“Statues – XIII” / Memorable Fancies #663

[“I am teaching a statue to walk. I get up close and copy its pose exactly, my foot lifted like its foot, …” – Henri Michaux]

     I put one foot forward, just a little, and gestured to the statue to do the same. After many days of trying, and no little discipline from me, the statue finally did so. Over the ensuing months it learned, very cautiously, like a baby, to walk. At first I was forced to build a scaffolding around it, so it would not fall. This measure reassured it, and before the year was out the statue was walking, although awkwardly and very slowly.
      My efforts, I came to realize, had taught me to be patient, to be still, to feel the slow dance of the atoms within my body, as I learned from the statue the patience of stillness. After a time, I seemed to have become a kind of statue myself, grey and stolid. I began walking more slowly, then stood still for many hours at a time.
      A rebellion broke out. Some young people put a flower in my hand; they seemed to think I was a statue. That was before only the flowers were left, and not the young people anymore.
      Now those of us who remain are very still, careful to do nothing that might call attention to us. Careful not to step, not to breathe.

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