The perfect carving

mont13

And the tiny, blooming moonflower was in front of him

Shining with the pureness of the whitest of snow on a clear winter day after a storm

Was it finally the end of this snowstorm in which he had walked through during all his life

Unsheltered from the winds of the north and the icy clumps that fell from the darkest of skies

But if the white coat it left on the trees and the houses and the hills and the river banks was so pure and light and shiny under a clear sky perhaps it was worth it

Perhaps it was worth spending a countless number of years walking through this storm to witness

All this fairness contained in a tiny flower that sung of the beauty of the world

And suddenly, her words, the girl’s words, reverberated through his ears, stormed through his heart

It had been a whisper at the time but now it was a scream, a bellow, a wave

Find the moonflower, find the moonflower, find the moonflower

It is your quest to find the moonflower

A mountain of time and space will separate us

You will have to climb and climb and the path will be hard and you mustn’t be discouraged

You will climb until you find the moonflower, until the moonflower comes and blooms to you

This flower that lives one single day before dying and reveals the truth to the eyes of the beholder

And now this flower was in front of him, embalming the air he breathed

He looked at her and he couldn’t believe his eyes nor his nose

A smell so sweet that it reminisced all the spices and blossoms that his mother used in the kitchen

Orange blossom and warm cinnamon and the wind of the sea and warm peaceful summer nights spent in the garden fairied by the scent of night flowers

And yet nothing could compare with the sensation of the moonflower

Of having found her on the slopes of the little moonstone island in the middle of dozens of other, closed, moonflowers

So many souls that are sleeping still in their closed burgeons and one day will awaken and witness the beauty of the world, and share their own light, their own brightness, with that of others

The boy sat in front of his moonflower, because he could think of nothing else to do

Find the moonflower, listen to her, and she will show you the way to me, to our love

He tried to remember, her face, the girl’s face

But he couldn’t, he couldn’t

He remembered only a fragment of the elation, of the joy, of the completeness

As if it came from a distant dream and not from a real happening in his life

Her gaze, no he couldn’t remember her eyes’ shapes, only their intensity

Her face, he couldn’t remember it either, but it felt the same as the moonflower

It was fair and beautiful and pure, it felt right, exactly right for him

There was not a feature, not a line, he would have changed back then

Her face was a master art in his eyes

And now he found again this immortal beauty in the moonflower

And he watched her and he closed his eyes and he could hear in the distance of another world the brewing of a storm and the rustling of wind in tall trees’ leaves

For a long time he remained there, awake and rocked by the winds as if he were on a ship in the middle of the ocean

He felt free and peaceful and confident and protected

And he finally fell asleep

 

And when he woke up he was sleeping against the altar stone in the little ruined church of the mount

And he was sitting on a carpet of dried brown leaves and glanses

Reddish and brown and yellow and green in colors they were

And he had not noticed how the trunk of the oak tree ate at the wall of the church, how its girth had shattered the stones there

The place was very peaceful with a slight morning breeze that played with the tree leaves and the high grass that grew around the church

And there was a lot of merry bird singing in this fair season, along with the dancing plays of sunrays and shadows

And the boy marveled at how the day before he had missed all this beauty in the countryside

How saddened and grieved his heart was and how it colored everything in shades of gray

How this weight on his chest had prevented him from appreciating each twig, each flight of bird, each tiny wild flower

And instead had him focused on his inner misery, on all the memories that were there and yet he was too afraid to touch, to reopen

Now, after the healing journey through the magical undergrounds and the starry lake and the moon island

After feeling the moonstone under his feet, after feeling the moonlight in his veins and his limbs, after seeing the moonflower, he felt another person entirely

He yawned and stretched and rising on his feet he realized it still was early morning and that he had all the day before him

 

He started erring on the hill, looking closely at a pine tree there

The brown mingled with red and orange in its trunk

The carpet of twigs and pines under it that reminisced him of the bonfires they lit on summer evenings

Of how his task as a child was to collect all these dry twigs in baskets and bring them for his father to throw in the fire

And when he did the flames surged and consumed the twigs in few instants

Lighting and smoking them and inflaming the logs underneath which would hold the fire for long enough to cook their meal

In the city he had entirely forgotten this simple pleasure of eating sitting on the earthen floor around a dying fire, listening to the hum of adults’ conversations and watching the twilight in the sky or simply appreciating each bite of food, the smoked potatoes and vegetables, the roasted meat, the stew

These summer nights seemed to stretch endlessly, lit by the fire embers, the stars and the moon

