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Two Lakes

August 5, 2015

Lake

Lake

I see two lakes.

They are identical – in every detail.

The shape of the lake emphasises a wide expanse – the way distant slopes frame a turn which could lead on and on. The way trees mask the nearer shores so the whole lake cannot be seen, but its edges may be guessed at.

 

Before one lake sits the traveller who has sought and found, yet also stumbled upon, this place. They have crossed the wilderness that lies all about it. They see the stillness of the surface, hear the silence. When a breeze ruffles the lake or a bird cries they know that it is the breeze and the bird, not the lake, which bring the passing change.

The traveller may stay as long as they wish. Others may come and go too. One day the hungry and thirsty traveller must move on, in the hope of returning some time.

Before the other lake sits the monarch. They own this lake, having amassed the power and wealth to build it. The finest artists and gardeners, and a hundred thousand labourers, have elegantly captured the expanse and unseen extent of a natural wilderness lake.

Only the monarch or their guests may visit this place. All around, just out of sight, stand the walls of a great palace. Beyond that a fortress. Beyond that a sprawling city.

The monarch is free to sit here until the end of their life. Guards, unseen and ever vigilant, provide protection from those who have been defeated, outwitted or simply robbed in course of the monarch’s rise.

When a breeze ruffles the lake or a bird cries…

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