emily and the trickster

i walked away from camp following markers to the beach on the other side of vargis island in clayoquot sound. around one hundred people had travelled by small boat for a wilderness gathering on this island in canada on the north western pacific rim. few people live there. reaching the beach i walked as far west as i could and saw an old woman. she wore black rubber boots and warm wool clothes. grey haired and strong, she dragged a huge bull kelp. i asked her if she had come by way of the shore and could i walk back that way to camp. emily said yes. so i went by the coast.

i walked over a small peninsula to the other side. i followed the coastal route. i climbed rocks. trees and sea life all around beautiful sky still summer early september. grey rocks green green green and sea. i kept walking thinking i’d get back to camp. emily said . . . so i went on. soon i was in brambles that pulled me tugging me down. i crawled under old trees fallen going into earth in order to continue on. crows began to laugh at me. haah haah! i wonder if i will come face to face with cougar or wolf. already flora is tearing at my clothes. green hands brown bones red blood. yet i can see water. if only i stay by the coast i’ll get back. i think it isn’t far. my walk from camp hadn’t been that long. emily said . . . these crows are laughing at me . . .

lost in the woods an hour and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 2 hours and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 3 hours and a half and i wonder if i’ll ever come back

i see a rise in the land and think i’ll be able to see the camp from there. i enter an old apple orchard. i cannot see the coast though i know it’s to the west. it musn’t be far to the camp. i’ve already come a long way. i come out by the coast and climb the rocks again. soon i am on rock alone. fog is rolling in. thick grey and white. i can see fishing boats. i am on the edge of the pacific ocean. it is vast. i feel shivers up my spine . . . mists myths mists myths . . . the sea touches me. the fog recedes as i climb further. i’m beginning to thirst and i realize either way it will be hours to get to camp so i continue on. it mustn’t be farther. the crows are inland. i am out here with waves crashing . . . clayoquot clayoquot emily emily culture camp home wilderness

lost in the woods an hour and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 2 hours and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 3 hours and a half and i wonder if i’ll ever come back

distinctions blur the trickster has caught me and is taking me for a spin. i am lost either way. i am tired. i will be exhausted hungry and cold soon. i continue by the shore and come upon a cove. the camp should be there just around the corner. if it isnt i’ll turn back. i climb out on smooth rocks. there is a boat with three people. by this time my pant legs are ripped to pieces and one leg has come off at the knee. i wave them in. i explain that i tried walking back to camp. they say they will take me back. i don’t notice the pirate flag until we are well away from shore. they have been drinking fishing illegally for abalone. the first mate steers the power boat while captain dagger and his she wench are explicitly sexual. her clothes are ripped. she’s all over the captain. he’s mean looking. i can hear them thinking they’ve caught a big fish. i’ll be raped killed thrown over board or all three. my heart is beating rapidly as i realize these people are sick. they could do anything to me and no one would ever know where i’d gone. just dump me overboard . . . emily emily . . . where are you? spirit enter my head and bring me back alive. they are laughing at me loudly snickering and drinking. the first mate is horny and the captain would love to wrench my neck. she would enjoy watching. we round a bend. i see camp. they shut the motor off and say they can’t go in. it’s too shallow. but i had arrived there by boat with people days ago. the captain goes to the front of the boat opens a wooden chest and pulls out a beer and the shiniest biggest knife i have ever seen.

if i jump they will fish me out. i’m twenty feet from shore 1/2 mile from camp. i’ve gone through wilderness and fog out on the pacific. have i crossed over the tricksters paths? will these people kill me? trickster wolf crow old woman emily . . . the captain chucks her the beer and stands above her. he tells me the knife is for cutting open abalone shells. she laughs. he turns and throws the knife into the wood to my left.. the first mate starts the motor. don’t take me out to sea . . . he steers towards shore. i’m ready to dive in the sea if they turn. they pull in close enough and i jump onto land. they turn and leave. emily . . .

lost in the woods an hour and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 2 hours and a half and i know i’ll come back
lost in the woods 3 hours and a half and i wonder if i’ll ever come back

i fall shaken to the ground staying on my hands and knees hugging earth a long time. i am nestled in a beautiful cove. i see tents and the kitchen where salmon is being prepared and shared. i cross below the few houses. joe is leading a teaching ceremony. i enter in time to sit on the outer circle. rain is falling lightly. dark settles in for the night. i go to the sweat lodge. phosphorescence on the crest of waves. diving below i can see them underwater. i dry myself and go to sleep. what was that dream in the wilderness on the pacific rim? why did that happen? what did i learn besides stay to paths be prepared don’t get into strangers boats look before you leap . . . will i listen to emily if i see her again? was that a figment of my imagination? were the crows really laughing at me? was that a near death expereince? did i meet the trickster? who are the savage beasts? would i rather live and die in the wilds or in the confines of a sick society? without controlling corrupting competing and carelessness i would rather live in peace and harmony with nature accepting wilderness into my heart. i would rather live and die with family and friends in the woods and out by the water.

© sylvi & see through publishing experienced 1989 ~ writ 1.1994 (socan)

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