"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." -Martin Luther

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Timothy and the Grenobles, Part II

Dear Readers,

It is continued, but not yet finished. I do not apologize for putting it down, for tonight has become tomorrow, and I must sleep.

"Well, which way is it?" asked Lisa, for she was an educated young lady, and knew well-enough that the first part of getting somewhere is going in the right direction.
"Which ever way you go, so long as, at the end of it, you are home," they replied.
Lisa raised her eyebrows, the same way she always wanted to when she had to pretend there were numbers that were less than none.
"If I go that way, I will go home," she said, pointing over her shoulder into the woods, "but it will not be your home."
"How can it be yours and not ours?" they asked.
"Take off!" commanded Timothy, pointing at the boot of the Grenoble that stood beside him.
"We cannot," they replied. "We cannot take off our boots until we are home, and," they said, their voices dropping to the taut gust of a winter's wind through the trees, "we cannot go home until you do."
"Let's go home, Timothy," said Lisa, sadly, for she felt very sorry for the Grenobles, though she could not understand why they should have such difficulty.
"Take off!" He shouted, and, standing, he whacked at the boot. The Grenoble watched him silently.
"They say they can when we get home. It's almost dinnertime anyway. Let's go home."
"Take off at home?"
"Yes!"
"Come home!" he called to the Grenobles, and, as if he were sailing into a gale, he plunged into the woods.
A burst of wind followed him, as Lisa clambered up the bank. As she too plunged through the woods the wind twisted and rippled her dress, and she loved the cool breeze in the warm, damp air. Timothy stopped to watch a line of ants climb a highway set deep in a crack in the bark of a venerable pine and looked back to make sure his companions were following. Lisa checked as well, and saw, to her surprise, that the Grenobles were skipping, sprinting, twirling through the woods. One moment, they were walking soberly straight ahead. A burst of wind caught them; and with their arms held arched behind them like those of a ballerina, they too burst forward. The wind changed direction, dipping to the left, and the Grenobles swayed and dipped as well. The wind swirled, spinning Lisa's hair around her forehead, and the Grenobles twirled with it, limbs acting out the parts of eddies and currents. Timothy let out a cry of joy for he knew not what.
For when he looked at the Grenobles, he saw the wind.
Both Grenobles stopped, and Timothy began again his homeward romp. So still they stood, their limbs rustling for a moment longer than they moved, and so still was the wind, that Lisa turned to look over her shoulder at them.
"Have you remembered the way home?"
"We have found him," they replied in whispers. Then, all at once, they leapt forward, flying through the air, and, though she could barely see for the torrent of wind that stung her eyes, hurled leaves every direction at once, and threw her into a run towards home, she thought that their legs still stretched below them all the way to the ground, and they were running, but perhaps it was only the forest floor caught up in the wake of the wind beneath them.
She knew then that they were not mimicking the wind with their dance. The woods all about were still, until they moved. There was no rush in the distance. The wind mimicked them, or perhaps, stranger still, Lisa thought they could be making it themselves.
On she ran, and the sober thoughts in her mind and on her face melted when she heard Timothy squealing with delight as the wind caught him. She laughed as well, and her laugh was small and weak compared to the laughter of the Grenobles, for it was all the roar of the great gusts, the rustle of a thousand leaves, the singing of many great chords, none of which could be completely separated from another, and so could not so much be said to blend into as to be the same song.
So the Grenobles sang and so they danced their way through the woods.
Until, not nearly long enough and some time later, the two children ran laughing and breathless into a small glade, the last few bursts of a wind-storm sighing about them. They did not remember such a place -- where the trees grew thicker around, but thinner in number, and the new grass saluted the sky despite the leaves that laughed and lounged about their upright blades, and where the wind dipped down to mingle and chatter with a brook. The Grenobles arrived not long after the wind, and skipped their hands across its surface like stones before plunging their faces into it. They followed the brook, socializing with the water, until a drop in its path sent them somersaulting head over heels down into a pool. They fell with grace and beauty, spinning and twisting like a wind that has lost whatever course it was following, until they fell, limp-limbed, their bark streaked with rivulets of water, and were still at last.
Timothy had laughed a great deal more than Lisa when the Grenobles fell over the brook, for she was concerned they would be bruised by the fall, while Timothy had no doubt that anything so funny and exciting could hurt anyone.
"I've never been here before," said Lisa, concern shading her eyes. She cast her gaze back and forth, with each little gasp of air, and her lip quivered, for she did not like being lost at all.
Timothy stuck a finger in the water cautiously, roared at the cold, and ran up to a big, mossy old tree and caught it in an embrace, his arms not circling round a tenth of it.
"Aaaah!" he shouted, pushing with his feet, and Lisa, bound to pout if she was to be lost, scolded rather than laughed.
