Monday, June 29, 2009

The Valley



"Sir?"

"Yes...."

"Are you alright?"

"I don't know. Where did you come from?"

"I came from the valley."

"The valley? I wasn't expecting to see anyone out here."

"I thought I saw someone up on this hill. On this very spot. And here you are."

"The forest is so thick.... I wasn't expecting to see anyone out here."

"But here you are. And here I am."

"You came from the valley?"

"Yes. You can almost see it from here. Just the tops of the trees. The other mountain also leads down."

"I was just trying my cell phone."

"You can't get reception in the valley. The sides are too steep. See the other side from here?"

"But I should call."

"There's no one to call in the valley."

"My GPS.... It doesn't work."

"There are no signals in the valley. It's strange like that. Too deep maybe. No radio. No television. No satellite."

"Nothing?"

"Nothing but the valley."

"Nothing...."

"People in the valley lose track. They forget that nothing reaches valley. They just walk and live and the world moves in odd directions without them."

"How do you know?"

"About the valley?"

"Yes."

"I dreamed strange dreams once. Like you did. I drove in the night and walked through the forest and woke when someone spoke to me."

"I'm awake?"

"I lived in the valley. I don't know how long."

"How long...."

"There's a path for you now. You can follow it down."

"How long...."

"I'm going to walk a bit farther now. To the top of the mountain. I want to see over the ridge."

"I dreamed about you."

"Yes. And someday, you'll dream again. The path will open, and you'll climb, and you'll find another, like you, to come live in the valley."

"But--"

"As long as you need to be here. Just that long. But....already it's getting hard to remember. I'm going to climb the rest of the way now. Be well."

"Goodbye."

14 comments:

the walking man said...

Odd isn't it? these places dreams lead us to. Freeing one thought to make room for another until a dream comes to show us a way to realize the one before and set it free.

You be well too dream man.

Shadow said...

free? in a valley? a blessing? maybe! probably... i need to mull this over...

JR's Thumbprints said...

Dreams are such a mystery. If I were a scientist, I'd study the significance behind dreams.

Aniket said...

This had a Jonathan Livingston Seagullish feeling to it. To be someplace one can't leave till they realize the meaning of their existence... their true purpose... the answers they seek...

Bebo said...

Shades of Twilight Zone & Outer Limits here...

I think I dreamed that dream & lived in that valley for a while...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I like this approach. It reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan's stories. I like the idea of journeying to find one's self or the meaning of life - either in dreams or reality.

Catvibe said...

So this is how he recruited his replacement, through a dream? Cool! How INFP of them! Gee, I hope that guy brought his dog or something to keep him company. I wonder if there are pets in the valley??

Loved it.

jason evans said...

Walking Man, the interesting thing is that this vignette was sparked by a real valley, and your comments, and the others, are helping me understand the scene I saw there.

Shadow, I don't know if it's a blessing. In a way, it might be a prison. But one that is temporary, and one is needed.

JR, the strangest are when dreams and reality mix.

Aniket, yes, I saw it like that too. A strange piece of life lived out of phase. We take subconscious building blocks away from the experience. The leaving person speaks with an odd voice of wisdom.

Bebo, you may have. I wonder what it would be like to want to.

Kaye, that's quite a compliment. Even though M. Night Shyamalan has struggled with his movies, I remain of fan of the essential spirit he weaves.

Catvibe, there are others in the valley. Other people living walking lives, but who circle and recircle their steps in the quiet sun.

Catvibe said...

Like a harmonic ringing of the glass...

SzélsőFa said...

it feels like a perpetuum mobile to me... very interesting idea, Jason.

Aine said...

I really like like this vignette on so many levels. At first, I saw a fantastic sci-fi, Twilight Zone-ish story. Could be a really engaging novel. ;)

Then, while reading the other comments, I was captured by the idea of this being the author's dream. Which requires a fun psychological interpretation. The need to get lost in order to find oneself.

But my favorite thought inspired by this piece echoes Aniket's Jonathan Livingston Seagull comparison. It is about the need for spiritual renewal. To find purpose by stripping away all that is extraneous. Discovering true priority. That is wisdom.

They just walk and live...

...sigh...
:)

jason evans said...

Catvibe, maybe so. That might work well as a metaphor.

Szelsofa, there is a perpetual, circular feel to it. Thanks!

Aine, I agree! The comments this time actually added quite a bit to this vignette for me. It was such a pleasure to read them. (And I'm sighing with you.) :)

Karen said...

Jason - coming before your post on infinity, I'm understanding your valley a little better, I think.

Katherine Napier said...

Hmmm... Am I the only one who read this as a reincarnation story? He is entering one world after losing contact with the other. The people in the valley are oblivious, but the world moves in odd directions without them. The stay is temporary, but seems to be associated with forgetting what was. The path is not available at will. He understands that he is not asleep, only that he sensed this would happen in a previous dream. Finally, the man from the valley is forgetting the valley as he ascends, much like the valley people losing track.
It's funny how a piece of fiction can be open to such a variety of interpretation.