The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34083   Message #462554
Posted By: JenEllen
15-May-01 - 02:31 AM
Thread Name: BS: (Another Classic Gem) In Search of Shangri-La
Subject: RE: BS: New Story - In Search of Shangi-La
Annette worked in the gardens with Patil for a better part of the morning. When she decided to forego the noon meal for a chance to sit in solitude, the tiny monk nodded his approval and left her sitting folded beneath a tree, hugging her knees. As the sun reached it's highest and started to descend, Thubten approached and sat beside her.
"May we continue our discussion of yesterday?" he cautiously asked.
"Yes," she replied, "but this time I am the one asking the questions....So, little man, tell me, why does Curioso do this? Do you know? Everywhere around this world now, people are starved for bliss, and yet he tortures himself here and has no happiness? Why?"
"It is a rocky path, dear lady-friend, that he has chosen. The path that embraces what most would normally avoid." Annette looks up at him, puzzled. "For example then? You are standing here, and a horse is running towards you. You have three options. You could stand here and be trampled, or you could move to avoid it -but the horse may return."
"...And the third choice is?" she asks
"To embrace. Leap upon the horse and go for a ride. It would be the only way you could hope to turn it."
"Go for a ride?" she erupts, "And the chances of this turning out well are what?"
"Well, I would say significantly better than if one sat or ran. Now, dear woman, my question for you. What are you thinking of?"
She pauses, sighs, and drops her chin to her knees before answering him. "My life changing, perhaps? Once upon a time my life was at a school, I had my work and my passion- finding ways to explain what cannot be seen, and speaking to others who studied of the same. When I met Curioso, we spoke as if we'd known each other forever. Talking late into the night of all the new things, and waking up intertwined. All futures and dreams. I had begun a new project, that unknown to me at the time, would change my world forever. Curioso helped to hide it from some very bad people, but I think he began hiding more from me. He is evading, I am afraid, and not allowing me to understand. It is very hard to take these frustrations for a ride, non?"
Thubten gave her a confused look, and she continued, "Explanation for you? Oui. Not so very long ago, I was resting in a hotel. We were supposed to meet a fellow traveler, but I fell ill. Curioso went out, and later that evening, as I napped, I heard the door open. Hearing the quiet footfall, I assumed it was Curioso returning and did not rise. I felt a cold hand upon the back of my neck, but by then it was too late. All I remember of Japan is the cold and the dark- no better than German prisons- and my captor, Yamada, who remained an ignorant man asking ignorant questions while his shadow lingered in the dark corners. That shadow was what I feared, really"
"And what became of this fear? You ran away?"
"Yes", she quietly spoke, "But only because one cannot conquer a shadow. Now the shadow has a face."
At this, Thubten sighed and stood. He placed his hand on the top of Annette's head for a moment, then left his lady-friend alone with her thoughts.