The Island- first nine chapters.
(I am semi-retired. My first story I shall finish. I am following Hemingway advice. Finish one story and start another. I have six alive stories needing endings. One question. Should I use I or pronoun? A long read.)
The Island- Chapter one
I am sitting alone near Lake Huron in Port Austin in 2020. My mind found a memory and I am trying to seek the memory out from hidden parts of my mind. I dislike my mind had forsaken me. I am 62 years old and the eleven anthrax and many malaria pills had stole my memory. Sometimes I can’t tell the truth from fiction. Maybe the memory of the island was a utopia type dream?
It was early 1989 and I was barely staying above water in health and mind. I went to the funeral of my brother who committed suicide. My second brother in two years who left my world without a goodbye. Their death made my life fruitless and useless. I decided to take a drive, I went north toward Lake Michigan. I followed the backroads till I found the bridge to Upper Michigan in my view. I saw a small sign, “Welcome to Idyllic, a place where no-one is rushing and the lake is around us.”
I took the turn toward Idyllic and after a short drive. I saw a long bridge, maybe two miles in length. The bridge was ancient and beautiful. The bridge had Greek art on the walls of the bridge. You could walk the bridge if you wanted, a walkway where you could see the lake Superior moving and dancing. This was a idyllic place and I already understood why they called her by the ancient name. I drove the bridge slowly, enjoying the view of Lake Superior and the artwork on the walls of the bridge. At midway of the bridge, a turnoff. I turned into the turnoff and left my truck. Many cement statues of ancient Native Americans dancing and looking at the lake. Each one, had some poetry. I read the poetry on a Ojibwa woman statue.
We seek everything, we want to be the king of the forest. One day we learn. We have enough, we have the trees, the water and the wildflowers. We have our children, our family and friends near. The utopia of a fine life. Being happy with enough.
I went to my car and I felt lighter in mind already. I foresaw a wonderous place already. Idyllic was already making my sleeping mind come alive. I wanted to stop and write but I had to discover what this place was offering to me. The small island seem lightly in population and very quiet. I drove till I saw the downtown area. A four block square of small cottages, bars and restaurants. I saw few people roaming the city. It was noon and I searched out for some food. I walked the city and everyone I met, said good afternoon or hello. Most of the people were young and they looked content. They were lightly sun-kissed by the warm Spring weather. I found a restaurant with many lunch specials. A pretty red-hair waitress introduced herself. My name is Luna, welcome to Luna’s heathy and tasty foods. Would you like something to drink? I told her, the corn-beef sandwich and a coffee please. She smiled and she told me. Welcome to Idyllic, I hope you enjoy our island.
She brought the food and the coffee and she told me. A music festival at the park, all day, into the evening. I hope you have time to enjoy. I believe you would like. A little Jazzy and some folk songs too. Enjoy the food and thank you for stopping in. The sandwich was wonderful, the corn-beer melting in your mouth and the coffee. Strong and tasty. I paid the bill and I told Luna. Thank you for the amazing food. She smiled, looked deep into my eyes. She told me, please try to have some fun. Sometimes, we must slow down and figure what we need.
I left her and she watched me walk away. I was her only customer. She told me to walk five blocks on the main street , the only street, she laughed and she told me. Can’t get lost in Idyllic. The park dead-end at the park and the lake had a wonderful view. I saw many people sitting near the center of the park. You could see Lake Superior and I was already in love with the city. The set-up was ancient Greek style. The soft chairs settle into a cement, was nine layers of seating. Every chair had perfect view of the stage. Someone had a perfect vision to create a place where music could be appreciated and performed by skilled musicians.
I sat away from people. The people were beautiful, most were young, the women wearing Spring and Summer dresses, the men were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The few older people, were healthy, looked strong and they were alert. The music was wonderful, a pretty woman sang the Jazz songs. I wrote in my journal.
Lakeside city, honored by the gods, pretty people and good song. A blessing for the people needing peace and salvation. Dear Idyllic. A needed blessing in my world of confusion.
I looked-up and a pretty woman in her Spring dress, showing tan shoulders, beautiful face and eyes of wonder. She asked, dear Salinger, sitting alone, barely can hear the song. Are you hiding or seeking? I smiled and I told her. Maybe both, us Salingers, we like to be ghosts among the living. Maybe a place of safety or maybe. Need to find some silence? She looked sad and she asked. You want me to leave you alone? I reached-out my hand and I told her, my name is Johnnie. Please stay and talk with me. I need voices, not silence. She took my hand and she told me. My name is Nicole, a artist, healer and masseuse, herbalist and singer. I told her, I am a want-a-be Hemingway, slave for a big company and looking for something worthwhile to live for.
She smiled and she whispered. The song is better in the front, I have some sweet red wine and you can join me and my sister Lana. We may talk you to death, but we wouldn’t mind, if you joined us. I smiled and I told her. Thank you Nicole for being kind to a stranger. I do need some good company today. Nicole took my hand and dragged me to the front. A girl with long brown hair was making the jazz come alive. A beautiful woman stood-up with eyes of hazel green, flowing brown hair down her back and a kind smile. She introduced herself. My name is Lana. Welcome to Idyllic, where life is pretty slow and we like it, slow. Please sit down and share our five bottles of red wine. The music is played till 12 pm.
I thanked them and Nicole handed me a glass of wine. She raised the wine glass-up to the sky. To new friends, better days and more laughter. We touched glasses and I looked at Lake Superior. I did a private prayer.
Thank you Lord of life and death. Allowing me to land in the proper place.
The Island- part 2….