And while adults drank and laughed, the boy let his thoughts wander in the realm of imagination

And now he remembered all these memories he had kept hidden

But the remembrance happened without pain, without sadness, without this sharp sense of loss he would have felt before

For he was happy to be who he was, where he was

And he walked and walked in fields of wildflower until he reached his ruined village

And now instead of finding it a depressing place he could see all the beauty of the ruined houses

The outgrown grass and trees that grew in the middle of paved stones and brought life in the narrow roads

The collapsed wood shutter that let the wind in a house

He entered there, through the open window and observed the spider webs

They had colonized all the ceiling, especially at the sharp angles with walls

He watched the spider motion for a while and appreciated the lightness of their castles of the thinnest of threads

Then he climbed to the second floor and walked between debris of tiles as the roof had crumbled, probably destroyed by a fire

The brightness of the sunlight dazzled him after the dimness of the closed space below

A purple flowered vine had nested there and it grew on the walls and over the pavement

He went out on the tiny balcony and explored his ruined village from the top

The half-standing houses and the green rivers that the streets had become

And the birds and the bees and the butterflies that flew in all directions

And he felt content and at peace with both his past and his present

 

Sometimes during his daydreaming by the fire he liked to imagine that the ocean came to visit his village

And now he imagined again that the waves crashed on the feet of the windmill

That they filled the streets of the village bringing with them the call of seagulls and the freshness of water

And instead of moving by foot people moved in little rowboats

And each house became a fortress on an island, a mysterious place to accede to and explore

There were treasures to discover, pirates to fight and empires to conquer

He enjoyed this vision for a last time and then set off again

Toward the second village from the other side of the hill, her village

He had never been to that place and now he felt like setting foot there for the first time

And when he arrived he was struck by how similar in aspect the second village looked

As if it were the twin of his village, except that it was a prospering twin outflowing with the sap of life

His village had felt as the slightest sliver of crescent moon, and her village was an almost full moon which had just started waning

And he pictured the two moons in a night sky with the dark hill and the ruined church in between, separating them, joining them

In his village life had been reduced to a whisper, but in her village despite all the life ongoing he could feel the shadow of death

There were old men and women sitting in the streets along with donkeys and horses filling the place with chatter and hoof noises

The houses looked like those he had always knew, with colorful laundry hanging from window sills and swaying in the wind

Children ran and play and laughed and screamed and there were shops and craftsmen in almost every building

And the boy plunged in these streets under the disguise of years, smelling the scents of cooking mingled with those of crafts, those of woodwork and iron forging

He was there without being entirely there, more as a ghost than a real presence he felt

There was something too busy, too alive, to be true in this village

Almost he regretted the peacefulness and the quietness of his village

 

And because of all the business ongoing around, this pretending of being alive

The boy lost a part of the wisdom that the moonflower had infused in him

And he started worrying

Could she have waited for him all these years

When their villages and families had been divided by feuds

When he hardly remembered her face

No, of course not, he felt a fool for believing that his dream could be true

She surely would now be a matron well-settled in her life

With a husband and children of her own

And he felt something crumbling in his chest after picturing this image and a great weight settling on his shoulders

And yet something else still resisted deep inside him

The remembrance of their gaze, of the completeness of their embrace, of its trueness

How could that turn out to be false and stale with time

That would mean that there already was a germ of rotting in their embrace back then

Like a carious tooth which is still white in surface

To that thought his heart rebelled and screamed

At that moment someone asked him what was his business and if he wished to buy spices or vegetables as he had stopped for a while in front of a stall

He shook his head and proceeded on the path, without knowing where he was going, where he should go

He didn’t dare asking about the girl in the village

He was too afraid of the answer

And beside it didn’t feel right

Let the moonflower guide you, she had said

And the moonflower existed

But her voice in his mind had been lost and he didn’t know where to go, how to find her

 

He stepped out of the village and decided to walk toward the sea

Which instead of bathing the houses and the mills feet as he liked to imagine

Was way beyond the orchards of olive and fig and date-palm and orange trees that grew

On his way he picked a couple of figs that he nibbled at

And the peacefulness of bird singing and trees laden with colorful fruits quieted his mind and shushed his worries

And he retrieved almost all the sense of peace and wonder that he had felt after seeing the moonflower

He walked eagerly toward the sea, now convinced that he would come upon her, somehow, somewhere

He breathed the sea air with delight and sat on warm pebbles and observed the play of blue and green and mauve and white in the waters that were quiet that day

