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Branching Out - May Pham

Our Realities Intertwined

Our world could be one of many that stand atop one another, making layers we cannot see. If you looked hard enough, maybe you could see into those layers, breaching into a reality many do not know exists.

     If you tried hard enough, could you hear that the honking of cars is actually the braying of hounds bounding down the open road? Could you see them chase down the stags that were once trucks? Down the highway their chase goes on and on, down the road that lasts forever.

     If you looked with a wonder in your eyes, maybe you would see that the clouds above you are not puffs of water but islands shrouded in a thin layer of mist, somehow floating above you. You might be able to glimpse the cities, towns, and farms on those islands and then wonder who lives there, up above. Maybe you would even take the time to think of what they thought of you. Maybe they can’t see you at all. Just as you were once unable to see them.

     If you submerged yourself in these thoughts of other worlds, you may just find yourself submerged in the water of one of them. Your hair would start to rise, and bubbles would fill your vision. Giants would swim on the surface above you, going about their business. As you walk along the seafloor, you may find yourself mingling with schools of fish and swarms of crustaceans. When you climb the stairs to your house, you’d feel the rocks of a coral reef underneath your feet and sand sifting in between your toes.

     If you looked outside, you might just realize that the trees are statues in a marble garden. Twisting branches transform into outstretched arms, reaching for something, someone. You could turn in circles down a wooded path trying to commit each and every intricacy to memory. Some statues look like humans and others like unknown plants and beasts. Who made this place, this museum of life? That is a question that will never be answered. If you were to reach out to pet the snout of an animal, you would be sorely disappointed to find the smoothness of marble replaced by rough bark. And as you feel it, the mirage fades away. These worlds that lay across our own are wonders to behold. But will you try to see them?

Branching Out by Helen Besch from Vantage

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