The Beginning of Beyond

The logger had a secret, and the secret was this: every night he dreamed that he saw the stuff behind the stars, and it was beautiful and bright and sad.

The logger had been having the dream for months now, and he seemed to move through his waking life in a haze, eating his breakfast of flapjacks and bacon while thinking of the dream, swinging his sharpened double-bitted ax into a Douglas fir while wondering how to reach that place without sleeping, and mending his boots and tools while wondering why he had this dream and no one else did.

The logger’s friends noticed that he was caught up in his thoughts and worries, and together they conspired to make him his storytelling song singing self again. One of them broke into the logger’s bunk while the logger was in the woods, and he read about the dream in the logger’s diary and told the others. And the others, united in their good feelings towards the logger, continued in their conspiracy.

One day after a full day of treecutting, when the logger’s ax was warm to the touch and his head was full of the dream, he came back to his bunk to find a spaceship standing out the front of it.

“We read about your dream,” said his friends, “and we know you, and we know you won’t be yourself till you look.”

The logger’s eyes welled up with tears at the gesture. And he thanked them and climbed into his spaceship.

The friends watched as he disappeared through the trees.

Written on February 4th at the Memorial Art Gallery during the Valentine #Schmalentine event for someone I hadn’t quite met before that day.