She surely must like the sea as much as I do it, he imagined

And he decided to settle there for quite some time in a little hut of wood

He picked seashells and fruits and roots and bought grain and potatoes from time to time in the village and cooked stews on little fires that he lit in front of his hut

And the days passed and the summer waned into fall and there still was no trace of his betrothed

He sometimes went back to her village and climbed to the ruined church with the hope of sighting her

But he never did

The fall was a delight for his senses with the swelling ocean and the crashing waves

He could sit on some rock and watch the sea for hours and hours

Observing the shape of waves, feeling their fury in his own body, looking at the sky and the clouds that traveled there

These sentences and promises and threats that travel above our heads and go for the most unobserved, unlistened to, and yet bear a story to tell

Listening to the howling wind that burnt all the trees growing too close from the sea

And the boy felt almost happy, almost complete

Except that each day resembled a little too much the previous one

Except that he was waiting for something to happen, something that wouldn’t happen

And the time flowed, and soon it was winter already, and after winter spring, and then summer again

And the boy continued to daily survive in his frugal life

To observe the colors of nature, to listen to its voice

And to wait for the promise of the moonflower to fulfill itself

 

Sometimes dark moods came upon him and he thought about forgetting this childish dream and returning to the city, to the real and busy life there

But the idea of the life he lived in town loathed to him, and he never put that project into execution

There always was a sunray, a bird, a sea turtle, a rabbit which brought back in his heart a tiny sliver of beauty and light

That reawakened the brightness of the moonflower which sparkled there as an ever burning fire

Reaching over to the memory of their perfect embrace, of her

One thread that lights another one that lights another one until the fire is relived

And as he had no better place where to go, no other idea, he continued living there

 

On a day of early spring as he was was walking on the beach he found a piece of polished wood stranded there after the latest storm

He had his knife in his pocket, and he started to sculpt it barely thinking about what his hands were doing

He sculpted and sculpted for hours, without noticing that the time passed

Entirely focused on the little scratch of the blade on the wood which was neither too friable nor too h`rd

He carved and carved until the sun was setting behind the cloudset and there was no more light to see

And the next day he came back to the beach and he continued with his work

For hours and hours, until when he noticed that his hands had stopped moving from quite some time

And he looked at the final product of his carving and his hands trembled and his body shuddered and his heart nearly stopped

And he felt a wave of elation spreading through him

He had carved her face, her face, in the wood

His mind could not remember her without seeing her again

But his hands, his muscles, did remember her

And now there was no mistake, it was her face

She looked beautiful and perfect and the boy smiled to her and he wanted to hug her and to kiss her and to stay with her all night long

After a long inspection he noticed there was a sadness and a hardness in her face that had not been there when he had seen her as a child

Was it the toll of life on her face, or his inexperienced hands who could not replicate her essence in its entirety

 

And starting from this day every piece of wood the boy could find, small or large that it was, he sculpted and carved

Each time he did it without thinking, barely knowing what he was doing

And each time, he ended up sculpting the girl’s face, and each time, it was different

Sometimes it looked sad or angry, other times relaxed or asleep, but never joyful truly

And now each day became different, carving gave a new depth to his life, to the time he spent in his hut

He looked forward for each morning, for each moment of the day

The moments he did not spend carving, he admired nature and saw a whole new beauty in it

He felt almost as well as right after finding the moonflower, but it now was his steady state of being

He did not doubt anymore living as a hermit in his hut and waiting and waiting for his dream to become true

For he was not waiting anymore

 

When he carved sometimes he felt a warmth spreading in his chest

Once or twice he tried to think, to control what he was doing, but the result was an aweful and meaningless mess

And from that time he learnt to let his hands work and to observe without interfering with their intent

For his hands knew better than his mind

A few times, he did not end up sculpting her, but the church when it still was entire, a scene from his village when it was still alive, and something that resembled a landscape he had seen in his underground journey

But these were more clumsy than when he carved her face

And yet he enjoyed a lot seeing them, because there was an element of truth in them he could not yet grasp

 

And seasons and years passed, without passing truly as time had nearly stopped for the boy

He had ceased to go to the village and instead lived wholly around his hut

Intent on carving and carving and carving

He never picked up his carvings, leaving them in the place he had sculpted them

Some were taken away by the waves or by the winter rot, others remained there as his contribution to the beauty of nature

He started understanding better what the moonflower had tried to tell him

That he must let the light within shine and lit the world

No one seemed to see or notice his sculptures but it did not matter

Because carving them made all the sense of the world, it made him complete and fulfilled