Lana sat to the left of me and Nicole to the right. Lana told me, I am a artist. I painted the artwork on the bridge, did you like the artwork? I told her. The artwork gave life and spirit to the bridge, the artwork is amazing and beautiful. Did you do the Native American statues? She smiled and she told me. I wish I did. That was done by the Captain. The Captain is our island poet/writer and medicine man. He was once California, now he belong to Idyllic and Lake Superior. He is our personal nagual and he can tell you a thousand stories. I believe he is at least 500 years old. I smiled at her and she touched my face, she whispered. I want to paint your face. You have a ancient face on a young body. I see a million stories in your eyes, I see confusion, pain and loss of direction. You are lucky, Idyllic, a place where people come to heal. Nicole whispered, less talk, more drinking and let’s listen to the song. Darkness was coming and we drank four bottles of the wine. The music was wonderful, the jazz was sweet and heavy, the folk songs make you believe in love and laughter. I was blessed by two beautiful woman and I told them. I must return home to Ann Arbor. Nicole asked, when is your next shift? I told her. In three days, I am on a short vacation. I had a bad three days. I buried my second brother, 20 years old on Wednesday. The hang-man rope was more tempting than life. Nicole wrapped her arms around me, she whispered with tears falling her eyes. I knew you came to Idyllic for a reason. Lana saw death on your right shoulder and I went to you. My first tears fell for my brother and she held me like a child, Lana cried with me and she wrapped her around us. We must have been a site for the people near. Lana and Nicole released me and I thanked them and I notice. No-one showed concern, like we were alone with the music. I told them, I will find a motel near and I will return tomorrow. Lana laughed at my words and she told me. Idyllic, difficult to find and almost impossible to leave. We have a spare cottage near the lake. I demand you stay with us. We will be, near to you if you need someone to talk to or if you are losing your mind. Everyone at Idyllic had known great pain and we come here to heal. Dear John, death is not sweet, death is the end. The story end when the kind earth cover our body. Was almost midnight and we walked into the quiet city. Nicole held my hand and we followed Lana to the eastern part of the Island. The moon was half-filled. I told Nicole, a half-moon. The liar’s moon. Where we can twist words and there is no payment. She smiled and laughed, she asked him. Do the poet never quit writing? I love the word-men. Interlacing their words to song and story. The word-men and the word-women are needed. They write the true stories and tales of our world. if was no writers or poets. Old world would be empty and forgotten. Lana led them to a dark cottage. she went in first, turned on the lights. Nicole went in first and she dragged me in. This is your home, if you need a place to rest. Please come to Idyllic. Me and Lana, we live here, year around. We are Summers muses and snow bunnies in the Winter. Lana kissed my forehead and Nicole hugged me and she kissed my lips. she whispered. You will be okay. The cottage was beautiful. A large bed facing the large window where you could see lake Superior. Lightly furniture and the smell of the wildflowers. He went to his truck and he gathered his few belongings. One of the items was a 32 pistol in a first aide kit, given to by his father. He loved this day spend with Lana and Nicole, but his heart was heavy. The sorrow of yesterday began to overtake him. He loaded six rounds into the pistol and he watched the moon fall into the west. He heard a soft knock on the cottage door and he opened the door. Nicole in her cotton night gown stood before him. She asked me, what are you doing? She pushed him aside and she went to the bed. She held the 32 pistol and she slowly released the six bullets. She turned to him, please Johnnie, no more death and she came to me. She held me like a child and she whispered. You are not alone, we will cry together, we will share the suffering together and I will keep you safe. She took me to the bed of cotton sheets and light blankets. She took off his shirt and pants. She forced me down gently on to the soft bed and she released her cotton night gown. He watched her walk away, she turned off the lights and she came to me. She held me tightly and she brought my face to her breasts and she caressed his hair and forehead. She sang to him. Darkness shall fall, darkness shall fall, some days, so hard, we cannot bare to breathe, we must, we must. Sweeter days shall come. Be brave, be fearless, you are not alone.
The Island- part 3…
He remembered Nicole song and her soft hands caressing his face and chest. He fell into a deep and needed sleep. He had a week of hell. Finding money, a place to bury his brother and his mother wanted a memorial. He didn’t rest till he accomplished the needed task. A heavy day at the funeral. Few talks and many cried for the twenty year old boy. He left no note and he hung himself in his aunt’s attic. Silence and prayers, all we could do. I awoke fighting ghosts and Nicole whispered. It is okay Johnnie, I am here. She kissed my face and caressed my face. I returned to peaceful sleep. He awoke early and I left her in the warm bed. He took my journal to a wood bench near Lake Superior. He wrote some words into my journal. “Did I do enough? Why couldn’t I see the struggle? why couldn’t I know? Little brother was fighting demons. Now I know a worn-out life, my life.my last words to him, were they kind? Were they spoken from a selfless place? My careless life taught me. Slow down, lead with concern, kindness and listen. Lessons learned too late. “”Little brother shall find his older brother, now, I pray my brothers found a better place than Detroit to rest. My toilsome life, forgot to find time to listen, I forgot to find time to look into my brothers eyes. Ask, are you okay? Foolish men learn too late. Life is fragile, time is gold. Love shall break your heart. “He heard Nicole called his name, she was at the cottage entrance standing in her panties only. She was so beautiful and he knew. She was a miracle. He found Idyllic by mistake and the blessing of Nicole and Lana, a gift of kindness . He waved at her and she ran to me. She embraced me tightly and she asked, was he okay? He told her, I am perfect dear Nicole. She looked sad and she whispered. You are not okay. Last night you had a loaded 32 pistol and dancing on death edge. Today we shall eat a small breakfast and you and I, will sit by the lake. We will discuss anything and everything. She released me and she handed me the 32 pistol. She told me. If you are okay. Toss the pistol into Lake Superior. I saw in her hazel eyes, they were blue as the sea and we walked to Lake Superior. I tossed the 32 into the lake. She kissed me and we held