(this post is a continuation of a story that I have written in segments on this blog. if you have not read the other three “chapters” this post won’t make much sense. you can dig the other chapters out just by backing up on this blog)
He stood in amazement and had no response. Every sentence this child spoke was a poem. And this was pure beauty. The neat schoolhouse, the raked yard, the late-afternoon setting sun. The light breeze. The slender, carefree girl in the blue dress and ribbon, all unafraid. He allowed himself a moment to worry for her security. She was alone there, in the schoolhouse, in the schoolyard. But he somehow knew that this place was like no other and that whatever dark powers there might have been in this world he had entered, none could reach the schoolyard; none could reach the girl while she was there, alone or not, doing what she was born to do. His stronger urge was to engage further with her. To touch the butterfly, to catch the songbird. How obviously tempting and how obviously selfish and wrong. He did not want to leave. Not to leave her and not to leave this perfect schoolyard, but he knew that he must and he soon realized that what he had already been given was an extraordinary gift and that every moment longer he stayed would make the inevitable leaving more of a tearing of flesh. And so he bade her goodbye and walked on a surprised and enriched man, a man whose poems from then on would be bolder and would flow freer than ever before. He would no longer be his own critic. He would no longer write in fear. He would write as if writing were the same thing as running down a hill. He would open his heart and write for the joy of it – to feel the wind on his cheeks and the strength of his own mind and body and the elevation of his spirit.