A novel by Stefan Jönsson
What we have learned is what we believe
‘I take these walks. Really long walks. Alone. In the forest. I’ll tell you, I live for these walks. They make me whole, they cure my soul in a way a therapist never could.
It’s interesting, how the human mind can be so easily soothed by only breathing fresh air and enjoying a good walk. I’m not kidding when telling you that it was those walks that saved my life. I would have continued falling down, probably forever, if I hadn’t discovered that forest.
Why I was falling down? Well, I could bore you to death with that story but that’s not the reason why I wanted you to come out here. No, I want you to hear something, and to write it down, so it can be read by others in need and perhaps give them some hope. Yes, that would really be great; it would give what happened to me an even greater meaning.
What happened? Please be patient with me, it’s been a long time since I had a visitor, guess I’m not used to someone listening to me. Haha, don’t get that look on your face, I’m all right I assure you. I wasn’t before it happened, but I am now. Actually I never felt better in my whole life come to think of it.
Well, enough of me, shall we get started? Are you sitting comfortably? Do you have all your senses open for what is to come? You should, because believe me, what I am about to tell you is the most fantastic and wondrous true story you have ever heard.’
‘Yes. Mhm. Of course. Yes, look, I’ll deal with it as soon as I get back to the office, ok? No, it won’t be a problem Spence, like a told you a thousand times, don’t worry I’ll make it in time as I always do.
Well, I wish I could tell I was out on the scoop of my life. But most likely it will turn out be just another madman. Do you believe this guy called seventeen times the past week? Yes, ha-ha, I know. He drove me crazy and if I wasn’t already on a bad foot with the local police I would have called them before setting out on this wonderful journey. I’m telling you Spencer, I’m literally out in the middle of nowhere, I haven’t seen this much forest since I was ten years and my parents took me on that Family Adventure Weekend in Canada.
Yeah, I know we’re short on articles. Don’t worry, no matter what this fellow tells me I’ll come up with something. How about this: “How isolation and lack of human contact can turn a normal person to a schizophrenic prophet with holy visions”. Ha-ha, just kidding Spence, I’ll be serious, as always, but I got a feeling it won’t be much better than that.
Don’t know. He wouldn’t tell me. Said it was too important to talk about on the phone. I didn’t really listen, you know how this whole damn week been, yeah, it feels like I haven’t slept a full good night in ages. Well, the only interesting information he gave me was on something that happened a long time ago, something that made him move out to this cabin in nowhere. Actually I the place ahead of me now; it looks like something taken from Winnie the Poh. Ha-ha. Call you when its’ all over Spence. Wish me luck…’
‘I should probably start from the beginning, but as we are a bit short of time, I’ll skip the unnecessary details before I speak about it. About a year ago, I moved out to this cottage. Boy did I feel like I moved to the end of the world. You see, I come from the city originally, and by judging by your clothes and manner I see you live the life I lived a year ago. I know all about it, believe me. The hectic life. Oh yes, I was once one of those who kept rushing through life, never really having any time at all to stop and think about things. But all that changed when I moved out here you see. Reborn I was. And I’ll tell you, the new me is a lot more nicer than the old me I assure you, ha-ha.
Why I moved from the city? Well, as I just said, we don’t have the time to go into unnecessary details. Let’s just say I was getting sick and tired of my old job and all the crazy life it meant? What I was working with? Uhm, really, I don’t want to bore you with such facts, just let me get starting with the story, ok? Ok.
The day of my life started as just any other day. I woke up by the sound of the birds outside the window, feeling tired of life as usual and not wanting to get out of bed at all. The only thing fuelling my soul with life, being the yearning after the forest and the fresh, healthy, and clean air.
Have you ever felt like forgetting all your duties and obligations in life and just lie in the bed, thinking about everything between heaven and earth, not thinking at all, and just wished that tomorrow could wait forever? I’m sure you have. Everyone does it at some stage or period in life. Well, the thing is that I felt like that for a long, long time you see. If the forest saved my life, then it surely saved my soul.
Well, after finally getting out of bed, motivating myself with the cleansing feeling of the forest, I put on my shoes, had breakfast and left my cottage with heavy steps. I could never imagine that, by my return, my feet would never again feel the heavy weight of depression! After leaving the vicinity of my cottage I found myself surrounded by the stillness of the forest. Alone, as always, with my walking stick as only companion.