embrace till we heard Lana yelling. Time to eat. The meal consisted of some fruits, toasts and two eggs. We ate in silence till Lana asked. Can I paint your face today? I want your face on the wall of the bridge. I love your ancient face and faraway eyes. If I create a painting of you, you will become part of the folklore of Idyllic. He laughed at her words and he told her. You want my ugly face on the beautiful bridge? You will scare people away from the island. She smiled and she told him. Idyllic found you, you didn’t find the island. The island find people in need. After breakfast, Nicole ran away to get dressed. She ate her meal topless, left him to look at the lake during the meal. He wanted to see her bare shoulders and perfect breasts, but he was polite. He got dressed and washed myself. He told the mirror. This is a dream, Johnnie on a island with two beautiful women. He whispered a silence prayer. Thank you god of life and death for bringing me here. I was so tire, so damn tire. Please make me learn how to live with the sorrow and the loss. Baby brothers, I pray you have found a place for you, to be content. I dreamed last night I saw you, my brothers running toward the sun. Laughing and dancing with the lake. He heard a voice. Nicole asked, are you ready for the lake walk? He came out of the bathroom and Nicole was wearing a Summer cotton dress of white, allowed him to see bare shoulders and powerful tanned legs. He told her. You are so beautiful, you look like a Greek goddess. She smiled and she whispered. Maybe I am? She took his hand and she led him to the path. She told him, the path circled the island. I asked for the Captain to meet us at the Witch tree. The halfway point. I want him to burn sage for us. He is a good listening and he know the mystic ways. Sometimes, you need help to heal. Pain and sorrow, can kill the soul, destroy the heart. The path was wide and the wildflowers were blooming everywhere. Nicole told him stories of the herbs. She told him, the natural herbs are everywhere and can heal the body and the mind. She reached in her small backpack and she handed him a drink. He tasted the drink and he told her. Taste good, what is it? She smiled and she told him. My wild rosemary tea, the healing of the mind. Make the mind alert and the blood flow better. They stopped at the Witch tree. A very old tree reaching in 20 directions. The tree leaves touched the water. She told him. The Captain said the tree is a thousand years old. If you listen, the tree will tell you many stories. I brought her close and we watched Lake Superior dance for us. I heard a old voice and I turned. A Native American man with a ancient face said good morning.
The Island- part four…
He liked the Captain face. He had a ancient and kind face. He took my hands and he told me. I am glad to meet you finally. Lana told me, a stranger was with us on the island. We receive few visitors on Idyllic. They call me Captain, my name is Kintpuash, too hard to pronounce, I was born on the west coast and my home was once California and Oregon. I was saved by Lana, on a hang-man rope, she saved me and she brought me to Gichigami, Lake Superior. The Ojibwa called her big water. No more talk of my past, later if you like. I can tell you a Modoc Native American tale. I see in your face, a heavy sadness in your face. When we lose our brothers, a forever ache we shall know. Nicole asked, do you want me to leave? He looked at her and he told her. If you leave, who shall burn the sage? Make the tea? She smiled and she went to a small pit and warmth-up a small kettle. Nicole name mean victory of the people. She is the rock of the island. Today we talk little, tomorrow we discuss anything and everything.
The Captain pointed toward four large rocks near the lake. He told me, Gichigama is blessed, filled with many spirits and mystery. The Ojibwa loved her. She is so powerful and she cannot be controlled. We sat down and we sat in a deep silence. He liked how the Captain eyes loved the dancing waves of Lake Superior. Nicole brought the tea to him and to the Captain. Today we will drink the cranberry tea. Make the mind and body calm, we will burn the wild rosemary sage. He looked at Nicole and he told him. She is the surreality of the island. She dances with the Winter storms, when the Winter water touches the earth. Artwork for us to see. On the bridge, our Greek goddess artwork blesses the visitors. If they pay attention. You can see her dancing with lake Gichigama in the four seasons. She smiled and she told him. Enough about me dear Captain. She rose-up and gather the sage and the lighter.
The Captain closed his eyes and began to pray. Nicole walked in a circle-dance around the four rocks with the burning sage.
“Gichigama, Lake Gichigama. We are with you this morning. Please come sit with us, befriend our new friend, bless-us with the calmness of the lake spirit. We need the blessing of forgiveness, the blessing of understanding. Thank you lake Gichigama.”
After the prayer. We sat in silence till the sage burn-out. Nicole sat with him, held his hand. The Captain stood-up and he told us. Tonight at my cottage. Fresh fish from the lake, some bathtub gin and we can talk till the stars fall into the lake. He waved goodbye and he looked at Nicole. He told her. Thank you for being so kind to me. I don’t know why you are so kind to me. He kissed her forehead and her lips. She told me. Life is hell-storms and we must learn to dance with the lighting. We must love the sea, the lakes and the earth. Love is the hardest thing we must do. When we love, we give a part of us away. I see in your eyes, the sorrow of trying to understand the suicide of your brother. You must ask yourself, are you alive, are you dead? Dear Johnnie, you are alive. She traced his face with tender fingers and she embraced him tightly.
She stood-up and she went to Lake Superior. She tossed off her shoes and she danced with the morning waves. He watched her dance joyfully with the powerful lake. He looked at the rising morning sun and I told the sun. Thank you for this day and for Idyllic. Thank you for Nicole. She is a blessed goddess.
The Island chapter five..
We stood at Lake Gichigana and Nicole held me, her arms around me making me feel okay. She told him a short tale about the Lake Superior. She pointed toward the meeting place of Lake Huron and Lake Superior and she whispered. The old Ojibwa Medicine man told me. Once great lovers would meet and feast on love kiss and love embrace. He promised her the moon and the stars where the lakes fell into each other. A great storm came in the Winter. He could not find her in early Spring. They say if you listen. A ancient love song is played.
“My little Feather, where are thee? I am waiting, praying to the moon and the early stars. Come to me, I am waiting, I am waiting. I am at lake Gichigana where the water always meet. Where we danced and sang when our hearts were young. I am waiting for you, my little feather.”
