One step beyond

©2022 Michael Raven

I have been standing here, staring at the edge of the world.

People imagine that place to be on the precipice of an abyss filled with void, tumbling out before them — a cascade of nothing.

That’s not the edge of the world.

The edge of the world terminates where another begins: one of dense old growth trees and sunlight struggling to reach eager young plants, and where mycelium chatter over a mystic telegram of spores, electrical impulses and chemical lovemaking. Where thing rot and are reborn in the shadows, and leaves mask the rich soil below.

I am unmoored, unhomed, lost the thread of the tether save for the few gossamer tendrils threatening to break like spider silk under too much strain. I am a drifter trying to find a way back to the heart buried past the edge of the world, a wayfarer and pilgrim, blind with fingers reaching out to feel my way past the blinding brilliance of chrome and corrupted alchemy. I am wandering, here, at the razor thin slice of reality, wondering on which side I actually stand.

Drifter: my everywhere is home, but never do I belong.

Taking up my walking staff, my third leg grounding, I step into the shadows, leaving something behind.

A journey. An echtrae. One step beyond.

Under the stone.

©2022 Michael Raven

Soft glow the tunnel twist-turning underwards, diving below verdant surface emerald and standing stone. No light cast and I can begin to see as she leads, everso away. The ground gives way to rock and hard and the green-cast light grows stronger. The awe fills more than fear and the connections trace clear.

“You can see.”

No question there, but a grunted affirmation a prelude to her sigh.

Continue reading “Under the stone.”

Autumn ghosts

Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.


As I occasionally do, always with delusions of grandeur and abandon, I am considering dedicating some time in October to internal alchemy.

That’s my fancy way of saying that I might start attending to “getting my head screwed on right” via refreshing my mind of the words of old dead guys (and a few yet living) and setting aside a chunk of time to meditate and/or practice some tai chi, qi gong, walking long distances in reflection, etc.

Though it might prove hard to do, I think setting aside current events reads might be better than keeping abreast of the chaos and idiocy running rampant out there. By paying so much attention to things out of my control, I am like the preying mantis waving his arms in front of an oncoming wagon in another of Zhuangzi’s reflections. It is ultimately a useless exercise and only spreads the cancerous rot of the current environment to my soul.

While the thought of running off to somewhere like Canada, Iceland or Finland* to escape the turmoil in the States sounds appealing to “my friend”, it probably isn’t workable and probably wouldn’t solve much. I mean, he only has 20-40 years (on the outside range) left to deal with it, right? And there is little guarantee that his family would thank him for uprooting them (his own parents would be livid).

So, I’ll stay put and exorcise a few ghosts and demons by pretending I can be some Taoist or Zen sage if I only try hard enough at not trying — and then close my eyes and try not to wince when early November comes around.

Maybe I’ll have found enough center after my efforts in October to observe and not try to put value judgments on what occurs. Oh, there I go again with those delusions.

* [Edit 07:28 am local: This assumes any of those places would even want me.]