Response by Eoghan Walsh
We left our old world behind and together, built a new one with nothing but the shirts on our backs. We swept a space for ourselves in the sand and in the darkness. Then I watched you spread yourself, finding the edges of this new land, arms outstretched, sweeping and sliding, your movements leaving swirling echoes in the sand. You marked this world for us, a complex pattern we alone understood. Yet, there, just beyond reach, were the sounds of our old world, whisperings and scratching. They could not leave us go, could not stop telling us what to do even and after we’d left them.
I brought us light that made your shadow dance and move opposite your stillness and repose. Then I watched you again and it was if you’d never had a chance to move like this before. I grew jealous of your shadow, I must admit, I did. So I found another light to split and weaken it. I felt the whispers get louder, you didn’t have to tell me you felt it too. You stopped when they said so and went when they said go. Stop. Ok. Wait. Go. How long had we listened to those words in the old world? But still they followed us here, in this place of our own making.
We moved together then, interweaving our patterns, changing the swirls in the sand, writing and rewriting, over and over, to find the story of this new world. Making and remaking, in our image we hoped, perhaps naively. Still the whispers scratched at our minds. Stop. There. There. There. Here, even, in our own private world, this space we’d swept for ourselves, just you and I, they pushed us and pulled us.
But the light began to rise, a dawn of our own making, as we moved in and out of unison, a silent conversation, like the ones we’d had in the old world, saying things unsaid under the whispers of the others. But here, it was free. We did not speak not because we were unable. No, now we did not speak because we’d no need to. And I started to feel that we were controlling the whispers, did you feel that? No longer pushed and pulled by them, we used them to push ourselves. It was not their whispering, not their words, but our memories of their whispered words, under our control. So we made them bird-song.