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Archive for May, 2013

If I was just a snowflake,

On a cold crisp winter’s day,

Would anyone ever notice me,

As I slowly melt away?

 

And as the water formed a drop,

A tiny tear upon the ground.

Would they ever notice that,

Would they know I’d been around?

 

Sometimes we will wonder,

About the simple things we feel,

The questions that we ask ourselves,

Of situations all so real.

 

Right now you need to understand,

You will not be alone,

You will not go unnoticed,

I’ll tell you and everyone.

 

You see we are just magical,

And we’ve flown into your world.

A dragonfly and ladybug,

Friends with a little girl.

 

So if you’re feeling sad and blue,

We’ll take you to a Tree.

Where you’ll turn into a budderfly,

With my Lovely Rose and Me.

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It was a cool summer’s evening and a soft white mist drifted slowly across the valley, rolling gently like a wave upon the ocean of blue that lay just beyond the Magic Forest. It was a moonless night and the stars shone brightly overhead, twinkling ever so softly in the black velvet sky, mixed with smudges of blue, red and pink which formed the nebulas his mind frequently drifted to. He often looked to the stars, in both reflection and contemplation of who he was, where he had been and now where he was going in this world so full of many questions and few answers, lest you search deeply within yourself.

He was a small boy, yet he was strong and his long white hair waved in the gentle breeze that whispered in his ears, carrying the sounds from the Magic Forest with its firefly lit interior glowing soft yellow tones. His long blue coat protected him from the chill that was in the air, and the magic it held gave him the strength to believe, the confidence that he could make a difference with the short life he had been afforded. He had always wondered about so much and as he looked to the stars in the sky, he wondered once more whether one day his eyes would twinkle in the night with those of all the other children that looked upon him now. Yes, that was what he believed, the stars were the eyes of the millions of children that once were where he is now, so full of life, with awe and wonder in their minds, now cast like pebbles into the blackness.

He was a storyteller, a dreamer, and it was times like these that he drew from the inspiration of all that lay around him. He drew words from love and friendship, from a girl in a red dress with sparkling eyes and a friend with her hair tied in pink bows with the widest smile. There was magic between them all and he knew that without them there would be no stories and the stars in the sky would just be lights. He knew also that the fleeting thoughts that would appear in his mind would come and go as quickly as the last snowflake cast on a warm spring day, evaporating, never to be seen for the beauty it is. His words were like air and water and they breathed life into those that read them, inspiring them to dream, to be the special people they were destined to be. So often, the simplest of words would challenge a mind, not with complexity but with simplistic tones that reverberated like the gentle sounds of children’s voices whispering in the dark reaches of the Magic Forest.

He now sat on the edge of the path amongst the perfume of the flowers in the field that surrounded him, and he stared at the Friendship Tree, happy to be alone and let his mind wander. He could see his two friends as they sat and talked at its base, oblivious that he was nearby, as they laughed and giggled at what they were saying, which brought a smile to his face. Together they were as comfortable as he was with either of them and this made the friendship they all shared so special. A small fox walked the path nearby before noticing him sitting so quietly there, and whilst startled at first, it was as though she could sense the child he was and she sat nearby with her tail flicking mesmerizingly. They looked at one another and for a moment he felt they had already met in some other time or place, and once again his mind was challenged as to how or why this would be. “Well now, how do I know you so well?” he asked. The fox lay quietly with her head on her paws, and giving a smile, slowly blinked her eyes, as if giving a subtle answer. He thought for a moment and then he realised, it was a book from long ago, one which told of adventures and friendship formed, but at the same time he remembered it was real.

The fox spoke from her mind and he smiled at her words. “Long ago we met in a golden wheat field. That day you tamed me, you became responsible for me, and you have never let me down. Without ever realising it, you have become the truest friend I have ever known.” Yes, it was so. For whatever reason he had forgotten he now remembered, and as she stood once again he smiled, and with a gentle flick of her tail she turned and disappeared once more to whence she came. He was old, yet he was young and he had so much to learn, so much to teach, with so little time left. ‘What else will today hold for me?’ he thought carefully. He had written words upon a piece of stark white paper, which he now began to fold carefully, with each crease purposefully and meticulously placed. Another message to be sent on a journey into the vast unknown, with the future so far beyond the horizon, and at the mercy of all that fate held.