She kissed the back of my neck and he turned to her. He whispered, dear Nicole, you are a miracle, you are a gift, a celestial spirit in my world of madness. She held silence and she looked into my eyes. She took his hands and she told him. We must walk the Island path, a four mile circle with so much to be seen. We have two hours before lunch. Lana is timely and she liked things that fall into proper place. Idyllic had been touched by the ancient Gods and the Ojibwa free-spirits. You will love the view of the wildflowers, my wild rosemary gardens and the rose bushes from four continents. Some of the roses are beginning to bloom. I love when the roses begin to bloom. It mean the warm days of Summer is near. The trees are ancient, kind Lake Superior rain ensured the trees stay strong and never stop growing. The Captain said some of the trees here are a thousand years old. He told me often, the trees talk to him. If we listen to the trees, watch the birds. We will know when the big storms shall come. The birds and the free animals take cover before the storms come. Silence mean danger. Lake Superior, our Lake Gichigana blessed the Island, Idyllic had a grand protector from the confusion of life we can fall into. The island surrounded by the lake, is in the arms of kind nature. The spirit of Gaea is always near and observing. He loved her face when she spoke. Her everchanging hazel eyes made me swim in them, her voice soft and gentle, made me hold silence so he could hear her speak. She was a ancient storyteller. She made him forget his troubles and his heavy burden. She stopped and she told me. You have learn to love the silence dear Johnnie. I have lost many to old wars, old hate and old age. Healing take time, sometimes forever. Some people cannot stay at Idyllic, they have great mission to accomplish. They must do something to change our world. Idyllic can be a final place for the many of us, but a rare day. Sometime like you come and visit us. We love the visitors on the island, allowed us who shall never leave the island, to befriend new people, learn new story and add to the myth and tale of Idyllic. Maybe one day, you can return to the island and stay. We need a tavern poet. The Captain is the lake poet, he won’t drink the alcohol he create , he said the drink of madness shall never touch his lips again. No taverns for the Captain. I see the Hemingway sickness in your voice, in your eyes. Finding salvation in the whiskey and the gin. Even Hemingway found his island, stay awhile, he is on the South American coastline, sharing drink with Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Fitzgerald and Ford Maddox Ford. They are watching the giant iguanas on the Galapagos islands. Johnnie, silence is necessary but we can’t swim in negative things forever. We will never forget the people we loved. I can see your brothers, together, dancing with your Ojibwa grandmother at the never-ending pow-wow in the clouds. They have found some kind of peace. Some of us, cannot accept the struggle of living.
He asked her, why can’t I stay here with you at Idyllic? If I wanted. She smiled and she told me. Dear Luna create the island for us, without homes anymore. She sought us out who became nameless and forgotten. Everyone here had a grand tale of places, great adventure and never-ending heartbreak. Tomorrow I will share some of my stories of adventure, disappointment and a happy ending. You are not ready yet dear Johnnie. Luna can finish the answer to your question at lunch. She is the seeker, the oldest of us. She is the moon who watches the night. She had heard the secret tears, the joy of happiness and a billion wishes. The island was create by Luna. I told you, Idyllic found you, allowed you in.
She saw great sadness in my face and she stopped talking. She kissed my face and she held me close. I asked her, do you truly believe my brothers found peace? How can call of death overtake the willingness to live? I heard the whispers of death often. Life is sweet, death is sweet, life is hard and death is easy. She whispered to me. We cannot control the wind, we cannot master the sea and the star are forever. Each of us walk on the tapestry of a thread. Some of us are barely holding on and some of us are like the mountains. Already steady and strong. All you can do Johnnie, is your best. Sometimes we feel like we didn’t do enough. We accept the pain of another, even if we tried to help.
The walk to the restaurant was wonderful. So much ancient art, wildflower fields and beautiful wild roses beginning to bloom. Nicole held my hand with a gentle touch. I was feeling better.
We arrived at Luna’s restaurant. She had a set-up of many kinds of fruit and small sandwiches. She had hot water for the many tea bags on the table and prepared strong coffee for me. She had cakes, cream and sugar waiting for us. She was wearing a Summer dress, showing strong shoulders and arms, sun-kissed legs I adored. I loved her red hair and her eyes of gentleness and kindness. She looked at me like a grandmother looked at her grandchild. She said welcome back Johnnie. I hope you are enjoying Idyllic. She went to Nicole, kissed her face and her lips. She came to me and she kissed my forehead and my face-cheeks. She told us to sit down and enjoy the food. She sat with us and she asked me. I hope you are finding Idyllic kind and wonderful. If you need anything, please ask. She touched my knees and she whispered to me. No strangers today at the island today.
She looked at Nicole and she told her. A small brunch, the town is very quiet this afternoon. Everyone is excited. The Island song-bird Alya is here. She will sing for us at five pm. We are very lucky, every April and May, Alya visit us. She is a blessing to our world, her song are needed and they are blessed. I went to save her once and she saved me. All of us need the mercy of kindness. This is why you are still with us. My friend, Morningstar, a caretaker, she told me of your sadness. Morningstar listens to the wind and she felt your suffering. She led you to Idyllic before you made the final journey. Morningstar told me. You have much to do still. Life can be seconds, minutes, hours and days. Something is coming your way and a dead Johnnie. Please don’t steal away the possibilities you can do. We must make every second, joyful and worthwhile my new friend. Some of us are saviors, some of us are great lovers and some of us are teachers. Johnnie, your Hemingway journey hadn’t begin. Now, no-more talk. Please enjoy the food.
He looked at her and he asked her. Dear Luna, Idyllic, is this real or a dream? She laughed at my words and she told us. Real life or not, we never know. I hope you are having a good dream. Life can be trickery. Could be a dream, could be myth or tale. I pray a good dream Johnnie. He told her. This is utopia. She took my right hand and she kissed it. She smiled and she told me. Me and Nicole, we love utopia. I told my friend Jerzy to bring his homemade Ambrosia to the concert today. Jerzy is our greatest writer on the island. I found him alone with plastic bag and a death wish 40 years ago. Now he is the island wine maker and he can tell you a million stories of life. He told me often. In a lifetime, we will live a thousand lives and die a thousand times. If we are lucky, we will find peace, good wine and befriend many kind people. He is on the wall dancing with Nicole.
