardly mutter a word even in his own head.

But even dwelling in his own anxious misery he sees a young girl dying cold, one he knows from his most innocent youth, the kind that is beyond memory, before he observed.  She is his first and only love.  She has a name that has not been properly spoken for a hundred lives, instead it has been changed and shrouded in assumptions that are unfair and possibly false.  And because her actions seemed to mimick these accusations she was often seen as unfair and possibly false.  But she was mostly honest, in intention atleast, and turtle’s love had never been lost, maybe neglected, so now it is only reminded, suddenly there in full value, no need to fabricated a new, it is true and whole.  He is again a child, with the scattered and calm mind.  There is one tree, there is no wall, and he sits by the tree with no shoes or shell.  Ants crawl freely over his bare arms and legs.  His hat is off because he is at peace and there is no one to please.  The wind blows and he watches the cloud.  He sits deep and lost.  And though he could easily think many things his mind remains silent and he finds great comfort in this.

Beside him lays the girl, asleep and dreaming of beautiful things.  Her head is on his lap and his life is clear, he does not worry whether or not she loves him, he does not worry about that.  It is something else.

The snow has melted and spring has returned.  Beauty is all turtle sees, but he is not lying to himself, beauty is all there is.  Soon he stands in front of all the animals and there is kindness in their eyes and serenity in their way.  He speaks of the year’s growth and of many things important and trivial.  The animals are more than pleased by his performance.  And he is inspired with joy.