He stood and made his way to the Friendship Tree. By now the girls had climbed deep into its branches and when he got there he could hear their whispers. “What you doing he called?” as he looked for a flash of colour. The whispering stopped and he climbed to where they sat. They both smiled at him intently as if they were waiting for some magic words to flow from his lips. But tonight he had nothing to say, his mind was deep in thought and after a moment he spoke. “Tonight I have another paper boat to set sail, and more than ever I want you to help set this one free.” They nodded and with that they all climbed down and walked along the path with the sounds of rough sand paper beneath their feet as they walked, through the Magic Forest, where the faeries paid homage to the magic that the three friends always left where ever they went, singing as they passed them.

The sounds of the ocean played gently in the distance like a hypnotic tune, echoing through their minds as they came closer. They made their way to the water’s edge, and following him they waded in so the coolness of the water wrapped around their feet and legs. They stopped just as the water touched upon their knees and he lowered his paper boat into the water, guiding it forward with his tiny hands. His friends blew gentle kisses in its direction and watched as the boat bobbled over the ripples, unsteady at first, but then drifting freely from sight. They turned and leaving the water behind, they climbed the sand dune and sat looking into the night sky. As they did a shooting star could be seen, as it came and went its life so short yet so beautiful all the same.

The white haired boy thought and suggested, “We have but one wish to be made, yet there are three of us.” He looked at his love in her red shoes and she nodded in agreement without a word being said. They looked at their friend and said.

 

Tonight we have but one wish,

Upon a shiny star.

A thought, a hope, or what may be,

To carry you afar.

 

We do not need a wish,

To make our dreams come true.

You see we have the greatest gift,

We have a friend in you.

 

You make our world a special place,

You fill our world with fun.

What more is it that we could ask,

You are the special one.

 

So make your wish that you will know,

Hold it close to you.

The day will come when you will smile,

As the wish you made comes true.

 

She made her wish, and afterwards they climbed the Tree once more where they talked and laughed as only children do.

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Just two days after having the largest of her five tumours removed in surgery, Angelica was ecstatic to finally pull herself out of her lumpy hospital bed and into a soft chair beside a window, looking out across the nearby rooftops in the direction of some distant grey  mountains. She was not comfortable, but she was satisfied, just to know that she had somehow found a small reserve of strength to lift her body and her spirits and to know that her recovery was truly underway.

The past forty-eight hours had been little more than a blur to her. There were conversations and visitors she could barely remember at all, and other vaguely whispered questions that echoed inside her clouded mind like a carousel of dusty dreams, like ‘Have I had surgery yet?’, followed again and again by the exact same question only moments or hours later. She was relieved to feel a scrap of colour return to her paper-white cheeks with just a few licks of a cool icy-pole, and now finally, dressed in her own nightshirt instead of the rough, hospital issued wrap-around, she felt that she was finally returning to and reclaiming some small part of her own pre-surgery self.

She smiled at the small nightstand in the corner of the otherwise dull private room, covered entirely with orange and yellow lilies, peach gerbras, red carnations and glittery apricot singapore orchids. Then there were the helium balloons that always followed her to lift her out of her darkest moments – a pixie flying with wings and wand outstretched, pointing beyond the window, inviting Angelica to fly outside. A second bright balloon, rounder than a bubble, was adorned with happy golden fish and coral and a treasure chest, cheerfully emblazoned with the words ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better’. And every moment, she did feel better, and stronger, and somehow more alive.

Her eyes moved across the nightstand to see a small teddy bear dressed like a bumble bee, a pink dolphin and a purple octopus, a magically scented cloth rose and a life sized cut-out of a Disney mermaid, smiling with enormous blue eyes back to her where she sat in her chair. A large canvas artwork formed the backdrop to this all, hand-drawn by her best friend, Langley, representing all the characters in all the stories they had written together over many months past. There was the magical white haired boy in the long blue cloak, with the girl in pink overalls with pink bows in her hair on his left and the beautiful girl in the pretty red dress on his right, all staring far into the picture towards the enormous Friendship Tree. From its branches dangled an empty swing  and the delightful ladybug, dragonfly and butterfly mobiles the three children always loved to decorate the branches of their beloved tree with. Nearby, a ladybug, a butterfly and a dragonfly sat quietly perched atop of their respective flowers. A red  rose sat sheltered inside a glass dome beside a golden path, and the ears and tail of a red fennec fox could be spied just slightly emerging from a golden field of wheat.

