Dustless | Volume 19 | The Lover in the Snow [iv]

I was so alone, I lived in my memory, and in the story my memory had made of me.

Mountain country. A terrain of astonishing peaks, fierce ascents, crags, bluffs, waterfalls, stupendous ravines: where climbing is arduous, slow, requiring skill, courage, nerve — but where falling is like falling in any other place: seamless, and disastrous.

There are terrestrial journeys, which take place in both time and space: but there are other kinds of journey, where the crossing of distance is not required, save in imagination — the textual journeys of books, for example, or the mental journeys of memories.

And sometimes, the journey of a story, and the journey into memory, are one.

To look back, into the past, after the lapsing of a number of years: for some, such an act might be like looking over the edge of a deep crevasse, into a dizzying drop without obvious end, a descent into shadow, engaging fear?

A tale told in mountain country. Commenced, but not finished: opened, but not closed.

Climbers work in teams: roped together for greater safety as they rise — like a story-teller and their listeners…

And yet, sometimes the precaution of the rope creates not safety but mutual disaster: when one falls, and drags the others after…