The Old Man

Somewhere in the North, I was a bird above summer fields, flying high and fast. Saw a man riding a horse. He wore a barbed carapace. A red fog, like a dragon, set fire to the man’s back. He turned his horse around and around in a fast, throbbing circle. Then he took a fiery thorn out of his carapace: an arrow. And he shot into the night.

From a distance, those arrows were shooting stars. I was at the seaside with the Siberian man, staring at the sky.

The silhouette of the man on the horse was on a rock now, accompanied by the red fog-dragon.

“What is going on?” I asked the Siberian man. “What kind of being is that?”

“It is not a being yet. It’s on its way to becoming.”

“Is it something good or something dangerous?”

“Both. All good things are dangerous. Water is dangerous. Fire is dangerous.”

As if it could feel us, the red fog-dragon approached.

“What form will it take?” I asked the Siberian man.

“What form would you give it?”

As I wondered, the fog was getting denser, taking shape. I could feel it probing me, as if to find out what I wanted.

I decided not to want it to be anything. Every idea that came to me, the fog started to incarnate, but I chased them all away. I quietened my mind and became completely still inside.

The fog kept probing within me, but it found nothing but silence. Then it started to take shape anyway. It was becoming itself, who it truly was because I gave it no mold to fit into. I had no instructions, no expectations, no wishes. When the fog stopped changing and it arrived at its final form, there was a small, old man in front of me. His hair white like snow. His eyes dark and intense. He smiled.

And so did the Siberian man.

“Well done. Well done.”

The old man nodded. His presence was so powerful that the air was electric. They laughed.

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