In the far distance, there was an Ivory Tower, threatened by clouds but decorated in rainbow paint by some rescuers who knew how destructive that tower could be to the princess trapped inside it. A sheep cloud, a candle and a Book of Dreams appeared to be suspended in a vast blue sky that hovered in stillness over a white paper boat that floated past the Island of Lost Children, governed by a Little Prince, the hero of yet another magic-filled story. A starry night sky filled the final top corner, glistening with stars that were full of wishes just waiting to be wished. Each nurse and visitor to Angelica’s hospital room would gravitate towards the canvas, asking ‘Who did that? And what does it all mean?’ ‘This is the tale of the mighty Friendship Tree,’ Angelica would reply, her eyes sparkling with the knowledge of many stories told and many still to be written. ‘This is a Tree rich with the fruit of imagination, a testament to the fact that True Friendship is one of the strongest forces that can be imagined.’

Outside of this canvas, Angelica knew that the days, weeks and months ahead would present her with a myriad of challenges, the like of which she had never faced before. Yet for her, the treatments to come – the many months of recovery, radiation and chemotherapy that would put her life on hold and challenge her to the fraying edges of her courage and strength, were abstract and ephemeral compared to the world that came to life now on the canvas on the hospital nightstand. This world was vibrant, magical, powerful and whimsical. It could never fail to restore her faith, hope and delight. There was powerful medicine here that could completely bring her tired body back to life.

The light that shone through the hospital window and onto the canvas was filled with promise that one day – soon – every aspect of life would be vibrant and colourful once again. Now here came the orderly with her free-fluids dinner: some bland pumpkin soup, red jelly, lemon sorbet and a small tub of custard. Today, she had begun to eat again, even if the bites could only be tiny ones, and tomorrow she would begin to write again, crafting passionately magical, whimsical words to hang like butterfly mobiles from the branches of her beloved Friendship Tree.

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The white haired boy stood alone on the water’s edge, staring out across the sea with its pale blue water and not a single ripple upon its mirror like surface. The clouds overhead were drifting like wisps of the finest cotton, stained in pinks and reds, draped carefully across the sky as the sun set upon the distant horizon. Their colours reflected within the water so still and the surreal vision stirred his mind, as did much that life had to lay before him. The tranquil sounds of a single eagle calling turned his head and for a moment he thought of the loneliness he had afforded himself in times gone past, and how those times had changed so, now that his friends were a part of his life.

More recently he remembered how the darkness had formed and threatened to alter what he had come to know, challenging his visions of the future and all that it held. He was magic, but then sometimes he wondered, because whilst he believed, he did not know if others did as well. Over the last weeks he had set afloat several paper boats, each sent out with a message of hope and a little magic, and as he watched, the tiniest white object could be seen in the distance being teased by the softest breeze, barely breaking the water’s surface. As it came closer, he could see it was battered and worn, yet it had weathered the storm. It was indeed the very first one sent and as he lifted it from the water with the tiny droplets shattering upon his feet as he stood, he noticed some new words written upon it, the message that was written read “All is well.” He smiled widely because he knew somewhere his friend was smiling too and as he turned his back on the ocean he so loved, and the soft light that the last of the evening sun played upon all it touched, he sent a thought for his friend. He made his way to the tree and his other friend whom he loved so dearly, to tell her the news.

The path was well worn and easy to follow, especially for a young boy whose mind was always so full of adventurous thoughts, and as he walked a single dragonfly, iridescent blue with rainbows bouncing off its wings flew close by as if watching over his journey. As he made his way through the magic forest, which had begun to stir with the faeries and elves preparing for some fun and frolicking on this night, he saw a tiny light with a glow soft, yet intense. It was a firefly and it flew erratically, then its light faded which left him thinking of how right now, the message returned upon the paper boat had dissolved his worries and sadness. He continued along the path, then he stopped, transfixed at where the forest ended and the field which led to the tree began. There, dancing in the moonlight he spotted a little fox, much like the one his friend had brought back to life not long ago when the tiniest liquid diamonds were formed, and a single red rose grew. The rose could still be seen near the fox and her celebrations were as if in thanks for what it meant to her. He remained quiet watching intently and before long the fox paused, and gave a quick glance in his direction, before smiling as only a fox can then disappearing into the wheat field nearby.

