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Returning Home


                    *Clarence John Laughlin, Imagination (1944)*



It almost feels like a sweet dream- I walk back to where I grew up and had spent a large chunk of my youth until last year; leaves rustle when I walk past, this gentle din is coupled with a faint, almost inaudible echo that can be heard growingly amplified when I am nearing the destination. The source of the echo is unknown, for the ground of where I’m standing is more or less reduced to a boundless land of desolation, and not a single soul can be seen wandering about. During the course of my journey the interminable lines of trees beside the road are my sole companion. The trees look exactly the same as I perceived them when I was young- they are the tall, gangly ghosts that are shrouded in their morbid gloom. These ghosts also walk, too, as I can feel them hounding in the wake of my footsteps, always without a sound, without a silhouette. And thus I hasten my pace.

Some people’s lives are constantly embroiled in tragedies, regardless of how hard they try to wriggle out of a string of failed hopes. Some, on the other hand, while away their days on the foundation of tragedies, and mostly with fatalistic visions they dream. The girl that left the town years ago dreamed more of an apocalyptic dream. One day with an outburst of wrath proved unappeasable, she left the town shattered behind her like a heroic fighter marching out of his victorious battle. And the trees that swayed like wandering ghosts were the only witnesses of her crime. The trees spoke in a language understood by no others, and they only spoke when caressed by a sudden gust.

The word is covered in dusts and ice when I awake from a dream drenched with sweat, seated on fire. I was back in the dream of returning to my hometown where the land was littered with deaths. I was fascinated for a moment as I witnessed a bone sparkled under the sun. Those carcases were suffused with the glory of time. History crystallized their essence. An overdue consecration the deaths were blessed. The living deaths were the restless creature that looked enviously at the deaths, shivering from an agonizing shrill they painstakingly stifled. The clear visions of my dream were somehow blotted out by a feverish interval. Everything mingled, and soon will be forgotten.

Fear not the crow that caws and the din that drums on every cell of your head. Fear not the fire that burns, quite suddenly and unaccountably which extinguishes myriads sparkles in numerous men’s hearts. Fear not the ghostly trees that walk and little by little your drowned confessions spell out. Fear not the phantasmagoric image your dream carries, for everything in the end flakes away in dust and flame.

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