A double blue reflection. The cobalt of the lake with its graveyard of dead trees lying on the bottom. One recent death half-floats in purgatory. And the deep blue of the sky, foregrounded by a living green forest. Both blues framed by ancient volcanic formations. All is alive, even death.
She’s a ghost. I know that. She brushes her fingers along my shoulders and I will look up to find her playing among the trees, pretending to be the wind. She’ll drop a pinecone or a small branch as a reminder. Then, off she goes to the deeper part of the forest where I can’t follow. She laughs. I can’t hear it, but I know she’s laughing.
This spirit of hers doesn’t frighten me. But there are times when the forest is as still as death. It’s upon these moments, in silent life, when I look behind me on the trail and shudder in my aloneness.
She returns, that’s what ghosts do, with her sound, a rustling, a stirring, a theme she buries deep inside me. Its tune reminds me that I’m also a ghost. At times, this makes me sad, to know I’m as invisible as her, but it’s her way of empowering me, to haunt. I can’t help but to be…a ghost.
I can tell you this one thing. It’s the only thing I really, really know. If you listen, you will also know you’re a ghost. Even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, look up, and see a jet leaving contrails high in the sky, above the wilderness, without making a sound.
Tentacles like arms reach for a last touch of sky. Forest fires burn differently depending on the environment. Some fires lick the bark off of trees but leave them alive to grow new skin. Others, like this one, scorch, leaving a graveyard full of Goliath skeletons. Three Fingered Jack, Pacific Crest Trail, July 2017. Forest […]