He had to tell his friend the news, and sooner than later, after all she had been as worried as he was, so he moved on quickly. When he reached the Tree she was waiting, and she eagerly poked her head through the branches enquiring. “So, do you have any news yet or do I need go search for myself.” The red ribbons that tied her hair dangled in front of her face and she blew them so she could see. She was impatient, but then she loved her friend in the pink overalls and he knew she had been as worried as he had been. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and she nearly fell from the branch as she went to clap her hands in excitement. He climbed the Tree and sat beside her, with the tiny butterfly mobiles spinning memories that filled the Tree and their minds. He unfolded the paper and he read to her the simple words that the message contained. She smiled at the words, because she knew that the first part of their little friends’ journey was completed. There were many more roads to travel and many twists and turns that hid from view all that the future still held, but now they knew for sure that they and the thoughts of many others would carry her and protect her from the darkness and its steely cold grip.

He thought carefully and wrote down these words in the Book of Dreams.

 

Today I found a paper boat,

Sailing on the silver sea.

A wish I’d sent some time ago,

Came back once more to me.

 

A thought contained on paper fine,

The magic wrapped within.

Woven with a tiny hand,

Where hopes and dreams begin.

 

A journey long that has begun,

As journeys often do.

Except this time it will be shared,

By many not a few.

 

So as we travel understand,

We’re with you all the while.

And all we ask for in return,

Is the gleaming of your smile.

 

Together they now sat wondering when they would see their friend once more, and as they did, the soft giggling echoed from the distance, followed by what sounded like a ‘Yeeee Haaaaw’. She was near, and they would meet soon, they just knew it.

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As I sit in contemplation,

At what the blurring future holds,

I look for words that speak of how,

I hope it shall unfold.

 

I wish the light would shine so bright,

Through the somewhat stormy day,

To light the way so we may find,

The magic places where we play.

 

Thoughts that share a simple call,

Voices echo in the night.

Running here and running there,

Holding what you have so tight.

 

Feared again to let it go,

To loose what has become.

To be alone as darkness falls,

On each and every one.

 

I light a single candle,

And its glow will show the way.

All the hopes and dreams to have,

Waiting for another day.

 

I sit now on the branches wide,

Within a special tree.

Waiting for my friend to come,

To smile again with me.

 

Rarely do I ask for much,

Well not for me I say.

Now my wish upon a star,

Is for another once again.

 

So she may climb the tree once more,

And sit here with her friends.

Suspending butterflies from soft pink string,

So happy once again.

 

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As the sun rose, she stared from where she sat amongst the soft pink flowers, surrounding her in a sea of colour, with a perfume that calmed her so. The clouds glowed in red and orange hues as the rays from the suns light painted them, as if with an artists brush guided by her imagination alone. She sat in the bright sunlight and as the gentle morning breeze blew, it tossed her wisps of hair ever softly across her face, playing shadows across her blue green eyes.

Sitting quietly she watched and listened for the sounds of her friends whom she had hoped would come find her, and in this silence her mind wandered like a lost soul. You see it was a special day, it was her birthday and she was turning ten today. Her favourite puppies were resting their heads in her lap, as she thought about the fun things she would like to do, but then she knew it would not be the same without her friends whom she loved so dearly. She lay back and let the daisies cradle her body like a soft feather doona and then with her wide sparkling eyes, she scanned the sky searching for her fondest memories, the happiness that her life so far had afforded her. The many times she had spent with her beloved white haired boy, and the girl with the wide smile and painted pink lips, and the young boy with the long dark hair that always followed close behind, came flooding back, yet today they were not here and she was alone like a single raindrop in the desert.