He held silence and he wanted this dream to never-end. The sandwiches were wonderful and the coffee very strong. Nicole and Luna drank their tea slowly, adding cinnamon and a touch of honey to the lavender tea. He watched their faces, their faces, youthful, no scars. They looked like ageless beauties. He loved the curves of their face, the faces of the ancient goddesses. Their bare shoulders uncovered and tanned legs made me feel like a man in a Dante’s story. He reached over and he kissed her right shoulder. Nicole tasted of salt and He told her. I wanted to know if you were real, not a dream only. She laughed and she smiled and she told me. A Greek law, if you kissed me once, you must kiss the other shoulder too. He kissed her left shoulder and he laid his head against her. She caressed his hair and face and she whispered. We must return home. You promised Lana, you would allow her to paint your face. You must sit near the lake and be painted. She does canvas first and later. Add your face to the wall of the bridge. Lana liked timeliness, she knows, she had two days for you to sit for her. One day, you will return to us and she will paint your old face.
He asked her. What if I don’t want to leave idyllic? She smiled and she whispered, in time, the island will accept you. Your life isn’t written in stone yet. We decide our journey, wrong or right. You will play many people Johnnie. Tonight when the moon is above us. I will tell you my story, at least, pieces of my story. I have lived many lives, held many faces and thank you god for Luna. I was living a life of the spiral of confusion. Idyllic gave me a place where I could heal. Now I am a healer and a naturist. You must decide your life. He laughed at her words and she told me. If the wine is tasty tonight, you could see two muses, maybe sirens dancing for Lake Superior. Luna smiled and she told us. I may join the dance of late Spring. It is a warm and wonderful May-day. She look at Nicole and she told her. Nicole, please tempt the sailors no-more tonight and Johnnie. Please enjoy Idyllic and tonight I will share a handful of knowledge and gossip. Please remember your Ojibwa heritage. This island given to us by the ancient tribe. The old one’s allowed us to stay with them. Allowed me to find a safe place for the people who needed a place to rest, utopia. One day, when your body is tired, Idyllic will allow you to return, to stay with us. Become part of Idyllic myth and tale. Nicole tapped my shoulder and she whispered. Lana shall be waiting and we left for the cottage.
The Island- chapter six
Nicole took him to Lana. She was waiting and she was talking to a beautiful woman with wild and fierce hazel eyes and the reddest hair he ever had saw. The woman rose-up and came to me. She hugged me and she told me, my name is Boadicea, welcome to the Island. You can call me Lilly. I heard great things about you, always nice to have a poet on Idyllic. We need words, we need song and we need a safe place to rest. I have been here for almost a thousand years. I hope you find time for a long talk with me. I love discussing the old and the new world. Maybe I could teach you something worthwhile. She returned to Lana, kissed both her face cheeks and she came back to me. Kissed my forehead and she whispered. We can overcome all things and she wandered off.
Lana sat in her seat, the canvas and the paint near. She smiled and she laughed. Here in Idyllic, many interesting people had found their utopia. Dear Lily, a great healer. Once she knew war and violence, now she is part of the Idyllic myth and tale. She is the balance on the island. Ensure we don’t forget who we were. Please Johnnie, sit down and I will tell you some stories if you like. I sat near her and she asked. Look toward the lake please.
She begin to paint and I watched the Lake Superior. She told me. Lily was second . She lost her world and Luna found her. Luna brought her here. The ancient Ojibwa thoughts they were medicine women or Shaman women. Luna found the island and the Ojibwa people near left her alone. They knew, she wanted silence. She heard a child sick and dying. The child was sick with a stomach ailment and she made a dish of vegetables and dandelions root. The child begin to heal with the cleansing of the sour stomach. After this incident, the Ojibwa came often for healing. One night, Chief Raven came and he told her. If you want, please stay on the island. We see the pain in your eyes and the big water is a healer. Lake Gichigama will protect you and thank you for befriended us. It is sad, no-more Ojibwa come to us. I believe few are left with the ancient knowledge. Luna brought Lily here after the battle where Rome destroyed the Druids and her Army. She held silence for a hundred years, Luna told me. Lily is very wise and she became a Native American myth, they called her Morningstar. She taught the Iceni natural cures to the natives. I asked her. How did you come to the island?
She smiled and she told him. Lana is my third name. Once I was Natae, once I was DeaMeuna. Now I am Lana. I saw terrible things in my lifetime and one day. I decided death was sweeter than life. I create a deadly poison to put me into a permanent sleep. Luna appeared at my door and I allowed her in. She held me like a child and we cried together for hours. She told me, dear Natae, goddess of purity and kindness. Please come with me to Idyllic and maybe you can learn some kind of peace. I went with her and I met Lily. I knew Boudica and she had transformed to a beautiful spirit. Lily never left my side for a hundred years. We became the healers for the ancient Ojibwa and they built the wood bridge for us. They would bring fresh food to us and we use to. Celebrate the birth of Spring and the sleep of Winter. I started to paint the bridge and now. The bridge tells the story of many. He asked her. Is this dream dear Lana? I came to die and now I am surrounded by the beauty of Idyllic and the kind people. Why am I worth saving?
Lana stopped painting and she looked deeply into my eyes. She whispered, you are not done yet Johnnie. Lake Gichigama brought you to us. The island is hidden from the view of people unless you are called to her. Idyllic had many people with heavy stories. Once I lost everyone and everything. I wanted to kill everything that destroyed my world. I decided death was better than hateful life. I was saved by dear Luna. I believe the island wanted to save you. He asked her. Why do I need to be saved? I am just a man. One less man who was careless and cold, he would not be missed. Lana stood-up and she came to me and she whispered. We are like the sea, rocking and a rolling to life destiny. We don’t know the reasons we are upon this earth. Maybe you will save one and find your heart, maybe you will save many and save your soul. Took me saving a thousand people lives to heal. Once my dreams were nightmares and tears. I remember the Ojibwa children called me “The Moon”. They would bring me small gifts and we would dance by the big lake. I assisted in the birth of many babies. In the babies eyes, I learn. I wasn’t done yet and you are not done yet.
