kulupu wi wawa unu

An all encompassing maze, stretching in all directions and encroaching from all others. As I advance in this house, the greatest house, I take care not to stumble. The lights above, cut into a detailed and nameless shape by the foliage above, playfully distort themselves on the uneven ground of the forest, stretching and compressing over the roots sticking out of the dirt. I don't know where I am going. In the fog ahead, only vague shadows appear, always vertical, always a new tree.

Long have I wandered in another house, much smaller. It was a house of concrete and plaster, one where the light was not sunny but cold and heartless. In that house, I was not alone. There were others, cold, naked, just like me. There were some who huddled together, some who screamed at each other, who hit each other. Some who tried to make a space their own, to separate from the world. I wandered in that house, hallway after hallway, never alone.

Even when none are around, their presence is felt through their absence. There is no one, and therefore you know this, and therefore you long for the other, and another is created. And so, desiring true loneliness, true quietness, I wandered out. I found an exit, and went to a house much bigger. A house untouched by any hands, one that stretched truly forever and ever. There was no one.

I wandered, alone. But you can never be truly alone. Though I walk surrounded by nothing that speaks, I am surrounded by all that lives. The trees are people, though they cannot speak, and the birds talk in their singing tongue, though I cannot understand them. You can never be truly alone.

For a moment, these surroundings are sufficient. I wander, surrounded by what I cannot understand and what cannot understand me, in peace. And then, just like the loneliness of the house of people, I am no longer alone. I desire to speak to others. In my heart, I am not alone.

The house I am in is also not the peace I imagined. Around me, I see the worm eaten by the bird, the plant eaten by worm. I see the bird hunted down and devoured, its small body still warm as it gets teared apart in a powerful maw.

The house I am in is also not untouched by hands, as I thought before. I can see the marks of others in the trunk of the trees, and the wounds of weapon in the hides of beasts. Has no place been untouched ? Is no place holy ? Has everything been defiled by us ?

I exit this house, too. I enter the next. It is a dark one, with no lights except the pinpricks of distant stars. The ground is dusty and uneven, and I know this one stretches, truly, until the end of the universe.

There is nothing here. Nothing at all. Simply dust, darkness, and stars. There is no life, there is no hand. It is cold.

And so I go back. In the house of the forest, the games of the lights and the leaves delight me and warm my soul. The song of the birds thaw it, the trees shelter it. Perhaps this world is beautiful. But still the loneliness remains, still my heart longs for the touch of others, for their voices and their words. So I go back again.

But I make myself promises. No hand shall touch the forest and what lies beyond. No hand shall harm another. I vow to lower the cries that I hear from the smallest house, and to extinguish them completely.