"You can't move that!" she said. For it looked very much as if Timothy were trying to pick the great tree up by the roots.
"Mmmmm!" He bit it fiercely.
There was a great splashing sound, and a burst of wind flew by. The Grenobles had leapt from their rest with a great flourish, and stood, now perfectly dry, before them, as a mist of water that they had flung off fell on Lisa and Timothy. Timothy turned at the sound and the gentlest of drumming on his back by the water, and leaned his face on the side of the tree to stare at them, whishing air in and out of his reddened cheeks, his eyes soft and tired.
"We are here," said one Grenoble.
Will you be home?" asked the other.
All was still.
"Home! Take off!" shouted Timothy, his eyes coming awake again, and Lisa jumped, startled. She did not know how, but she knew that whatever was happening was very important the Grenobles, more important than what had happened before.
"Is this your home?" she asked, looking around.
"We are here." They both said.
"Where is here?"
"Will you be home?"
"I most certainly would if you hadn't made us lost!" she cried.
"Then be home...look," and they walked, stiff and straight, no more than a rustle accompanying them, to the edge of the brook. There, was a pool. Though the water on either side leapt and danced, the center was still. Even more curious, Lisa saw, was that the water ran both ways away, and neither into the pool, as if it were the source of the whole rushing brook. Yet it lay as still as if it were ice, and through it the children could see, as if through clean yet gently swaying glass, a great well. It was the open trunk of a great tree, which reached almost to the surface, so that any ripple would expose the uppermost fingers of wood to the air. But nothing disturbed the water, and the well might as well have been a picture, but for the spring in its bottom. Playing with the water, rolling the current, rippling the inner walls of the trunk spun out a jet of water, Yet, as you, dear reader, I hope understand by now, the surface of the water was not disturbed. This truth struck the children just as often and odd as it has struck you.
"Staiws!" Timothy saw them, curving down around the inside of the trunk, carved wooden stairs, half-logs, so that only their tops were flat. Down and down they went until the blue of the water became too deep to distinguish the brown of the wood.
"What's down there?" cried Timothy, looking up perplexedly at the Grenobles.
"The spring."
"No, but, beneath it?" asked Lisa, looking up at them just as Timothy looked back down, sober-faced, to examine this "spring".
"We cannot go there, so it is no use saying," they replied.
Lisa stood up straight, crossed her arms, and pouted. "What is the matter?" she asked in her most fearsome voice -- a quiet, piercing one that began every word too quiet to hear and thrilled through it so that it resounded with crushing urgency at the end. Timothy almost fell into the pool at the sound of it, for it bode badly for him when she was angry. He took a few steps away, casting about for a hiding place, or hiding person. (A hiding person is just as good, if not better, than a hiding place, for, even if you are found with them, big sisters cannot take you away from a hiding person, so you can forget your big sister and play with their buttons while they hold you).
"Nothing," said the Grenobles.
"But there is something the matter! It is past our dinner! We need to go home. Come on, Timothy!"
Timothy wailed and ran behind his great tree.
"We need to go home," said the Grenobles.
"Then go! You're wind...like wind...go!"
"We need to go down the water," said one.
"We need you to stop the spring," said the other.
Once more Lisa knew they were in deadly earnest.
"Stop it?" Lisa pitied them. She could not leave them. Besides, Timothy, she could tell, did not want to be caught and brought home; he would be very difficult. So, "How?" she asked.
"Put finger in it!" laughed Timothy, and he bolted for the water. There was little he enjoyed so much as sticking his finger into the water-spout, feeling the water run faster to escape it, and chasing it about with his hand, trying to catch it and stop it. He never could, and that is not such a bad thing, for a game that is bliss to play should never be won, or it becomes tiresome.
"Timothy!"
Timothy shied away and sat down on the bank, a frown on his face. He did not like big sisters.
Lisa raised her eyebrows, trying to look important, and, walking a few feet downstream (she could not have walked any other way!) she took up a large, round-edged stone. Huffing with the weight, she brought it back and stood on the edge of the pool with it. She looked at the Grenobles on either side of her, and then at Timothy, sitting a little ways off. They all stared back at her, and, rather embarrassed, and glad there were no adults around to think she was silly, she mphed the stone into the water. It sank through the top of the pool, sending but a single ripple out to the edges, and fell ever so slowly, until, but a moment after it disappeared into the spring, the water stopped playing beneath the pool, and the pool, with a ripple like a spider's-web caught in the wind, sank and darted out through cracks in the trunk walls, different currents bumping into each other, like a school of fish, embarrassed to be intruding. The brook did not stop, however, but began around the top edges of the trunk, water pouring from the side of each splinter of wood outward, but not inward. Soon the well was empty, and Lisa could see that it went very far down indeed. Timothy stepped to the edge of the pool, and then onto the first step inside the trunk. He looked back at Lisa, half giggled, half gasped (for she frowned at him), and charged down the steps, moving more back and forth than he did forward and down.

