I've decided, with gentle prodding from external sources, that I should start writing again, and I need practice.
I had this thought. Well, it was really a mid thought, because it came in the middle of wondering about a story I'm thinking of writing called "Dream Vacation"... which is a story of timesharing dreams with the other you in the place on the other side of your dreams. or something like that. See, it started with this idea that when we dream incredibly vivid dreams of sight, sound, texture and taste that they are indistinguishable from reality, it's because we actually spend a bit of time in an alternate place where we also exist, living a different life or sometimes a not so different life.
In the original idea, the hero finds a way to communicate with his other selves and brings them all together to stop some universe shattering whatever. I've grown tired of universe shattering whatevers, however, considering that too many of my friends have lived through some of them and I'm looking for something new.
So I thought... okay... what if we could still communicate with our otherselves and found a way to let other folks communicate with their other selves or even with other folks in the other realms of the dream world. What would happen if we opened up trade routes to those dream worlds and one of the commodities we traded was the ability for them to come live over here for a bit in bodies over here and the host of the body they inhabited over here swapped and lived over in the dream world body of whomever was inhabiting their body?
Sound confusing? no? yes? Anyway, I know what I'm talking about.
Now, what if the person over here decided they didn't want to give up the here life? What recourse would the host have, since the host was stuck in dreamland? How would they get back? Even if there was some sort of idiot proof fail safe to keep this situation from happening, we all know idiots that unproof things that are definitely prone to fail less than safely.
and that's not really what I was thinking...
What I was thinking was this:
Imagine a leaf, orange and red and yellow and green. A maple leaf in the grip of Fall, it's sap dried and it's life ebbing, drifting, floating, floating, and falling into a crystal clear running stream, a stream that was so clear and so perfect that ever stone in bed of the stream looked three times larger and sparkled as if it was pure silver. A stream that was so marvelous that it's mere babbling was a reminder of the music of the spheres. And on this stream floated this tired, tired leaf. And the leaf had a dream, in it's old and slumbery, heading towards the wintering of it's life sort of way. The leaf dreamed that it was drifting, floating, floating and falling into a pile of other leaves, all golden and reddish and orangy and tall. Tall enough so that a tall boy, skinny as a split rail and tan like a golden retriever; a laughing boy who can look at the world with eyes of amazement and wonder, could run and jump and find himself hid from the evil of the world, while smelling the hot musty greenish brownish not quite mouldy smell of Fall-time leaves shrouding and cloaking his skinny shoulders and making rusty, dusty crumbles in his shaggy blondish brown hair.
But then I quit thinking that and thought this:
I wonder if a leaf notices when it drops loose from a tree branch. I wonder if it's even aware. Does it feel? Does it recognize? I know that experiments have shown some rudimentary cognitive skills in trees, especially when they recognize danger and transmit it far and wide to one another, like shouting FIRE in an incredibly large building.
But... do the leaves notice? When they fall? That moment of weakening and tearing away from the branch, where just mere moments ago, securely attached to solid limb and now, cast out into space? Do they notice, and if so, is it with trepidation or with joy?
Might a leaf look forward to the next step in the lifecycle, thinking it's happy thoughts and secure in the knowledge that as it passes from this world it will leave behind nourishment for other plants and insect life? Perhaps I give too much credit to the mental capacity of your common leaf.
but then I quit thinking this and thought this:
I wonder if, at the time of death, the human soul or essence or whatever it is notices? When it leaves? That moment of weakening and tearing away from the body, where just mere moments ago, securely attached to solid limb and now, cast out into space? I wonder if it knows? I wonder if it cares or is the soul focused on the next step of the journey, whatever that may be? I wonder if they miss the body. I wonder if they look forward to the journey with joy or with trepidation.
And then I stopped wondering about that and thought this:
Hmmm. leaves are like souls, in a way. And souls, oddly enough, are like leaves.
and at this time, 12:15 central am time, that's all I'm gonna say about that.