In the Path of the Speeding Horse

A man stands motionless in a field. He wears simple clothes: jeans, a work shirt. What is he waiting for? We assume he is waiting. Perhaps not. Perhaps he is just looking. Gazing, one might say. Gazing into the haze of a warm autumn day in a field.

The field is not only of grass. The field is everywhere. It contains the ground, the sky, beneath the ground, and above the sky. It is the man, outside and inside. It is all movement, and all stillness. The field is everything.

The man gazes into the distance, in the direction of a boy on a horse galloping towards him. The man does not move. Is he fearless, or just in a trance? Maybe he is watching himself as a boy. Maybe his life has spiraled in on itself, like a Möbius strip, and he is meeting himself coming from the opposite direction.

The boy on the horse is almost upon him. The man does not move aside. Is he transfixed? Or does he not care? Or, does he merely accept what is? Can one accept what is, without accepting what is to be?

Let's ask him. Because the horse's collision course was interrupted when, just before trammeling the man who stood in its path, the horse vaulted over him, landed behind the man and continued its frenzied gallop through the autumn field.

The man continued to stand there without moving. How long would he remain there? This momentous thing had just occurred. He had stood in Death’s path, not moving, and Death had skirted him.

Moments pass, each like the previous one. Everything can remain the same, unless a memory intrudes; unless a thought from the future spirals into the field, like an airborne seed from a neighboring farm.

Everything remains the same. Unless a cell in the man's body decays and then dies. Everything remains the same…unless that pain in his foot comes back. Everything remains the same, except that it doesn't.

The whorls and vortices of the field will not let everything remain the same. And yet, there will always be this field, and this man. The man who stands in the path of the speeding horse.