Chain of Ages

Once there was a village where babies and kids had to live outside the cave in the sun world. Only when they were old enough could they live in the cave and as each person got older there were deeper caves to live in. The oldest became the blindest of all and craved nothing but darkness and silence. Food and water were passed along to them through the chain of the ages, as they called it. Those who did not follow this order and feared this willful progression toward blindness were threatened with endless wandering and no chain to depend on.

There was a man who disregarded the warning and ran away. He found other villages with other ways of living. He would go from village to village in search of anything new to learn until one day, village after village, had nothing left for him to know. And that is when he realized that he had already entered a cave within himself. And he wondered if his people were right all along and it was he that was foolish not to listen to them.

And when he was older he returned to his home and they were happy to see him again and they let him go as deep in the cave system as his age would allow. And there they fed him something he had never had before. Something held secret by the elders. And new visions appeared within him of not only of villages but worlds he never could have known outside the cave in the sun world.

And when he slipped back into the great fold, as they called dying, he had gone to the deepest cave yet and passed along stories that helped his people deepen their understanding of their chain of ages

The Hermit’s Shell

Once there was a hermit who lived in a giant shell on a tiny island. And each room in her shell was connected by a central spiral staircase. As she got older, her shell grew taller with more rooms being added. And she always stayed in the newest room at the very top where she made herself a new bed out of kelp and a table and chair made from pebbles. Whenever there was a storm and the sea covered the island, her shell stayed put because it was so heavy after all those years of rooms being built. And when she got older than anyone else alive, her newest room in the shell overlooked the clouds that drifted over the sea. And if she wasn’t in her new room, she was visiting the other rooms where she felt as old or as young as when the room was built. On her last day, she spiraled out of her shell for the first time since she began building it and sat on the beach to feel the water on her toes and looked at the sunlight bouncing off the water until her last nightfall. And she laid back in the sand and saw millions of shells twinkling in the night sky before she went to sleep beside her own sparkling shell with the final thought of the greater part she had played by doing what had come so naturally.