It is only a matter of minutes. Then, slowly, my breathing calms, I feel my eyes focus again, my body corrects itself in a strange way. My mind is cleansed from self-torturing thoughts as I take in the fresh air in my lounges and I can think clearly once more. But in the dark core of my soul the panic is waiting. I am not fooled. It is only sleeping, temporarily pushed back by the physical well being of my body. But it is waiting my friend, it knows it will not be long until I must turn back to my cottage and tend to my other physical needs as food and sleep. Then panic will strike, and I tell you when it does it holds nothing back! Nothing! That is the drawback of my walks and has always been. Because as easy as it is to embrace the cure of the forest, just as easy it disappears, leaving nothing lasting but a dim memory.
But all that has changed you see. The panic comes no more. Now I feel.. only true joy. And thankfulness. Because of what was waiting for me in the forest that day. The most beautiful thing god ever created and sent down to his earth. You see, that day, for the first time in my life, and sadly the last time I believe, I saw a unicorn.
That frown on your forehead and your disbelieving look tells me you probably think I’m a madman. Ha-ha, a mad eremite inviting you to his cottage out in nowhere and telling you a story he made up during one of his fits! I don’t blame you, if I were you I most likely would believe the same. But that is why I invited you and not someone from one of the big newspapers who’s goal in life is to the get the scoop of the year, preferably with some celebrity mixed up in some conspiring plot involving the government or something like that.
What I want from you is to forget all your past experience and believes of what can be and cannot be. If you ask someone in the street a normally sane person would say to you that unicorns are creatures of fairy tales and children’s fantasies. If you then say to the same person that you have seen a unicorn the person most likely would turn away and thinking it all a prank. Why would he do that? It’s simple. Because of that persons past experience.
As a child, you read fairy tales that included unicorns. As you grow older you get wiser and soon understand that everything that you read as a child was made up by a grown up with a large amount of fantasy on his mind. You understand that the fairy tales are good for the children because they inspire to the child’s development of creating and imagination. But they are all made up. Or are they?
Most of them surely are. But what if some of them are not? What if, originally they were true stories, common knowledge to every human being and used as an educating tool for children of past times? I’m not saying that stories with Goofy and Mickey Mouse hold anything remotely similar to truth in them but I’m talking about the stories with mystic creatures. The fables containing, for example, the unicorn.
Ponder this my friend; let’s say the unicorn exists. Let’s say that in past times, and then I don’t mean years ago, but millennia ago, the unicorns were walking this planet in great numbers. Wouldn’t it then be natural for the humans living in that age to draw pictures with stories about this fantastic creature, as the human kind always have done when it comes to things she admire and don’t truly understand.
Take the sun for example, worshipped by civilizations that existed long before our Jesus Christ walked the earth. It was worshipped, just like the Christ is in our time. But some assert he’s just a figure made up by rulers of past time to unite a people and bring them more power. That the sun exists no one ever has doubted of course. Why? Because it is always there, when we wake up in the morning until it goes down in the evening, and has always been. Surely the true identity of Jesus were never doubted nor speculated on when he was alive. But as generations pass so does the memory of what once was.
In our time there are as many people who believe Jesus is a person that is made up which there are people who believe he was divine. I believe, no, I know that it is the same with some of the creatures we believe never existed. As time passed, for some reason, the unicorns started to die out, to in the end being only a few left on earth. As their numbers started to fade out, so did the memory of them. The humans of that time didn’t have radar gizmos to track their movements and try to figure out why they started to decline in numbers and they probably didn’t care much either. There were other things to worry them, like how to survive and get food for your family, problems we don’t have to the same extent.
When the memories of them slowly died the only thing left to prove their existence were the tales of them. The reason the “tale” of Jesus has survived for so long is that it was carefully documented by many people and have had millions of tellers to keep it alive over time. The tale of the unicorn has not had that luxury. As the human race have gotten more and more self aware and less inclined to believe in things it doesn’t understand - things that are not scientifically proven - the unicorns are now seen as a creature of the fable. What I’m trying to say is that some of the old fairy tales are true. I know this because I have been in one of them.’
‘Are you crazy? No, wait. It’s my turn now. Look, are you serious about this? I mean a unicorn for god sake! Couldn’t you have come up with something better? What about a blue grizzly bear, or a pink rabbit perhaps. That would have made it more worth my time because then I could’ve written a damn comic article for the goddamn comic pages! Jesus! I can’t believe you fooled me out to listen to this.
No! You listen to ME! Forgive me if I raise my voice and disturb your peaceful atmosphere out here, but I got something to tell you buddy. I haven’t slept for days, I have this terrible headache all the time caused by my deadline that’s breathing down my goddamn neck! Yes, you see while some of us are fooling around in the forest with no problems whatsoever, some of us have to work for a living! It’s not that I don’t want to believe you, by now I’ll write about goddamn beavers just to finish the deadline! But your story has no credibility at all! You won’t even give me the reason why you moved out to this cottage in the first place. Didn’t like the town? The hectic life not for you? Or what was it that happened? Were you in some kind of accident……………or what?
