II. The Bright River And Other Stories From The Darkness

II. The Bright River And Other Stories From The Darkness

 'Forayer' is a series of real and imagined journeys with words woven through visions in ink and colour.

A collaboration between Kiyoshi Stelzner (visuals) and Thomas Fisher (words/rambling) An attempt to document forays into nature. What follows is a retracing of steps as we follow the bright river upstream...

Sometimes if feels like we are being guided and things find their way to us.
Objects thrust into our paths at opportune moments or items dangled so tantalisingly as to arouse our curiosity.
And so it was at a makeshift bookshop laid out on a table under a warm sun.
No shopkeeper to bargain with.
No doors or walls even.
Just tomes laid everywhere and a jar for remuneration. 
Our eyes catch the worn cover of Stories From The Darkness and down we go.
Everything we have just seen played back through this lens.
A reminder that even in the cautiously optimistic light of First Spring the woods are not as benevolent as they might seem to us scattered day-trippers.


We are making our way out of the woodland when we come across this scene.
We have just traversed a huge motorway, strewn with construction signs and in a state of perpetual development.
The inescapable echoing drone of engines reverberating through the air.
Before that we walked a wide thoroughfare marked out by the towering metal spires of pylons, electricity humming in the wires above us.
And before that it was just a scattering of houses that gave way to the trees, the sound of birds and the trickle of a small river that flows through the middle of it all.


The banks are steep and covered with a rustling sweep of dead leaves.
Though nowhere to be seen, beavers have damned the flow.
Twigs dragged and piled in the clear water and their teeth marks cut into the bark of all the trunks.
On the far side is some kind of delipidated hut, obscured by swaying reeds and two figures nesting nearby.
Warmth of sunlight makes its way through the branches.
We pass underneath feeling like we are making our way through a giant chamber.


But for the most part the river flows invisibly under a layer of ivory coloured algae.
The surface is still, unbroken, but for the jagged narrow trunks of dead trees that rise out. They have merged with the river here.
All the elements at the bottom of this valley have, all sliding and sinking together into a shining white-green haze where the dragonflies circle.
Emerald snakes glide in and out of the mirror pool.
On the banks, ferns unfurling in perfect spirals,
Descendants of the humid meadow above.
Reborn in the seething stillness of the forest floor.


What began years earlier in the dappled light of Spring
Now reaches a marvellous conclusion, upstream, in the furious heat of Summer.
Twisted trunks lie wrenched from the earth, roots still covered in black soil.
They too will make their way down at some point.
To the blooming heart at the centre of the valley.
It pulses with energy, with darkness and is shining now, resplendent in the sunlight and draped in all the finery of the forest.

Read Forayer Part I: The Heide In Splendour here



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