[I mentioned in Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons that chapter numbering would get wonky as Shaman Story is a work in progress. This week’s entry bears that out, as it comes before chapter 6 and after chapter 5. So far. I think.]
Grandpa teaches me about Shadows. We walk through a forest and greet everyone we meet. “Hello, Tree! Hello, Ash! Hello, Ant! Hello, Spider!”
“Do you know who these are, Gio?”
“These are my friends.”
Grandpa smiles. “Yes, they are your friends. They are also Shadows.”
“Yes. Everything here is a shadow of what really is.”
“The tree is not a tree?”
“The tree,” he points, “Is not Tree.”
“It’s a maple.”
He laughs. “That maple tree is not Maple.”
I hear the emphasis in his words.
“In all things, there is one which is the first of that thing. Everything else is a shadow of that first.”
I watch a snail inching up a birch. “Where is Snail, then?”
“A place of such brilliance it casts it shadow so every other snail exists.”
“But where, Grandpa?”
A simple word. I hear the emphasis. Not where Grandma sits spinning threads, weaving, making me clothes. Some place other.
I put my hand by the snail. Its antennae tickle me. It waves them at me to see who I am. “Hello, Gio.”
“It knows who I am, Grandpa!”
“This is The Wild, Gio. Everything is known here. When you want to know something, go to The Wild. If there is an answer, you’ll find it.”
A raven comes. It flaps by the snail, snatching it in its beak, flying away.”
“That is the way of The Wild, Gio.”
“That snail was my friend.”
“Is raven your friend?”
I sniffle. “Yes.”
“And the birch tree?”
“But sometimes we cut down a tree for firewood. We load up the truck and take it home.”
I am confused and answer slowly. “Yes.”
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