At the village of Nibiru tells the story of a child, who, blindfolded, could see better than others. And no other could tell the story better than I, since long ago, he was my best friend, long ago, when I was also a child…
Our village rests at the edge of a long river, and nothing else surrounds it more than deserted mountains and the sun’s dry land; hills of sand make the village lost for the unwise; and fields of old grains as the driest sea, makes Nibiru dwell in the unknown, through forgotten ages, through forbidden paths…
We respond to no master, only elders and mentors who once knew our days; they wander around the village guiding those who are lost; each of them with knowledge and wisdom of their own expertise. “Master,” one would ask, “I find it hard to talk into the eyes of my son; he’s distant no matter how close we are. How can I approach his soul?”
“Prove your admiration and generosity with the words from your heart. Every time he does something worthy and prized, give him a hug along with a smile, he’ll eventually do the same for the same art.”
Oasis was the only place where the grass grew and the birds flew, it was near the river where the lines of the old trees protected our village, shading the shore with their curved arms. I don’t remember how I met Lendern, but it was near this path. He played a pipe to nature every dawn; long distant notes that echoed the trees and soothed the water passing by; he would play a tune to zen our morning star.
We played on the earth drawing faces and symbols we made up, we danced on some hills and rolled races on the grass, we hid on the desert and waited to be found, we swam in the river like no other child—but… he was oddly impulsive to a strangeness which, in a way, opened my eyes. ‘What is he doing’ I thought sometimes. ‘What’s going on in his mind?’ He was witty, quick and smart like no other child, but he was wild, darkly wild.
Once we sat at sunset of the hills to rest and talk about things. But somehow we lead to talk about things we shouldn’t talk as a child. “Don’t you ever get the feeling,” he used to ask, “that all we see and all there is to it, it’s simply a lie?” He told me he used to hear voices whenever we were playing around certain trees, and although he didn’t hear them clearly, he instinctively knew what they were saying and, surprisingly, who they are…
In the river we were once sunk to our waist with our feet in the sand, and through the splattering he stood still and stayed calm. “What’s wrong?” I asked, but he shushed looking at the water as if there was something at the surface he was trying to find. He moved slowly and looked down, his hands swaying the waves, his face with solemn eyes. Soon, the silence made us listen to the sound of the river, calmly tuning its voice to the stream of a lullaby. Whenever these silent episodes occurred, he closed his eyes and became a man; his hands swayed with the water as his body moved with the tide; he walked around strangely as if the water was moving him from side to side. It only lasted a few moments before he would wake up, look around, apologize politely, and simply give out a smile.
He said they were impulses from his inside, in a way they let to connect to the moment of the surrounding as well as learning something from oneself, or as he said it: bring the darkness into light.
We walked to the shore, and an old man sat there on the grass. “Lightning does not strike by chance…” to what Lendern responded: “…Neither does the apple when it falls high.” I stood confused; he said it in a way that completed his sentence. Without any doubt, I recognized he was one of the elders from our village; he held a long beard mixed of black and white, and a gray pointy hat. His tunic was greenish gray with dark blue on its edges, marked with lines of gold, and he carried a cane curved as a snake. Although I haven’t met him before, he presented a familiar simple smile.
We walked through the trees as the old man related how he enjoyed watching children play free and pure as we were, and described how he used to play like us when he was a child.
“Friendships can be bonds that never break, and last lifetimes.” He fixed his eyes to me, filled with his heart, “no man can never recall his days of yonder, his days of freedom unless that man is again a child.” Lendern walked distant, aiming his sight to his toes. Step by step, his words made him ‘listen and walk around the world.’
“Let’s play a game,” the old man said and took out a blindfold of purple strains and jade marks. “It’s a game that will test how wide your instincts are, how high are your souls, and how deep are your fears. The winner will own the blindfold and a secret prize.”
“I’ll go first” I said, and none of them were surprised when I raised my hand with the thought of my head. The old man blindfolded me as he told Lendern to stand distant and look at me from afar. “Lendern, you may not create a sound, or even a single clue to expose where you are, your friend must instinctively find you, using his third eye.” I was blind from that point on, but I was aware to notice the old man’s words always spoke in riddles and rhymes, as if he was carefully saying everything once, but a lot of things at the same time. My biggest question was: How did he know my friend’s name was Lendern?
The old man let his hands off and whispered “Querent” as my vision was absolute dark. I took a step carefully imagining where the roots where, how the earth was; I took a chance to go left and my hands did not encounter anything, so I turned right…
“If you guide yourself with your eyes, you won’t find anything but what you found; those eyes are blind. As you can imagine the roots with your feet, imagine the surrounding of what you feel. Do not question, do not mind, conquer the fear and let your instincts guide you, the friendship your friend has is a bond that lights in your soul; you cannot see the path, but you can feel it; let it out.” It took me long to process the things he said and let me be myself, but I was accustomed to think, to reason, to react, so as I thought and assumed this I cannot do; I took my blindfold off and met Lendern not too far.
“I can’t, it’s too hard.”
“Don’t feel discouraged, it’s a game, only play to play.”
Now he was put the blindfold, and perhaps I can honestly say that I meant to stand further than he did. Although now I regret and wish that I could have stood on closer of where I was…
The old man also whispered to his ear and stood back to simply give out a smile. I stood against a tree looking straight at him; in my mind I wanted him to find me, but to my head…I didn’t want to lose. Maybe Lendern acted odd and sometimes said very strange things that I did not understand, but once he stood blind before me, his nose pointed directly at me and his smile made me see…he was a child. He didn’t extend his arms like I did, neither hesitated where to go or how to step, with patient feet, an open mind and a flaming heart, he walked straight to me as if his child was better than any man.
Close enough, he let a hand on my shoulder with a “here you are” and I understood where I was. The old man was nowhere to be seen, but we did not mind, my friend had just won a blindfold and a secret prize.
Written by Facundo Raganato