Metsa-Yabi

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Yeshua's voyage to find and reconnect with the notion of Metsa-Yabi. A poetically somber adventure.

Submitted: September 12, 2012

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Submitted: September 12, 2012

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Metsa-Yabi

Tyler Breen

 

 

 

 

 

I.

A drop of water dangles precariously, anxiously, trepidatiously on the end of a long blade of Italian Rye Grass.  Flying in with calculated chaos, a grasshopper lands on the grass yelling, “Take the plunge!” The water drop jumps like a baby cormorant taking flight from a cliff for the first time, falling clumsily, splatting on Yeshua’s face.

The belly-flop water drop prompting him to stand up, Yeshua looks at the waterfall throwing glacial melt from its rocky precipice.  Tiny diamonds sparkle as they fall apart into mist that graces the faces of rocks, plants, the occasional fox or deer.  Forever flowing, moving with a determination, water seeks out the corners of old sunken canoes, rocky crevices to huddle in, anywhere that it can be without having to stay there. 

Cradled in the arms of the valley, trees spill over the edges of the hills surrounding Yeshua like the folds of a blanket.  The trees seem to run into the valley like ants storming a bowl of sugar. A crystal shard of sky nearly splits the looming granite peak, which peers down into the valley, pensively contemplating each moment that  eroded and smoothed its surface.

Rainbow trout hide in the pools shaded by precariously perched pines and one roasts on a stick over a small fire.  Yeshua removes the stick, preparing to eat with a short sutra:

“I venerate in the Buddha, the four noble truths and the eight-fold path.  I venerate the Three Treasures and am thankful for this meal, the work and the sharing of other forms of life …”

After finishing his meal, Yeshua packs his possessions: a few blankets, pots, and knives, and starts out towards the granite peak.  Yeshua had just these few things because he liked to be able to move around like water.  Clouds gather just below the rocky zenith, forming a mountaintop, granite, island, surrounded by water that Yeshua easily ascends through.  He chuckles to himself, almost cynically, at the idea of being marooned on this island.  The isolation is just as real. 

The clouds provide an ancient quality of mystery, ambiguity like a veil covering all but the eyes of a woman in a Niqab or smoke obscuring the eyes of a poet in a coffee shop.  The cool breath of the mountains swirls past trees and rocks, making movement unsure, but deliberate.  A westward wind blows the mountain’s breath, whispering that it’s time Yeshua visited Metsa-Yabi. 

Yeshua readies himself to relinquish the lonely peace of isolation for immersing himself back into the dangerous captivity of cities.  At least in the danger of wilderness, the danger lies within one’s own stupidity, rather than the combined foolishness and fear of those around you.  Climbing down the slope of the granite precipice, right around the nose of the contemplative mountain face, fully immersed in the ocean of clouds that surrounds his island, Yeshua’s foot slips. 

His heart remains calm and his mind makes peace with the idea of his body flowing down the river with the glacial melt.  He imagines the wind rushing by his ears with the whispers of this life’s finale.  No whispers just yet.  Yeshua’s fingers remain strong, holding onto the few wrinkles in the granite mountain’s face.

Taking heed of his karmic destiny, his natural destination, Yeshua descends down the rest of the face with ease and begins to follow the clouds westward, towards Metsa-Yabi. 

 

 

II.

Streets flow through time and glow, vaguely, in the direction of destiny under neon signs.  People wander through the streets, stuck in time, endlessly looking for their glowing destination.  Looking over their shoulders, into corner stores, stopping in churches, people pull themselves along a string that passes through their body from infinite time before birth to infinite time beyond death.  If you look hard enough the string passes from universal beginnings to the all-destroying end. 

Avery’s string led her once again to her favorite diner, but she’s about to cut it and slip into the listless reality that the string doesn’t guide anyway. Avery sits at her diner booth-- the kind with burgundy and baby blue pleather seats and brushed metal walls, the kind where the waitress is in her early fifties and wears too much aqua eye shadow-- Avery sits, a mix between James Dean and Agent Orange, about one cigarette butt and a coffee ring away from finishing her novel.  It’s a masterpiece about colonial imperialism told through the eyes of scotch drinking Saki monkeys and it’s less of an allegory than one would think.