As she looked into the sky, a tear welled in her eye then rolled off her cheek, and as it landed on a daisy head, a ladybug appeared. She ran her hand across her nose and sniffled, trying to find some happiness, but it was like every birthday she could remember was the same. She just longed for that one time where that special moment would materialise and all the sadness would melt away, like ice in the morning sun.

She lay quietly contemplating what she would do next, and as she did the sound of birds singing began to drift from the distant forest, becoming louder by the second. It was joyful and calming and it was as though they were singing just for her to cheer her up. Just then a bright blue dragonfly appeared, hovering overhead, with the golden rays of sunlight passing through its wings and painting tiny rainbows on her red cheeks. A butterfly and a bee joined it and it was as though they were there just for her, but this made her think about her friends, and as she closed her eyes in reflection they disappeared from before her. She felt a tiny tickle on her face and glancing downward she could just make out the ladybug, tugging at her lips to form a smile, which she most certainly did.

“Psssst.” She looked sideways and the biggest smile ever grew upon her face, as three shapes stood silhouetted in the rising sun. She could just make out the tufts of neatly tied hair and ribbons, and the tails of the long coat, and as her eye adjusted, the faces of her three most special friends could be seen smiling back at her. “Thought we’d forgotten had you?” said the young boy with the light filtering through his white hair. She shook her head unconvincingly with a sheepish smile, then responded. “Well, I guess I did a little, but……..”  “Gotcha a present,” whispered her friend as she burst with excitement to give it to her. She handed her the carefully wrapped gift, and exchanged hugs.

Ever so carefully she removed the wrapping paper and hidden within she found a ceramic cow, with ladybugs painted upon its body. She loved ladybugs and her excitement could not be contained. Then the boy with the long dark hair handed her a small box, just as she went to shake it, a look of horror filled his face and he waved his hands frantically, which made her pause, understanding that she needed to take care with this. When she opened it, she found six of the tiniest cup cakes, each one decorated in a different theme, with rainbow sugar sparkles reflecting in the sun. Her last gift was from the white haired boy, her one true love. She unwrapped this with the greatest care, because it was wrapped in love. When she opened the box, she found a vase with a musical rose inside that bloomed when you spoke soft words of love to it, and as it opened it revealed a tiny ladybug at its centre. This was such a wonderful selection of gifts, from the most wonderful friends she could ever ask for.

She hugged them all and then they sat down in the sun together. They talked and shared the cup cakes and had their own little tea party, whilst trying to keep the puppies from having their share. Today was indeed the most magical birthday she had ever had and it would live on in her memory forever.

 

Special times with special friends

Where wishes all come true,

The greatest gift that I could want,

Was being here with you.

 

You fill my life with love and joy,

With laughter everywhere,

Four friends close as friends can be,

Friends that truly care.

 

A moment passes through my life,

So treasured now remains.

Longing for just one more time,

When we will meet again.

 

We’ll share some tears and many smiles,

We’ll play in fields so green.

Friends we are and friends we’ll be,

The best friends ever seen.

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    Angelica sat upon the large, dark, damp circle not too far from the water’s edge. She had expected to wade into the water to find the glistening treasure box of shells again, but here they all were, gathered strangely and almost dry, as if waiting for her to come and sit quietly, to seek and sort and sift. This time, the sun did not sparkle onto the tiny jewels, bringing out of them the radiant fire of colour and the sparkling illusion of life. The sky was grey, a reflection of her own dimly lit soul, for she had just learned that she was very sick again and fat drops of rain threatened to fall in the place of the self-pitying tears she refused to cry.

    The tiny shells, thousands of them, formed a cushion around and beneath her. She unclasped the silver chain around her neck, with its shiny Friendship Tree medallion, diamond butterfly, sparkly pink rose and the long dragonfly charm set with small square pink stones, all reminding her of the dear friends who had so often been within arm’s reach, those she cherished the most. But today she sat on the beach alone, searching for those shells that were special, pretty and strong enough to be threaded onto her silver chain.

    ‘When I am trying to recover, to beat this illness again,’ she explained to herself, ‘this will be my way of keeping the ocean close to my heart, giving me life and strength.’ She knew that it would be a very long time before she would be well enough to dive again beneath the nearby pier that seemed now to fade into a distant fog before her. ‘No, I will not be here with you,’ she sighed to the ocean, ‘So I must take part of you there with me,’ and she searched and sorted and selected those tiny, treasured trinkets that would carry all the fullness of the ocean inside them around her neck.