6 comments:

  1. And on it goes! You continue to produce the most whimsical concepts so effortlessly as to boggle the mind. Bravo.

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  2. Well, at least I know you're not bored anymore! *grins*
    I like all the sibling moments. Lisa's and Timothy's perceptions of each other, and the older-younger sibling relationship (and hierarchy)... it's so real, and I love it. You never cease to amaze. I echo the "Bravo" and add a few "Magnifica!"s and "Stupenda!"s in while I'm at it.
    Running off into the woods with strange little talking wind-dancing critters... Oh, dear, what will their mother say?

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  3. And on and on and on...I may have simply packaged my boredom so it can be shared by others. *grins*
    Yay for realistic sibling moments! I'm glad they're coming across well.
    Yes, I put a little bit of thought into the "but our parents say never to talk to/go with strangers" problem. First, the Grenobles are so strange that they aren't threatening in the everyday sense. Second, the children are "going home" -- so they don't have to deal with the guilt of running away on their parents, at least not until they realize it's time for dinner, and they have "gotten lost."

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  4. I LIKE the wind thing. A lot. It just made my day.

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  5. Ditto the others here. I think that the sibling imagery is really nice as well, and that your descriptions of how Lisa thinks she sounds (her most intense-sounding voice) is quite perceptive. Writing as though you're in someone's mind, knowing what they think of themselves rather than telling what they said, is perceptive. I like it!
    Thanks...

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  6. Ditto everybody. See, Joben? It isn't just because I'm your sister that I think your writings are great, it's because they ARE!
    It's interesting to think that when you write about siblings, you are partially drawing it from your experience with me! Hmm...
    The whole thing with the 'hiding person' instead of 'hiding place' is marvelous. Timothy's simple, childish way of thinking is very realistic and thought provoking. Ben's right about the being in someone's mind instead of just telling about them thing.
    Write on! Your boredom is most enjoyable!

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A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.