Outside “Toothless” Ruth bargains with a trick.  An armpit sweat-stained tweaker with peeled back eyelids and only a few natty strands of hair glued to his forehead.  His hands search around, unbuttoning and re-buttoning his shirt in nervous anticipation.  Ruth says that her dental detachment has increased business, but when she lights a cigarette her hands shake, causing startled shadows to run from one side of her face to the other.

Yeshua walks by the diner, buckskin shirt, eyes set, a trail of pine needles falling along behind him.  Avery throws her cigarette in her coffee and scribbles a few words down, later to be heralded as the most lucid string of words in the English language… they escape me at the moment.  Following the trail of pine needles, she goes after Yeshua.

“Toothless” Ruth, about to gum the words “mo mess ban phiphby phor ba might” got snared in the net of a rare moment of dignity.  Released from desperation by curiosity, she too begins cautiously meandering behind the bhikku who walks with coyote silence.

As Avery and Ruth follow, their minds/souls/auras/spirits (any word or sound you can attach to the esoteric spark of consciousness) flicker firefly flight frequencies of light, attracting other lumbering shadow sparks from the alleyways and windows.

The city: chalky neon outlines with thick black air between.  Only a relative few see the flicker out of the periphery of their vision, so the few that follow have a unifying notion of purpose.  Yeshua seems not to notice the fireflies flickering behind his shoulders.  Eyes set forward, watching the dispersed scattering of buildings disintegrate into desert dust, replaced by rocks, cacti, coyote brush.

A few of the sparks traveling behind fall off at different stops, either finding a new pattern of light to follow, or perhaps frustrated with their travels, but that’s what the trip is to them- a break point from the tedious monotony of life:  Breaking through glass prisms of thought only to find themselves at the beginning window again… the downward orbit continues.

Avery and Ruth, however, still flicker with a handful of devoted wanderers.  The saguaro cactus desert dissipates, growing mountains yet again, a vast landscape movie reel falling off the edge of vision.  The sky is a curtain being pulled across the horizon.  Giants at each end of the earth pull the fabric of the sky, occasionally tearing it on a mountain, repairing it with patches of clouds, sending birds out with a thread to build a cloud one wisp at a time. 

Yeshua’s eyes, grey and resting upon a site far away, begin to feel the end of the journey; Metsa-Yabi’s presence lapping in like waves of light bubbling through a paisley waterfall in the trees.

Avery, Ruth and a few more of the intrepid wanderers follow Yeshua, feeling a kind of syncopation between the flickers of their consciousness.  Yeshua climbs to the tops of a boulder to…. Metsa-Yabi.  She hasn’t forgotten him.  From the boulder he stares into her eyes:  A tilting earth, the ocean spilling into the cosmos and the eternal explosion of the sun setting sideways-- A waterfall- the final destination for the glacial melt that Yeshua know he will one day drift through. 

Ruth, Avery and the other no longer flicker, but glow.  Yeshua bows down, reacquainting himself with Metsa-Yabi.  He knows the others are there for a reason, but he can’t necessarily help them – he’s no shepherd, no Christ – it’s just his job to lead them there.With no roads and no more string to follow, the others just… understand, and in their understanding begin to realize their next steps. 

Yeshua leaves them, glowing in the twilight against the backdrop of trees, the cool breeze blowing his nostalgic reunion running through his hair and under his nose, walking to the waterfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Metsa-Yabi was the name given to my friend Margot when we were in a Shipibo village in the Peruvian Amazon.  As we were going to bed one night, our host mother and host father brought necklaces and some textiles out to us.  Our host mother was leaving the next day and wouldn’t be able to participate in the presentation of crafts for sale the next day.  She gave me the necklace and I gave them some jolly ranchers and rootbeer barrels, a pen, and a flashlight.  Afterwards they brought in some water and “adopted” Margot and I into their family.  The process was much like a baptism.  They named Margot “Metsa-Yabi” and gave me the name “Senesoi”.  The names translates as “beautiful” and “handsome” respectively, so I thought that it would be a good name to represent nature.  


© Copyright 2017 Tyler Breen. All rights reserved.

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