The forest is born and reborn every moment.
One leaves behind the noises of a confused mind and enters the sanctuary with anxious footsteps
Winds snake through your hair, snakes slither calmly across the prehistoric floor
Grow and regrow with the changing skies
With the passing seasons one forgets the past and comes to the present
In the forest I may meet my memories
The edited, uncooked, unused ones
Where in my mind have I kept them. What if I meet them? Will we recognize each other? What if we look away from each other?
I can hear echoes of forgotten sounds from my own lifetime. I forget whether I’m walking through it or just passing through it nonchalantly. Under my feet the moist foliage soaks in my anxiety, touch after touch. My fingers graze through outgrown ferns, absorbing their timid texture. Between treetops I see a blinking sun. One witnesses the neutral light that touches young leaves and buries fallen ones.
As I clench wayward roots to climb higher I lose my breath
As I climb down mossy streams birds twitter around me
As I inhale the forest I find my lungs
I forget whether I’m passing through it or just floating
Birds wade in lakes and call skywards as I arrive. Wolves come to drink water at the touch of their reflections.
I can see him fishing. He is so beautiful. Better than me. He strolls around the tall grasses with huge trees in his backdrop forming layers of tall ancient forests. His every step is a poem. He is calmer than the voiceless lake. His portrait is devoid of drama. He is totally aware of every atom. I can hear the voices his mind convey; names of species and their behaviour. His visions are clear and untouched.
He is too sage to talk to me and I am too impure to meet him.
He is aware of me but chooses to let me be. From a distance one senses no connect, from within one senses distance. Between us is a still lake. Over it a ruined wall of reddened brickes withers with every monsoon. Beyond the point that it doesn’t matter, maybe it his only reference to his past. Maybe he is almost perfect, not perfect. But he is beautiful.
One must age with the forest like a tree
Forgetting about growth and focussing more on the winds
To be in the forest one must
forget joy and sorrow
The butterflies teasing you
Like the future.
Featured photograph was made by me in Rajasthan, 2014.