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  • Writer's pictureTashroom Ahsan

Beckoning of a Log

Seldom do logs call attention to themselves, but it was clear to Moorsh that this log wanted them. Around them was a wall of shimmering ferns, wavering in the whatever drops of golden light that managed to seep through the forest’s canopy. Moorish felt this light inside of themselves, shimmering in its reverberations throughout their limbs. Obviously they couldn’t see, for that faculty made little sense in their structure, but the intuited environment overtook their consciousness in other ways. For the most part Moorsh tasted their way through the world. The spot where they grounded themselves was earthy, as all forest is, but had the pinch of alkalinity that lingered. They craved this pinch for reasons they didn’t quite understand. The log called Moorsh by means of this flavor—Moorsh tasted an intoxicating squeeze from a fallen chunk of the log, and its reverberations rattled Moorsh in a heavenly way. It felt almost as though their body vibrated in the direction of the log. Moorsh trusted this forest, the only earth they’d ever known, and the beckoning calls have been a staple of their life since their nucleation. Navigation came forth to them through these sensory tugs and never did them any harm.

The log, too, emanated a sweet scent. Its rich cedar fragrance, ripe with decay, entered Moorsh’s body and soaked into them. Little droplets, like tiny needles, enraptured their consciousness each time they took a pause to attend to it. They allowed the needles to fall inside of them, and one nestled in their folds, these needles seemed to weave their senses into a soothing massage. So heavy and delicate was the scent that Moorsh had no doubt that the log was perfect for them. Energy would be spent, of course, moving from here to there—but that would be energy well spent, and well renewed once the goal was reached. For several days Moorsh dedicated their body to moving closer to the log. Each day was spent gathering the nutrients to inch themselves ever so closer to the beckoning sweetness. And, after iterations of gathering and motion, Moorsh finally made contact with the source of the scent.

They drank in their position. The flavor of the log turned out to only have an initial hint of alkalinity. After the pinch, the flavor deepened into a silky, rich fluidity. Moorsh felt their innards, like little semi-circular wheels, turn over, rolling slowly with the current of the log’s chemicals. The curved parts faced down and they felt clean, at ease. Warmth flooded their vessels and deepened the comfort. Lingering in the kind flavor, Moorsh continued eating, eating, eating, filling themselves up more and more with the soothing fluidity.

Something turned sharp. The alkalinity of the forest earth returned, overwhelming the tenderness of the taste. The alkalinity grew sharper and sharper, even after Moorsh stopped eating, and Moorsh felt it cut into their relaxed innards. They stopped eating in hopes that the sensation would subside. It ended, but not by fading—the alkalinity sliced through them. Out poured their contained being; strings loosened and tightened, snapping and collidizing depending on their energy, and Moorsh no longer contained themselves. For once they looked. Their body rested below them. Nothing seemed particularly odd about it. It was shaped fine, healthy—dwelling on a log, resting, sustaining. But the fact of looking meant that what was inside them was now, instead, floating about in the world. No longer did they ingest the world. They corresponded to a liberated consciousness.

With a brief glance downward they realized how far away their body was. It was low. They were high. Upon seeing—how beautiful, the novelty of sight—the gap between themselves and the earth, they felt an itch nestle inside them. How could Moorsh be so far from the only substrate they dwelled in? What allowed them to live?

The log was rotten. They didn’t acknowledge this fact because, for their whole lives, they had been the rotter. Eating away at dead flesh fueled their life. Driving for life, they fueled and perpetuated the terrible fact of time—that most will decay, fade rather than burn, and pass unceremoniously into another life. That life, that wonderful gift that allowed them to experience beauty, necessitated the consumptive destruction of other beings. And Moorsh was not just a receptacle in life’s destruction. They were the agent. Life’s drive was infact a manifestation of Moorsh’s own drive for death. Their thirst for annhilation preyed down on the fallen and pushed them further into the dirt just so they could enjoy some good flavors. Guilt overwhelmed Moorsh, but their guilt was meaningless. A guilt that exists because of the mere fact of life paralyzes the guilty. Paralysis helps nobody. The processes go on, no pain is alleviated, and, in crystallizing them in evil, decay preys upon the guilty.

No longer would Moorsh subscribe to paralyzing guilt. Instead they shifted their gaze to the point of contact between their body and the log. Upon closer inspection, they found this point of contact wasn’t discrete. There was no specific nexus between them. Was there pain in this transaction? How could Moorsh regard the suffering of the log properly, given that the two were inseparable? A surge rushed up through Moorsh’s innards—they could see the fluid course up through the spilled strings—and Moorsh’s perception shot up higher. Feeling a bit more ease, they descended their gaze back to where they were before. There was no search for the nexus; instead, Moorsh rested their looking at the log-body relationship as a whole. Connection was obvious. The bodies rested upon each other. Invigoration, Moorsh knew, came from the tree. The surge came from an increase in fluid pressure in the log, which Moorsh collected to grow. Force was pain to the log alone, and with proper regard, Moorsh received it, alleviated it, and grew. With the burden of harnessing and enacting death, Moorsh felt ease once more. They had their place. They had the face of kindness with delivery.

Resting in the force of the tree, Moorsh began to descend back down into their body. Once lodged back into their innards they felt a pulse. The innards, once spilled and looked down upon, carried an energy. Moorsh lingered in the scent of the woods once more—but rather than rattle from the poginancy, or indulge in the sweet cedar, they felt a rhythm bowing up and down as though they breathed with the forest. Their limbs went fluid once more. Dissipation was all they focused on, and further they tread from where they once were. Moorsh came down, but didn’t stop with their body or the ground. Out they went. Thank you, Moorsh said, but there was nobody to receive it.

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