The Island- Chapter seven
Lana watched my eyes and he told her. I am glad I found the Island and everyone had been so kind to me. Idyllic is a miracle and a blessing. I was seeking ending and today. I don’t know? Lana embraced me and she whispered. All of us have fallen often and we must rise-up and become stronger. This is what the wise and strong people do. You came here to Idyllic to gain strength and one day. You will become a teacher. I will tell you some of my tale tomorrow in the late afternoon. You, Nicole and I will burn some near Lake Gichigami. Now allow me to finish my painting. I have you today and in the morning tomorrow. My brush need silence to work dear Johnnie. He watched her hand move with great skill and her eyes. They were like the sea blue sea today. She was a beauty for the ages. He sat in silence till a pretty woman appeared. She went to Lana and they embraced and kissed. Lana turned and she introduced Isabella to me. He reached his hand to her and Isabella pulled me up toward her and she embraced him tightly. She whispered, we are not strangers on this Island. Petty friends are never allow here. The Big Water and Idyllic invited you here and now you are part of the family. We are the leftovers and the greatest storytellers. I know Lana loved her silence and the brush. I heard you were here and I brought a bottle of Jerzy’s Michigan cherry wine and I am willing to talk. And also I am a healing. I am old school, no drugs, just natural herbs and natural lotions. I believe the human touch is needed to awake our sleeping spirit. When we walk alone, we fall alone. The Morningstar whispers, brought you to the island. He watched her face when she spoke. He loved her tie-dye Summer dress and he loved her long dark brown hair, darkest brown eyes he ever seen. She looked very young, but her eyes. Had the look of the ancient people. She was slender and she had powerful legs and body. She went to the kitchen and she found the wine opener and she brought back two glasses. She smiled and she told him. When Lana is painting, no drinking the Bacchus wine when painting. Rumor had it, Bacchus was my father and she laughed. I do enjoy his wine and she poured the wine into the wine glasses. Lana smiled and she told her. After the wine, maybe a face massage for Johnnie. Your hands can create miracles and save the souls of the lost. Lana looked at him. The story told, Isabella had saved many kings, soldiers and gods. And she had retired some too. Isabella watched his face and she told me. I see the great sadness in your face, I see the sorrow in your eyes. When we are young, we believe we can save the world and one day. We learn, the world sits on a thin edge and we are just dancers trying to keep our balance and not fall into the chaos. In my lifetime, I saved many and I lost many. I have loved and lost. Many years ago, Luna found me. I learn the gods cannot be killed, cannot die. Most of the old gods found solitude and left the earth. Luna held me for many days and she whispered. Dear healer, my kindest and honest friend. Follow me to a safe haven. She brought me to the Big Water and I find my place to rest and heal. Now we must drink the Bacchus wine, you have two hours till Lana is done with you. She handed him the wine and we tapped the glasses and we drank the Cherry wine. He asked Isabella, does one life matter? Are we falling stars falling toward the earth without reason or purpose? Can one person change our world? Life and death. Is it just opportunity for us to steal and borrow? She put down her wine glass and she came to him. She unbutton his shirt and his shirt fell to the ground. She stood behind him and her hands moved slowly through his hair. She sang a song lowly.
“Slowly we must go, easy we must move, no easy life, life is hard Winter and kind Spring. Life is hot Summer days and the Fall change of color. We are just like the dancing wind. Just seeking our proper place, just seeking the kiss of happiness. Slowly we must go, easy we must move. We are the create of our path.”
Her hands were skilled. Her movement organized and she had reason and purpose for every movement of her fingers. She whispered, the hair, the face, the neck. Need to be brought to life, the healing of the human touch can save our spirit, our world. Her gentle touch made him close my eyes and my mind quit thinking. He forgot all the heavy weights of life, he was carrying. She whispered a song to him as he fell into deep meditation.
“We need barefoot days, we need the big water near. We need kind voices, we need the Bacchus wine and the sweetest song. You and I. We must seek the wanderlust and be fearless. The broken heart shall heal, the broken heart shall be tested. Love is life and life is love.”
Lana told us. Isabella, we have a concert to prepare for. Johnnie, tomorrow at nine. Be here, please. He told her. Okay dear Lana and he looked into Isabella eyes and he told her. Thank you dear lady. I feel lighter and what can I do for you? You have been so kind to me. Isabella embraced me and she whispered. Live, just live. Morningstar told us. You have a thousands journey to accomplish. She kissed his face and she told him. If we save one life, we know love. If we save many lives, we can know peace.
The Island- chapter eight..
