A Thousand Words A Day

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

This is the story that I have written for my next meeting of the Na No Wri Mo group. The assignment was to do one thousand to five thousand words based on a song, or related in some fundamental way to a song. So I wrote a story based on my theme song, "Child of the Wind" by Bruce Cockburn. Enjoy.ased On A Song By Bruce Cockburn

He let his senses take in all that they could. Three hundred and seventy five acres of prime Canadian wilderness. And it was all his. Some was truly wild, some had been cleared, some he even planned to work himself just for the experience of it.

Looking down from the bluff to the wide prairie below, he let his eyes move slowly until the ground and the sky crashed into each other far off in the distance. There was a similar bluff way off in the distance that he could see clear as a bell. What was that? Fifteen miles? Twenty?

To the West he heard a familiar rumble. He closed his eyes and let the sound roll over him. He loved the pounding of hooves. There was a wild ferocity to the equine form, a grace and power unmatched in the rest of creation. His eyes still shut, he though of other sounds. He loved engines that roar. He would explore every square inch of every acre on his cycle, no matter how long it took or how hard that terrain might be. This spot of real estate would be perfect if it only looked over the ocean. But God never saw fit to put prairies right next to coasts. So he had to imagine the wild music of waves on the shore. It was almost as good in his mind as it would be in reality.

He stood and stretched. God, what a sight. Off in the distance he witnessed the spiral perfection of a soaring hawk. He grabbed for the knapsack and felt for the wanted objects. He extracted a zipped plastic bag of granola and raisins and a plastic bottle of water. He smiled. Carolyn. What a woman. She lad let him sink all of the royalties into this land, moved up here with nary a complaint, and even packed him trail mix and a drink for his solitary sojourns. She was a sweet, sweet woman. He loved her to the core.

Bryce Burns had gone down some crazy paths in his day. Many of these he didn't even remember, and many others he wished he could forget. But he knew that life was full of road after road, and every day he had the responsibility to select one. They all called to him, both the roads of the world and the roads of the spirit. What he had finally realized was that the best roads of all are the ones that were unknown, that were uncharted. Three hundred and seventy five acres in the Yukon were a big unknown. But these were the dreams he wanted to pursue until the big curtain fell on his life and was politely ushered off the stage. Not just yet, Lord, he whispered to the wind. Not just yet.

His mind went back to Carolyn. His anchor. When every wind moaned across the bright diamond sky, his wife was there to tether him to reality. But she also let him go on his vision quests. Let him commune with his muse, and commune with his God. Perspective. A paradigm. That was what she gave him. Or let him find for himself. On the plains, without a soul in sight, it was easy to feel the power of being on such a little round planet in such a big universe. He always assumed that Earth was a cursed place, but Carolyn convinced him that it was blessed. It was not so much the things that he looked at, but it was more of the way she had taught him to see. He knew that his life was short, but was now able to see it as part of an eternity that was long.

Bryce Burns liked who he was. He had not always been able to say that.


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