Where dreams and reality collide; a chance encounter.

Sometimes you meet people in life that you weren’t expecting. Sometimes these experiences turn out to be positive, others hurt. In either case they open you up to experience the rawness you can only feel in the face of something new; where the cloudy veil of familiarity is lifted, you’re exposed and fully open to encounter. I wrote this a little while ago about such a crossing of paths, but never shared it. Reading it now it feels like it was written by someone else, in another time. The shyness and self-concsioucness about this has worn off and I don’t think that she’d mind if I finally shared.

She curled herself in a wooden armchair, arms wrapped around her knees and head rested in her lap. She looked at him with curiosity. He smiled at her. He saw her. She couldn’t hide. She curled herself in tighter, warmer, and smiled back.

That night her sleep was infected. She saw colours, images and things that, although she’d seen before, couldn’t be named. The feeling was overwhelming, like ecstasy. She felt compelled; although to do what? She didn’t know yet.

He’d contacted her, as though he knew she’d been thinking of him too, proclaiming a great adventure was still to be lived by them. She didn’t hesitate in mindfully penning her reply. She knew a place – quiet and far away, where you could be where there was nowhere left to go – that she’d been meaning to explore with someone for a while. She hoped it was the kind of place he wanted to visit too.

She saw him long before he saw her and he looked, as she imagined, as she’d done many times before; waiting for someone at the side of the road, head buried in another world and a backpack at his feet. When he spoke she hadn’t remembered his accent being so strong. Written words had conveyed clear thoughts, which she felt they shared, so the unfamiliar accent to a familiar relationship came as a shock.

They’d taken to fasting. And if their stomachs had been hungry then their minds were ravenous. They ate words, thoughts and devoured concepts only a few dared to touch. They drank the sun, inhaled the eucalypts and savored the silence. She’d wandered in this forest alone before now and felt the path a little bit wider, clearer with the company of someone else. The scenery seemed slightly different, doubled, as if they were two mirrors back to back.

There, time didn’t exist. Neither did space. Neither did they. Ideas floated by like clouds, they played with them, changed their shape and moved them on. The horizon and mountains, likewise, hid and reappeared behind the waves of mist which continued to shape and re-shape their perception of their surrounding environment. They controlled time and reality proclaiming Christmas at their convenience.

Perhaps it was the start, or perhaps it was just part of a bigger adventure. They, like many before them, had no way of knowing. For the time being they knew it was Christmas in India, not in many other parts of the world and tomorrow would eventually become a memory.