The two woman came to him and they embraced him. Lana told me. While we are gone, the Island wine maker shall keep you company. At the door, a man in his late fifties with dancing eyes stood smiling with a bottles of wine. Lana introduced Jerzy to me. She whispered, the best story teller on the Island. He will love him. He stood-up and he came to me, took his hand and he told him. The ladies need many hours to perfection their perfect beauty. A wise man, never complained. He just wait. I have some Ambrosia wine. We will drink the wine of the Gods and we can talk near Lake Superior. I love the Big Water. I lived in dusty cities and places in Europe. Lake Gichigami, a blessing to this old man. He followed him to some benches near Lake Superior. She was dancing boldly this day, the waves rolling deep into the sand of the small beach. He brought the wine glasses and the wine opener with him. He smiled and he told me. A wise man, always prepared. We can’t drink wine, unless we open the bottle. He watched his eyes, his eyes were ancient and I saw the hidden sadness in them. He asked me. Are you enjoying Idyllic? Morningstar told me, a special person had arrived. I told him. This land blessed by the Ojibwa and the lakes, a God miracle made. I am enjoying my time in Idyllic. He smiled and he stood-up. He pointed to where Lake Huron and lake Superior meet. He told me. The land of the lakes, the Ojibwa believe the lake is one. Connecting source of water create a safe haven for the ancient people. I believe, where lake Huron and lake Superior meet. The place is a blessed place. If you listen. You can hear the song of the old ones. The song is wonderful and forever. He opened the wine and he poured the wine into the wine glasses. We touched glasses and he told the sky, thank you for the beautiful day, the warm sun and good company. We sat down and he touched my face. He told me. You have a old face and you believe, you have seen terrible things. Us, who are living in Idyllic. All of us had lost everything and more. You have begin your journey and you will lose more. You will learn the Hemingway curse and the Salinger quiet. I was found by Luna. I was alone with a plastic bag on my head, praying for death and she took off the bag. She kissed me a thousand times and she wouldn’t allow me to die. She embraced me into the midnight hours on the floor of my room. I told her that day. I was so tire, so damn tire. My dreams are nightmares and I am seeking quiet death. She told me, dear epic writer, blessed man, we need you alive. You saw the worst in men and we need you to teach us. We can be kind, we can be brave and we can be saved. I followed her and she took me to the Island. I have been here almost fifty years. I write still and I became Salinger. My new writing, hidden away to be never read. He asked him. Why do we hide our words? Are we destine to welcome death? He smiled and he whispered. I don’t welcome death no more. My life was difficult and I learn. I wasn’t alone. Lily lost her daughters to Rome, her people to war and she had saved thousands Ojibwa people and the wanderers, like you. I know she carried her sadness deep in her heart. I heard her cry to the full Spring moon. I go to her and we cry together. Once I had a large family, in World War two. They hid their Jewish son in Poland and I never saw anyone from my family again. Killed by hate. I roamed Europe as a child and I became a ghost. I wasn’t ever right, how could I be? I loved the USA. I fell into her arms and my words saved me for many years. The Jewish boy found reason and purpose, but he could not forget the dead. Here at Idyllic, I found like-people who swam in death and we became healers. I believe Johnnie, healing is the way the heart-broken people can heal. He had great respect for this man. He told him. I read the books of Jerzy Kosinski, every book he written. He was a genius, he learned English in eight months, he went to the best University and his books. An American legend. Jerzy tapped my back and he laughed. He told me. Best honor for a writer, to be read, to be remembered. Today I will answer two questions for you. Only two. I do my best to forget the past. Nicole tells me daily, life is today, tomorrow. The past, just education to make us appreciate the good days.He looked at his face. A face of a man who lived a thousand lives. He asked him. Are men destine to kill everything that is good? Is war, the balance of men? He looked at Lake Superior and he told him. I believe men hearts, are never content. Always wanting more and more. Men run the world. All through time, we allowed greedy men to run our world. The men who love pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. Look at the history of men. the good men are murdered, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.
He asked him. Is men soul, so black. He will not be content till everything beautiful is gone? He told me. When I was young. So many people tried to save me. A Polish woman shaved my heard daily to hide my black hair. They hid me and they fed me. I worked their farm and one evening. I watched them murdered her for helping the Jews. I tried to return their kindness, by being a good man. You have demons and I have demons. I believe we can’t change our world, the Devils are controlling the world. All we can do, is be kind, save who we can and if we are lucky. Found a place to rest and know peace. I was lucky dear Luna saved me. I pray to the moon daily. Please dear moon, make the leaders learn. Every life had value, war is not the road to peace and the children. They are the future. We must teach them well. He embraced Jerzy and he thanked him for the words. He asked him. I bury two brothers, one year apart. My heart became dead. The kindness of Nicole, Lana and Luna showed me. There is more than me. Jerzy, can we forget the sadness or do we learn to live with?
He whispered. I told you two question but I will answer this one. Nicole is correct. Love is a blessing, love make our heart grow and when the heart is alive. The possibility of heartache is near. We are taught by our parent, our grandparent and our mentors. To do the right things. We love them and one day. Death will take them from us. Break our hearts. I lost everything before my tenth birthday, took a thousand days of healing for me to know. I had to find new country, new family and I held the misery of war. Death isn’t the answer my new friend. Morningstar whispered to me. A up and coming poet need the great wisdom of the wine maker. He told him, thank you Jerzy and we heard the voices of the three women. Lana, Nicole and Isabella were walking toward us. They wore the Summer dresses and they were blessings for our eyes to see. Jerzy looked at me and he whispered. I told you there are miracles. You are I are seeing a miracle my friend.
The Island- Chapter nine..
He looked at Jerzy and we watched the three women walked toward us. He told him. You are right Jerzy, there are miracles left, if we open our eyes to see. Lana, Nicole and Isabella laughed at us. Lana told us as she embraced me and she asked. Were you falling in love, Johnnie? He told them, more than love. They wore their Summer knee-high dresses and allowed him to see their bare shoulders. He begin to believe this to be a sweet dream or heaven. Isabella whispered in his ear. Sometimes dreams are real life, places where we gather our strength and find people to save us, maybe we can save someone in hopeful dreams. We shared embrace and Nicole whispered into Jerzy’s ear. I love you my dearest friend. We walked toward the center of the park. We heard voices and I saw three women and one man. The man was yelling, please wait for us.
After many words and hugs Lana introduced me to Delia, Celeste and Magdalena. The young man with wild hair, big smile took his right hand and he told him. I am Nick, the Island song writer, lousy poet and leftover singer. I am glad to finally meet you. Delia told me. A poet had arrived. He will be the Island poet one day. Delia took my hand and she walked in the front of him. He loved her black dress, strong body, her flowing long black hair and the darkness in her eyes. She told me. Nick talk a lot and sometimes, too much knowledge can be dangerous. Nick is wonderful and rarely liked the strangers. If you can. Maybe we can talk after the concert? Me and my two sisters Celeste and Magdalena had requested the company of Jerzy, Lana, Nicole and Isabella near the open beach. We will have a small fire and we will watch the moon fall into the west. Jerzy will bring the Spring wine and Captain Jack homemade gin will keep us warm. Lana kissed Delia lips and she looked at me. Be careful, Delia was a Druid priest once. Delia and her sisters. Rumor has it. They begin life, spin the thread of life and can end life. He fell in love with Celeste and Magdalena. Both were beauties for the ages. They wore colorful Summer dresses and their smile made you smile. Delia eyes watched his eyes and she told him. Later, we can talk and now we must hurry. The music will begin very soon and we don’t want to miss Ayla opening. Her voice make the angels, the gods and the demons know peace.
