The first way of history is the Sacred or Universal history, to which all beings (and, in fact, every single particle in all the existences) are mutually connected, and share in the process of creation by way of their perception and meditation of said Sacred or Universal things. Some may prefer to call these things "truths," but the Xanaduvians would not specify it that specifically. Since trees are the preferred method of the recording of history throughout Interterrestria, this means, of course, that the Sacred or Universal history is recorded on the inside of the bark of trees. Now some of you already familiar with my stories will suddenly realize exactly why I refer to my learning of ancient Xanaduvian language and history as coming by way of The Dead Tree Scrolls. The scrolls are most sacred to us indeed, and never do we remove bark from any tree, standing or fallen. Trees will shed their own sections of bark in just their own individual time and way, and any fragments of bark that lie upon the ground are fair game for our examination and translation. One more thing regarding this Sacred or Universal history that must be explained before we continue further: this Sacred history was spoken into each of the trees by the Seeders in ancient times at the time of their planting.
Now the second way of history is the Worldly history. This second history is always recorded externally, and is always a product of the unique perspective of a unique creation in a unique time and place within a given dimension or universe. You should now see, dear reader, that there is much room for error within the second way of history, since it is absolutely impossible for two separate creations to share an identical perspective...let alone ALL of them!!! We Xanaduvians believe that this is where legends are born, and so now, dear reader, you will understand exactly what is meant, should you ever hear or see one of us use the proverb, "Legends are born in the second, but heroes always were." In the case of trees, of course, this Worldly history is recorded on the outside of the trees' bark...again, whether the tree be standing or fallen. It is also important to note that in the recording of Worldly history, the creation recording it is often quite detached from the very history it is recording...and, in many cases, we find that this is a very, very good thing indeed.
Finally, the third and final way of history is the Personal history. Personal history, as you might have surmised, is a given creation's unique perspective and reflection upon itself, based upon it's own experiences of existence. Consistent with ancient Xanaduvian belief, the way of Personal history emerges from the inside to the out, and, of course, it is quite impossible for the recorder of this history to be detached from it, since this history is an essential and most prominent part of its own unique existence. The way of Personal history, however, may be detached from Worldly history, should the creation itself choose it to be as such. In the case of trees, this way of history is recorded both within and upon the surface of the trees' leaves (or needles, as the case may be). Neither dear Caesar Emeritus, the Baloo-eyed Akita (my instructor, and the curator of our Library Tree near the midst of our beloved Xanadu Forest) nor myself have learned to translate any of the Personal recorded histories of any of the trees at the time of this writing. And now, since I mentioned dear Caesar, it seems a good time to return to the actual story:
The threat of war now long behind us, and the Comnandrai Council having long since been concluded, dear Caesar Emeritus and I both felt it not only desirable--but also spiritually necessary--to take our very long, sweet, non-existent time in returning to my Sacred garden at the heart of our beloved Xanadu Forest. Before we left good King Midas LeBottom's cottage atop Dew Mound, he loaned us his Dragon's Eye so that we were able to welcome Calliope to my Sacred garden, and to inform the fellow garden-dwellers that it would be quite some measure of non-existent time before we returned. They were all happy and at peace once again, and seemed to fully understand dear Caesar and I's need for a respite.
We thanked good King Midas LeBottom once again for all his kindness and wisdom shared, and the hugs that followed were most gentle and kind, and without a trace of sadness. With that, dear Caesar Emeritus and I were off, headed east through Flatlandia, to the peaceful shores of the Extraterrestrial Sea, within Nusquam Sound. I had planned on gathering a good amount of Dead Tree Scrolls along the way, before the ever wise dear Caesar managed to change my mind:
"It seems to me, Kev, that there are many seasons for all things," the Baloo-eyed Akita began, then continued, "This sun-greeting feels much more a season of remembering than it does a season of gathering...f you don't mind me saying so."
I stood and turned toward dear Caesar, latched the buckle on his empty satchel, and looked into his eyes, and smiled, "Right you are my dear and wise, Caesar. No gathering this sun or moon-greeting at all. This season shall be for remembering. Thank you, my friend."
"My pleasure, dear Kev," the Akita replied, and he put his massive foreleg across my shoulders, and we continued walking east at a gentle pace, "You know, I must say I'm very proud of you...you have grown so much. And you've managed to get away without RUNNING away...I believe that's a first for you!" We both laughed heartily, and he squeezed me a bit tighter.