You not going to say anything are you? …… Didn’t think so either, because that would put your fabulous story in a bad day wouldn’t it? Well, then I wish you a happy life Mr. Donohough. I got a work to do if you excuse me. Jesus…’
‘Daddy, can I drive the last mile? Please, please, please? I’ll be careful, I promise!’
‘Careful as when you’re driving in that video game of yours Kevin?’
‘Ha-ha, no I don’t think so buddy, you’ll have to wait a few years longer I’m afraid, and besides if I’ll let you your mother would kill me for sure’
‘Now now Jamie, I wouldn’t kill you, who would then make supper for us tonight? Hmm, guess I’ll only break your nose or something… no wait then you can’t smell what you’re cooking! Well then it has to be your arm, you think you can handle the kitchen with only one arm honey?’
‘For you my love, anything. Ha-ha. Here now give your husband a kiss for all the horrible things you just said.’
‘Keep your eyes on the road instead Mr. Love and save the flirting until we get home ok?’
‘Papa, what’s for supper? I want to be home now, it feels like we’ve been away for daays.’
‘Well, sugar you have to ask you’re mom she’s done the shopping. By the way darling do we have any money left at all after your shopping spree at the mall this morning?’
‘You’re really gagging for it aren’t you now! What did you have to that coffee? I don’t know sugar but what about… OH MY GOD JAMIE LOOK OUT!
‘Spence? Yeah it’s me, you… no, don’t save any space on the front page. You won’t believe your ears when I’ll tell you what this man told me. No, ha-ha it wasn’t about aliens. Look, you know what a unicorn is right? That’s right, the one in the fairy tales. The thing is this man claimed he saw one.
Yes, I know! Where? Out in the forest when taking one of his walks. If I believe him? Well, of course not! I mean it’s just nonsense, right? You ever heard of a unicorn walking around in an American forest? I mean it’s ridiculous! Even if they once existed they all are extinct ages ago, right? I mean, I have never heard of a witness seeing one before. Have you?
What? If I believe they existed? Of course not! Or… well the thing is the fellow put up with quite convincing arguments… yeah I know Spence I’m tired. It’s just that… you should’ve seen this man’s eyes Spence… and the way he spoke, I swear to you if he was telling me a lie he is the greatest actor who ever walked this planet…
Of course it’s impossible that he saw a unicorn, but he must have seen something, a person doesn’t talk like that if he doesn’t truly believe he was experiencing something extraordinary. I know because I’ve interviewed a lot of people Spence.
No, he never told me, I tried to ask him a dozen times but he kept avoiding the subject. Whatever happened to him in the past it’s not something he wish to talk about. I don’t know if it’s affecting the story’s degree of truthfulness, probably... But still Spence you should have heard him…
Look, I don’t know what I’m saying, ok? I have to think about this. And sleep on it. Then I’ll let you know if it’s a story or not. Yeah, a long ride home… now I’ll be fine, don’t worry, his words will keep me awake I believe. Honestly Spence, I don’t know what to believe…’
‘And there it was… standing in the grove, completely silent… but words were not necessary, because it’s’ eyes… o god in heaven its eyes! It was looking straight at me, never flinching, never looking aside. Those eyes will forever be in front of me when I close my own eyes. They were… perfect… just like its entire body, a creature made to perfection, no other word could describe it. Every line in its pure white and silk fur contributing to a scene that seemed to trick the eye. No matter how I tried to take in the whole creature, I couldn’t. It’s only afterwards that I can really see it, see how magnificent creature it is. It radiated pride, truthfulness, a sense of forgiving and above all – mercy.
I thank you… whoever it was that gave me this revelation… Now, I will never be afraid again…’
“Described as an animal of great ferocity and strength (Num. 23:22, R.V., 'wild ox,' marg., 'ox-antelope;' 24:8; Isa. 34:7, R.V., 'wild oxen'), and untamable (Job 39:9). It was in reality a two-horned animal; but the exact reference of the word so rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius ('primitive ox'), which is now
extinct all over the world. This was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest. The word thus rendered has been found in an Assyrian inscription written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be the animal intended (comp. Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).”
Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Skriven av: Stefan Jönsson
Logga in och för att skapa din profil. Utöver får du möjlighet att redigera dina verk och du har möjlighet att nå högre medlemsstatus .
Inga böcker, inga barn, inte mycket att skryta med kort sagt. Allt gott till er alla som besökt, läst och övertygat mig! :-) Är du mer nyfiken, samt modig, så finns jag gömd någonstans i krokarna,…Anders Berggren