Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hate Forest - Temple Forest (2007)

Further down the Hall of Lucidity I found an unlocked door.  Opening it I discovered merely an empty room.  The walls, floor, and ceiling were painted flat grey.  There was no lighting, only the purple torchlight from the hall shining through, casting my shadow onto the opposite wall, which danced and shimmered with the sporadic flame.  I stepped into the empty chamber, gazing curiously at my shadow, which seemed to almost take on a life of its own in the strange lighting.  Its movements did not match mine.  I gazed directly at it until the blackness in my peripheral vision closed in.  And then I began to see other shapes emerge.

I began to notice trees, rocks, and shrubs, cluttered chaotically together in a thick forest scene.  I began to see shadows of mountains in the distance.  The shadow of a cave appeared, and into it wandered my own shadow.  And then within that cave I saw the shadow of a bear, which my shadow struck with his spear, vanquishing the monster.  And then my shadow marched back to his village, with the creature's head in hand, presenting it as a token of victory.  The shadows of the other men returned to the cave to harvest the meat. 

There was a celebration.  The meat was not eaten, and instead burned in flames of pure shadow, as an offering to those great Colossi who gave birth to the world.  Their forms towered above the forests since the dawn of time. 

The shadows of the villagers then danced in honor of these gods.  I was awed in an empty room, gazing utterly lost and transfixed by the magical rhythms.  I did not move at all, and yet I saw my shadow clearly swaying, jumping, and spinning amid the dance of all the others.  The shadow of a woman danced alongside mine.  I loved her, yet my shadow ignored her, lost in its own flickering pattern, seemingly from a different light source, perhaps a different torch from back in the hall.  I stepped a few feet to the left.  All the shadows shifted to the left alongside mine, but still danced to the same rhythm.  I moved to the far right side of the room and now some of the shadows disappeared into the darkness.  Those shadows to my left still danced, but now they were stretched strangely from the distance.  But the rhythm stayed the same.  I returned to the center of the room, never having removed my gaze from the scene, and though I did my best to return to my original position, something seemed off.  Everything was a bit more faded. 

I sighed, wishing that I could step into this shadow landscape and join the dance.  My shadow danced to one silent beat, but it was somehow detached from the shadows which danced around it, as if they didn't exist.  But why shouldn't they?   I could clearly see them.  I wouldn't have spent so long staring at a blank wall.  I couldn't imagine what might be between myself and the doorway to generate such shadows silently, but I dared not look, lest I cast Eurydice back to Hades.

I stared and stared, lost for a great length of time, and yet the celebration never ended, a dance under the Colossi for eternity, or until all faded.  And it was all fading.  The dancing shadows grew more dim with each passing moment, the ones furthest from the edge dissolving into blackness. 

"The door is closing..." said a voice from back in the hall.  I turned around and saw the black cat from before.  He sat and stared at me for a while before licking his paw a few times and then wandering off down the hall.

I saw that the cat was right, the door was almost completely shut, and the thin sliver of light seemed to be growing smaller.

I looked back at the wall, seeing now only my own shadow again.  It flickered from the torchlight, but nothing danced around it.  

I forced myself up and hustled back the way I had come, barely squeezing through the crack and into the hall, as the door then slowly crept closed behind me.


  1. What a wonderful tape, what a wonderful review. Thank you as always for your dedication to this music.

  2. What a wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm still mesmerized.