"Well," I began my reply, "I guess I finally realized it really IS impossible to run away from one's self. Apparently there are some things even KeV can't do," I jested and smiled. Dear Caesar Emeritus didn't smile, chuckle, or even respond at all, so I continued, "When Twillerbee and the kids went away, I just...well, then Raven, then--"
"Shhh...say no more about it," dear Caesar said softly, as he patted my head gently with his massive paw. "I can feel your heart completely, Kev. You needn't speak your pain to me, for already it has softened immensely. Let's not harden it again. Perhaps when I told you this is a season of remembering, I should have added that we should only remember fondly--and sweetly. So long as we have our memories, there are no true goodbyes. But you know this well in your heart, I suspect, dear Kev."
I sighed, exhaling deeply and softly. "Yes, you are right my dear, wise friend. Thanks for the reminder." I sighed again deeply, but less deep that the first time, opened my eyes, and continued, "What about Karen? Do you ever miss her?"
This seemed to catch the Balloo-eyed Akita off-guard, but only ever so briefly. "No, dear Kev, I can honestly say I never miss her...but I do remember her fondly all the non-existent time--and the rest of the family, too." Then a most pensive expression fell upon dear Caesar's face as he continued, "This is interesting. You seem to have accidentally raised a most salient point: namely that you have entered this lovely dimension without dying...as it were. Unlike myself. I've never considered before the difference this might make while savoring one's memories. Fascinating."
It seemed improper to interrupt the apparent meditation dear Caesar had fallen into, so we walked a great distance before either of us spoke again. When I did finally speak again, we could hear the waves of the Extraterrestrial Sea splashing onto the shore off in the distance, and my cousin the Sun had put on its pajamas, and was turning down its bed. My other cousin, the Moon, was yawning, stretching, and pouring itself a cup of coffee.
Not knowing exactly how to reignite our conversation, I sort of sheepishly offered, finally, "You know my very first girlfriend was named Karen. Have I ever told you about her before?"
"No," dear Caesar replied softly, while smiling, "I don't believe you ever have. Do you miss her?"
"Not at all," I answered without hesitation. "I mean I remember her fondly, of course. Many good memories...some that would change my life forever, though I had no idea at the time. And not even a smidgen of ill will toward her. She was lovely, and very kind to me always."
Then dear Caesar Emeritus placed his massive paw over my mouth to silence me. "Look ahead, dear Kev, there are the shores we are looking for!" Then the Balloo-eyed Akita dropped down onto all fours, and we ran like children to the sparkling beach, and found a most lovely large rock to rest upon.
Dear Caesar lie across my lap, and I scratched behind his massive ears, and he tilted his head to and fro accordingly. We bid my cousin, the Sun, sweet dreams, and I blew it a kiss; and we greeted my other cousin, the Moon, and I blew it a kiss. As the dear Akita seemed most content and relaxed, it seemed a good moment to ask him something I had wanted to ask him since only a few moments after his first arrival at my Sacred Garden gate. "If you don't mind me asking, my dear friend--and not to get heavy--just always been curious...what was it like dying? I mean did you see a light or tunnel or something?"
Dear Caesar was not disturbed at all by the question, but he did hop down off my lap, and sat upright upon the rock next to me, as he answered the question of questions as only dear Caesar Emeritus could and would, "Well, there's not much to tell, to be honest, Kev. I was lying down most peacefully and comfortably, eyes closed, listening to Karen's heartbeat. It was so soothing. Next thing I know, I was standing upright in front of your Sacred Garden gate, adorned in that most fabulous, glittery-golden robe I'm sure you'll remember."
"Indeed," I smiled. "Thank you, my friend." I smiled even more as I looked into dear Caesar's eyes that were looking out most lovingly at the reflections of my other cousin, the Moon, dancing upon the waves of the Extraterrestrial Sea. Then I reached for my backpack and unzipped it, and finally spoke again, "My dear Caesar, I do believe it is high time for a toast!" And I removed two bottles of Minute Mead, and uncorked them. "To life, the universe, and everything!"
Our bottles clanked, and dear Caesar spoke more loudly than he usually does, "Indeed! to everything!" Then we drank, and smiled, and counted my other other cousins the stars. Then we laughed, and spoke of fond memories, and all things trivial, and such like that. This went on for quite some amount of non-existent time, of course, until my dear Caesar and I finally grew weary with peace, contentment, and joy. The Balloo-eyed Akita dropped back down onto his belly, and crawled onto my lap once again. "And now, my dear Kev, as I fall into sweet slumber, I should like very much to hear the stories of YOUR dear Karen...if you don't mind."
"Indeed," I spoke softly, and scratched behind his ears again. "It would be my honor and sincere pleasure, my dear friend."
Life is sooo beautiful beautiful, dear readers. Never forget that.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
I love you.