Almost as when they had embraced each others with eyes and bodies and souls

 

Until one day when he started carving and his hands wouldn’t work

He tried to coerce and force them into sculpting

Ending up with a distorted piece of mangled wood

He tried over and over for the next days

And it was a wretch every single time

And sadness and despair crept upon him as his hands lay still

He spent hours and hours watching the sea, mournfully

All the beauty was gone from the world

Except when he looked at his old carvings that he now started collecting and sheltering as precious pieces

For he had the heart-wrenching feeling that he would never be able to sculpt again

And he looked at his old carvings, at her many faces, and it gave him a bit of comfort

They spoke of a silent promise, of the distant dream of the moonflower

A mountain of time and space will separate us

And you will need to climb it and the climb will be long and when you will find the moonflower listen to her and she will lead you to me

And that’s what he had done, for three years of his life

And now, he did not, could not understand, why his hands had stopped working

As if the sap of life in them had ended

He tried to go back in pilgrimage to the old ruined church

But he gained nothing of note there except seeing that the carpet of glanses had thickened further, and that there were goats grazing around and being drunk from the well by a shepherd

And the boy nodded to this solitary soul and returned to his hut of wood

With no other choice than accepting the fate of his silenced hands

And listening to the other melodies of the world

But none bore the joy and meaning he found in carving

And he understood that he was born to carve, to let his hands work through the wood without thinking, aimlessly

And that the aimless became unique and beautiful and full of a meaning that only the heart can see and touch and reveal to the mind through the eyes and the touch

 

After months and months of silence, slowly, very slowly

His hands started carving again, like the hands of a child at first, slow and clumsy

But soon enough it was as if they had never stopped carving all this time

And they moved through the wood like silent dancers of the wind

Like the flickering flames of a fire

And new meanings revealed to the boy’s eyes

 

And one day of early May he sculpted a tiny piece of wood he had found by the sea

And there appeared the face of the girl exactly as he had known her

Young and soft and beautiful

Innocent yet full of wisdom

And joyful, joyful

She did not smile but the joy was carved everywhere

In the intensity of her eyes

In the perfectness of her features

It felt right, exactly right

And the boy felt full of love for her, and he felt as though she shared her love for him too

And for the next three days he was in this mood

The heart outbrimming with joy, always on the edge of crying and laughing

And he didn’t carve anymore, not because he was not inspired but because he had reached perfection and he wanted to enjoy that feeling for a moment

 

And the third day, as he was watching the sea close to his perfect sculpture of her

He felt a presence behind him, but he did not turn back

And suddenly he felt her close to him and without looking he knew that she was watching the same thing as he did

They did not look at each other, as if to enjoy that last moment of aloneness together, this first moment of togetherness in solitude

And suddenly close to the perfect carving of her child’s face stood another carving in a darker wood

And it was another little piece of eternity, figuring a rugged yet beautiful landscape figuring a mountain with a tiny flower on it

It was the mountain they had climbed together

And the boy recognized his moonflower

He felt all his body glowing with warmth and light

And then, slowly, they both snatched their gaze from the perfect carvings

And they looked at one another

And a torrent of joy flooded through them

And they felt on their face and breathed in their lungs the crisp pure air of the mountain they had climbed together in solitude

And they cried tears of joy

And they smiled uncontrollably

And their smiles became pearls of laughter

And they cried again holding their hands

And they came closer and hugged and hugged

And it felt as though no time had passed at all since the last time

Two decades that disappeared in an embrace

And they hugged and hugged in the quietness of the spring’s eve

And bodies and souls filled one another over the timelessness of the night

And it already was heaven on earth for the girl and the boy

And the next morning they awoke with the joy of children and birds

And their hands started singing together

Melody upon melody carved in wood

And they added their light to the world

A new sun was formed

A new world was born

From their hands, from their hearts, from their souls

“A glimpse on a new world” is a watercolor painting by Chantal Peguiron

About Erik Vincenti Zakhia

Dear all, I will share with you many of my poems, short stories, drawings and paintings telling of my journey of self-discovery and my reflections about life, love, art, spirituality, sexuality, kundalini rise, and twin flames. You will also come across many paintings by Chantal Peguiron that are intimately related to my artwork. They all fall within the realm of Hazen. If you like it, don’t hesitate to subscribe and follow me on social media! May you have an inspiring visit!

One comment

  1. Pingback: Reuniting with my twin flame – Rediscovering Painting | Erik Vincenti Zakhia

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