He took a large bag away from Jerzy. He smiled and he told him. Thank you Johnnie, we need many bottles of ambrosia for us to enjoy. Need good wine when the moon is rising and the music is sweet. We arrived and Ayla Nereo was almost done setting-up the stage. Lana told me. Only Ayla is allowed at the Island who have free-will. She was a student of Delia. I was told. She taught her to shape-shift. Ayla is a blessing and she gathered the strength of the ancient gods. We do love her. Ayla looked-up and she told Nick Drake, you know my payment. I want my songs. My favorite song “Cello and Pink moon.”
Nick went to the stage and the Captain arrived. He gave him a bottle and he told me. Some rosemary tea to keep your mind working. I don’t drink the bad spirit, I do make the bathtub gin for my kindred friends. Nick begin to sing his songs. His voice soft, wonderful and the words, so good. Nicole held his hand, interlacing her fingers with his fingers, ensuring he knew, I wasn’t alone. He sang the two songs and Ayla hugged him and she whispered in his ear. I love you Nick and thank you my dearest friend. Nick rejoined us and he told him. You are amazing. He smiled and he told me. Maybe tomorrow we can gather at the rocks. I will tell you a story of how the song can break your heart and to know. Life is more than us. We need friends, we need companions, so we will know. We are not alone. We drank the wine and sat in silence as Ayla sang her beautiful song. He fell in love with Ayla, she was barefoot and she danced for the raising moon and her positive energy overtook us. After her last song, she greeted the many people and she came to us. She hugged and kissed everyone. She came to him and she kissed his neck, his face and his lips. She was so beautiful and he felt her heartbeat when she embraced me. She whispered in his ear. Live, learn, live some more and go forward. No easy life dear poet. You must save yourself and you can save someone else. He watched her walk away and he told Lana. Thank you for this day.
Isabella told us. The moon is rising and we must be near Lake Gichigami before nine. The group walked slowly to the lake. He notice Delia wasn’t with them. He liked her. She was shoe-less, a beautiful mystery and he saw the madness in her eyes. Nicole reached over and she kissed his neck and she whispered. Maybe if the clouds will stay away, so the goddesses of the Island can dance. The big lake can be temperamental and remember. the dance of light can be enjoyed by all. We arrived and I saw Delia near a large fire with many chairs on the side of the falling sun. She came to him and she told him. The chairs are in the west so we can see the moon raise from the east. She whispered in his ear. Tonight is the liar’s moon. The half-moon allowed us to use trickery and magic with due payment. He asked her, how did you arrive so quickly. She smiled and she told him. The raven never tell her secrets. She left him and she greeted the nine people. Nicole was to his right and Lana to his left. Nick had Magdalena to his right and Celeste to his left. Jerzy had Luna to his right and Delia to his right. Captain Jack was at the lake Superior burning his sage and praying to the stars. Jerzy smiled and he told us. No wine glasses, like the Gypsies of the old, one bottle of ambrosia each. We will drink and talk till we cannot. We opened the wine, everyone except the Captain. He had his bottle of rosemary tea. Luna stood-up and she toasted the moon, the stars and the opportunity to know a new friend. We tapped the bottles and we talks as the moon rose above us. It was a good night. Talk of the lake, Lana’s paintings and the new days to come.
He felt a soft hand on his right shoulder and he turned and Delia was looking at his face. He look away and then he looked down at her pretty feet. She smiled and she asked. You like my legs and feet? He told her, prettiest days is a barefoot lady, the lake near and the blessing of kind eyes of a lovely woman. She laughed at his words. Morningstar was right, you are a master of words. You could make the unbeliever believe everything. The poets are dangerous. They will steal your heart and leave you with wishes and heartbreak. Nicole whispered to him. Johnnie, go with Delia. This is your last change to speak with her. She is the watcher, the raven the coyote and sometimes the needed stranger. Tomorrow Celeste and Magdalena had invited us for a early brunch. Delia loved the night. Delia took my hand and we went to the meditating rocks. She sat close to him, the Lake Gichigami was sending a soft cold breeze. he wrapped my arms around her. She told me thank you my new friend. I am glad we have time to talk. My name is now Delia and I had many names. I was Delos once, I was Artemis. Been accused of being Lachesis. I was a Druid once and Rome try to kill off the old religion. The Druids are still abound in the world and I do support them if I can. I was a Gypsy story teller and I told the future for coin for a hundred year. Many years ago, I found western America. I found a Nagual who accepted my sleeping heart. He taught me the peyote magic. Morningstar found me in the mouth of the Mexican mountain desert. My friend, my teacher left my world. The nagual Cuauhtemoc taught me the herbal cure, to expand my spirit and to learn. Our body, just something, we use for a time. Morningstar found me crying and she brought Luna to me. Luna brought me here. I do leave the island to do what I must do. He asked her. Why are you being kind to me dear Delia? She took his hands and she kissed them. She told me, Johnnie, you have much to do. Each of us are here to accomplish something. You will change names, your face and your location often. I cannot tell you your journey. I see you are surrounded by love and you will learn the taste of blood, the taste of love and the taste of sadness. We decide our life, we decide our destination. Don’t worry dear Johnnie. I will save you if you fall. All of us must be saved and a blessed life. We can save many. We sat in silence as the moon rose above us. She turned to him, kissed his neck, his face cheeks and his lips. Her dark eyes told me. She was right.
(Will try to finish today and thank you for reading.)