Some lines cannot be written, some words cannot be spoken, some feelings cannot be felt, and some intuitions cannot be intuited, before their time. I speak of things that require a backward courage because they hold themselves inside like tiny, almost imperceptible, irritations known only as a twinge of wonder or unease on which I cannot put my finger. It is a little different than the lingering doubt about whether I locked the door or turned off the burner. It's a quiet inner voice calling me back, coupled with a hesitation to go there, because another part of me knows it is the tip of an iceberg of all forgotten things, of all unfinished projects, of all incomplete tasks, and of all open loops in my relationships and my life.
It is the disembodied voice of the once-beautiful Echo after being shunned by Narcissus; a voice pining over all that I've lost and all the life I've abandoned or left unexplored. This nagging sense of something essential left unfinished is itself a great a canyon where Echo’s voice becomes a swan song. It has its own life. Among the lost and abandoned that it houses are some that need neglect, that need a space away from my doubt and my desire, a space free from the judgment of others, a space that does not need the nourishment of the world to grow a garden, a space that can protect the truth until the courage to speak it rises in me.
I come to honor this space. I come to pay homage to the ruins of sacred sites, to the graveyard of forgotten dreams, to the compost heap of undone duties and thwarted desires. I come to give my prayers to, and place my faith in, the secret garden that will bear tomorrow’s fruit and where Echo still dances in all her beauty. I clear a path for the bounty within to arrive at my doorstep. When I answer the knock, I may not see the carrier, but I will delight in the gift and my euphoria will echo back across the canyon straight into the heart.
What message is echoing in the canyon lands of your soul?
Note: In Geek mythology, the lovely Echo, a talkative nymph with a beautiful voice, was cursed to repeat only the last words said. She falls in love with the handsome and self-centered Narcissus, who shuns her believing she mocks him by echoing his words. Narcissus is then transfixed with his own reflection in a pond, withering away and transforming into a Narcissus flower. The forlorn Echo pines away in the canyon until only her voice remains. Hence, the origins of canyon echoes and narcissus flowers.
Photo, Prose, and Recital © Nick LeForce.
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