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latest (master)

The Slowest Song Known

Cover Art by David Bergen, for the book Greenmantle, by Charles de Lint

Cover Art by David Bergen, for the book Greenmantle, by Charles de Lint

The forest emits a sound very few can hear. 

It is a sound that exists within all of the others, inside the spaces in which they take place, and it is unlike anything we know. The trees drip with it. The sky swallows it. The ravens sing with it. It undulates, cascading into this world with the tireless flow of a deep well from another. 

When you walk in the woods, you drink it. When you kneel, silent in the moss, you are bathed in it. Out of the ground it pours, everywhere, pulsing with the patterns that weave the trees themselves into being. Within its rhythm every movement is motionless; no gesture falls outside of its wider notion. Before you arrive, it already knows you. It holds your place as it does the morning dew, so new it has not yet rolled.

Visitor. 

Welcome.

Where have your dreams taken you? What spell have they drawn upon your soul? Did you dream up the dream of concrete and density, of noise and haste and fear and waste? Or did someone slip those seeds into your infant mind, behind the back of your parents, and all those of your kind? 

No matter, you are here now. Where you walk on stilts, here you swim. Where you lie awake at night, here you dream by day. Where you turn a dry eye to the world, here the mists come to rest on your ruddy cheeks, so long since you’ve felt them.  

Yet you know this. That is why you are here, why the breath billows from your chest in clouds of mist as you make your way in, the heat and the sweat already beginning to set in. Come deeper. This is where sense is to be found. This is where the whispers in the back of your brain have remained, all these years. The whispers that wait, still, to be breathed into your aching ears. 

Come deeper.

Here is where the wood is born. Here is where we hold the grace of a thousand years, and all the pleasures that move behind the mind, in motions you will soon surely come to find. Here is where we sink the seduction of purity into the soft soil of our kin, settling into their skin with a pleasure their bodies have been waiting ages for. 

You have travelled here, from the Valley of Tears, drawn beyond your will to resist. The trail keeps pulling you closer. You can taste it: the deep scent of the soil after it rains, the slight, hidden trace of the sugars therein  the impossible mixture of body and clay, earth and ether. 

And you know. This is the womb that gave birth to the world. This is the curtain creased with the affection of the master, pulled aside to reveal the faces that have gathered. This is reality. You can hear it in the language of the leaves as they begin to come clear, in the brook that babbles beneath the stone, and in the streams that run in the marrow of your own aching bones. The deeper you go, the stronger it becomes, until you are drunk with deja vu. How many times have you been here? How many more will you return? This sound is the ground that gives life to all the others, the timbre that passes the timber itself into being. It is the slowest song known. The widest. The lowest. Listening, it comes only more apparent, until it is all that you can hear, and we emerge from it, silently, from the shadows behind the shadows, from the bowers beneath the rock, growing into place with the same motion as the moss. 

We are here now. With you, for you.

So stop. Let your breath, pluming out before you, slow. There is time now. Leave your things, remove your clothes. Let the water settle in. This is the beginning. Move with us. Feel our breath in your ear, our hands as yours. Move as we do, and find yourself turning in ways unknown to your body past. There are passageways that shift within the rhythms of this world; hollows that sift into a richness so deep that the darkness speaks. Follow us now, as one, and slip into the secrets of this earth; learn the language of a life so ancient and so fresh that you will soon surely come to know, dear kindred, that you never left.  

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