    ‘Did you think I wouldn’t come?’ a sweet voice spoke softly behind her. And looking up she saw the beautiful girl in the flowing red dress move like a dream towards her, an unexpected sadness in her eyes. The girl was older than she had ever been before, full of elegance, grace and understanding that had somehow come through transcending all the trials and suffering of the past. ‘How she inspires me,’ Angelica breathed, rather than whispered, and instinctively she held out the silver chain, asking the girl to ‘Choose’. Carefully the girl with rubies for eyes perused the small collection on the chain and selected a pearly shell with a soft pink hue.

    ‘I will take this one to remember you by,’ the beautiful girl smiled, ‘But in its place, you must take these two.’ And she threaded onto the chain a long, dark spiralled shell and one that was tiny and almost perfectly round, like a child’s plastic bead. ‘The first,’ she explained, ‘reminds you that your path will be dark and windy, but that you will never, ever walk it alone. The second – ‘, she paused, as though hesitating to find the words, ‘will remind you that life is simpler than we sometimes think, and that when you see it through the eyes of a child, you realise that there is nothing to be feared.’

    A magic breeze blew gently across the water and up onto the shell-strewn circle, and with it the girl in the red dress carrying the scent of roses vanished and Angelica’s most magical friend, the white haired boy, appeared. ‘Please give me that shell there,’ he pointed to the chain, ‘For it is small but very strong, the same colour as my hair. And in its place, I leave you this – ‘, his eyes threatened to swell with rain, and indeed at that moment, a cold rain began to fall steadily and the boy in the long blue cloak dissolved from sight. Angelica looked down into the palm of her hand where he seemed to have placed an intricately folded note on pale blue paper.

    Her first instinct was to open it, to see what magical words would be written inside, but then she knew without doubt that this paper must never be unfolded. Standing carefully, for it pained her now to lift her body up from the dark, shell-encrusted circle on which she sat, she moved with all the courage she could muster down towards the water’s edge where she sent the tiny paper boat out on its unfathomable journey. She watched as it bobbed, threatening to be overcome by the smallest wave, then surfaced again to travel the length of the misty pier, almost disappearing from view.

    ‘What’s that?’ she heard the smallest voice beside her, then felt a tiny hand reaching up to hold her own. Here was a child she had never seen before. A true child – maybe five years old, with long dark hair and kind, mischievous eyes – not just a child in spirit. ‘I’m Autumn,’ the child explained, and as she spoke, her words smelled like the sweetest rain and falling leaves. ‘You are very sick and I have come to bring you joy.’ And despite the pain that gnawed at her body like a towel being wrung dry between one’s hands, Angelica reached down and lifted the child high into her arms, and they squeezed one another tightly that they might give each other strength that would last each of them their lifetimes.

    Setting her gently down again, their eyes locked them deeply together into tiny waves of laughter, like the ones that carried the paper boat off into its happy journey. Hand in hand, Angelica and Autumn ran from the water’s edge, the sound of the shells dangling around Angelica’s neck chiming like the ice in a sweet summer’s drink. Together they skipped away, away, up onto a rolling green hill where they collapsed together in a delightfully messy pile of the sweetest giggles. Angelica wrapped her arms around the child, feeling the strong, young heartbeat pounding blissfully against her own. Yes, she was tired and sick, and when she closed her eyes, she could almost believe that right now she was just a step or two from heaven.

    Angelica sighed, breathing in the crisp Autumn air, the nearby sea breeze and every sign that, at this very moment, she was still quite fully alive. It would be many months before she would be strong enough to return to the water’s edge, to search once more for tiny shells or to slide again beneath the long, misty pier like a bright fish, full of energy and possibilities. But for now, this one moment of life was enough, and she would take it like the shells around her neck with her into whatever the next moment might hold. She felt herself float and disappear like the tiny blue paper boat. It was no longer within her view, but she knew that it was still on its adventure into unknown waters and she determined, with everything within her, to see her voyage through to its mysterious, unknowable end.

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