Elf Salon ~ featured elf

The Elf Salon spotlights different elves from the Gallery and tells the stories of my encounters with them. It will be updated periodically, so please check back the next time you're in the neighborhood. The Salon is now featuring:



"Hiding in the Gateway"

Violetta runs, gasping for breath, through a gauntlet of slender white trees.  Birch trees perhaps, it is hard to tell for sure.  All I see are trunks flashing by as she runs.  She has been running for some time.

It is daylight, clear and cold.  The sky is Winter white.  In the background I can hear the sounds of pursuit:  the snap and crackle of branch and leaf; harsh voices calling, shouting directions and curses; a baying, panting, slavering eagerness.  The hunt is on.  They have brought out the hounds.

She hears the sounds, but doesn’t spare the time to turn and look.  She is fleeing her "Lord."  Her father, I think, but the word might apply as easily to a husband or liege.  Clearly the one who pursues her has mastery over her in this place.

She is tired, cold, frightened.  She has been kept down, "lorded" over, bullied and tyrannized for too long.  She has had so much of bending, she has begun to break.  She has decided to run, to make a final, desperate bid for freedom.  There is a place she knows, senses, is somehow aware of — a place that may provide, if not safety, at least concealment for a while.

It is a place that is not really a place.  It is a magical beacon, a gateway of light into a world, a consciousness not her own; a consciousness so different that entering it will hide her, conceal her from the others that follow.  She does not know what will happen if she enters it; does not know what it will do to her.  It is not far now.  It is worth the risk.  She will risk anything to be free.

It does not matter that they are close and gaining on her.  If she can make it into the light, step into that beacon of brightness, she will simply disappear, become invisible to them.  That much she knows, although no more.  Lost to His sight, He will not be able to find her, even if she is but inches away.

With a gasp and tremor of amazement, I realize where it is she is heading, what it is, this light she sees.

I am that light, that magic, that consciousness so different from her own;  the gateway into a different world.  She is running towards me!  As I realize this, I reach out to her with all my attention, focusing as I draw her in.  Drawing her, literally, into my world as her face emerges onto my page.  It is complete, now, I can see her face, her features, clearly.  Now that I can see her, He can no longer.

I struggle to understand.  She doesn’t seem to be aware of me as human, or, indeed, as a conscious living being at all, yet somehow my drawing her — the focus of my attention on her — is enough to pull her from her world into mine and hide her from her pursuers.

The image of a small cluster of violets appears in my mind.  I recall learning that the fragrance of violets is so haunting and elusive because it is only accessible to our olfactory sense for a few seconds at a time.  After that, it "cuts off" and is not detectable again until several more seconds — or even minutes — have passed.

Slowly I understand that this is how it is with consciousness between her world and mine.  She cannot remain within the scope of both at once.  If I am aware of her, then those of her world cannot be; she is "cut off" from them until — what? She re-emerges?  Or is she trapped now, between the worlds, until I somehow release her?

I am disturbed by this.  It has been years now by my reckoning since I first drew her to me with that portrait.  (Not that I have been thinking of her all that time by any means.)  Does that mean that she has been trapped here, unable to return to her own world?

I see her enter the light, standing very still while the pursuers pass her by.  She is hiding in the gateway only she can see.  Why can’t they?  I wonder.  Is it a special talent or affinity of hers? A link between her and myself?  There are so many questions  that I have no answers for.  Time has no meaning for her there.  It is fluid, suspended.  She is suspended within it.  Time, as I count it, does not pass for her.

But what about in her world?  Has time passed there? How much?   She cannot just remain here in hiding, in between.

"Is she still being pursued there?" I wonder. "Is it safe now?"  I send out the thought, the question to her.

Puzzled, not understanding the impetus, she hesitantly ventures forth;  one tiny step, then another, away from the gateway, the light-beacon that has concealed her.  All is silent, still.  It is still daytime, yet there is no taste of pursuit in the air.

Her hesitant steps turn into hops and jumps then into the leaps and whirls of a merry dance.  A celebration.  "Free! Free at last" she thrills, "Now I’m free!"

She begins to race away, then turns back towards the light that has sheltered her, back towards me.  Does she guess at that moment, at my existence, my beingness?  Does she know that there is a living consciousness in the brightness of the gateway, or does she merely offer courtesy to a force perceived but not understood?

"Thank you." she whispers, "Thank you for helping me."  She lightly turns then, and speeds away.