Edar: Return of Akolo
Tag Hu-Ma had been in meditation for 2 days, when he finally sneezed. It was like having water thrown on your face after a strong hang over. He Opened his eyes and the entire world reappeared around him in sudden vivid clarity, even though the only light to see by was a pale full moon. Memories of where he chose to sit, and the small bush he sat next to started flooding into his mind. Every muscle felt so stiff that Tag Hu-Ma had no idea when he would be able to actually walk. His skin was very dry; it must have been very sunny during the days of his meditation. He thought how he would have to go soak in the hot spring for a while to remoisten. The thought pleased him greatly. Although Tag Hu-Ma tries to look past his physical desires, he still can’t help but sometime succumb to bodily urges.
Before he went anywhere, though, Tag Hu-Ma decided it was most important to learn from his latest meditation. He realized he really hadn’t made any real progress. He could tell it had only been two days by the full moon. He had meditated for longer, many times before, and he also had found no new level of focus or understanding in the last two days. But he was unbothered by this information, and didn’t see it as time wasted. For how can he learn to progress without all of the failure among the way? He was pleased that he made progress in his greater journey to enlightenment by working through these failed last two days.
He closed his eyes for a minute, trying to slow the transition into the reality, when he suddenly sneezed again. He looked around, and noticed, for the first time, that where the small bush he sat next to was touching his leg, there was a purple blotch. Tag Hu-Ma realized he developed an allergic reaction to the plant he sat next to. Tag Hu-Ma couldn’t help but suddenly burst out laughing. A raspy airy sound, to any other species.
“Awe! So you are the culprit of my shortened meditation!” he accused the small plant in Tortish, his slow native tongue.
Almost in response to his accusation, he sneezed again. He thought how the impetuous plant must be, causing him to sneeze on purpose, and began to laugh so hard that his eyes bulged and he rolled back onto his shell.
Bre Dom-Dre chose this moment to reach the top of Tag Hu-Ma’s little hill, to find him in uncontrollable hysterics.
“May my inner peace bring you peace,” she said in a traditional Tortle greeting.
Tag Hu-Ma composed himself and responded, “And together may we find Nirvana.”
“I thought you were meditating?” asked Bre Dom-Dre as she sat next to Tag Hu-Ma.
“I was, at least I was attempting to, until my new friend here decided to make me ill,” responded Tag Hu-Ma, as he gestured to the plant with a little chuckle. “What is it that I can do for you? There must be a reason that you have come all this way.”
Bre Dom-Dre stared down the path where she came up as she said, “I came here last night too, just to check on you. I also brought water, if you are thirsty.”
Tag Hu-Ma was indeed very thirsty. “Please drink as much as you would like for yourself, for you are the one that has made such a long journey today. And please drink as much as you like.”
Bre Dom-Dre gulped down exactly half of the skin, as she knew that Tag Hu-Ma would not be pleased if she made him drink first or more than her, even though he must be thirsty. She then handed the bag to him and he sipped the water peacefully. Tag Hu-Ma liked Bre Dom-Dre, more than he probably should, and would not be unpleased if the one day became mating partners to further their tribe. They are also very close to the same age. While he has seen 654 years, she is merely 27 years behind him in age at 627.
They both sat back and stared into the sky in silence. It was a very peaceful night, and normally there is not much to talk about.
However, tonight was different, after only 20 minutes, Bre Dom-Dre turned to Tag Hu-Ma and said, “there is another reason I have been eager to see you.”
Tag Hu-Ma, of course knew what this was about. He was stuck in his path, making little to no progress as of late towards enlightenment. It was not unusual for any monk to have to find a new approach to get over a rut. And after many years of meditation, Tag Hu-Ma decided that the best path was to seek after the westward journey that Makuu-Makuu, who, legend says, headed west until he reached the heavens to be with his daughter. It was Makuu-Makuu that originally brought the Tortle tribe from the eastern sea into the Myaku Mountains during his search.
Tag Hu-Ma knew that there was no physical heaven across the great desert at the bottom of their mountain home, but he did know that pushing himself to take on this journey would give him a new perspective and bring him closer to enlightenment. The Great Teacher, Irori, taught the Tortles that heaven wasn’t a place, but a state of being thousands of years ago now. And he himself traveled all around the world to learn everything that could help him with his enlightenment.
It was these influences that caused Tag Hu-Ma to seek the aid of the tribe elders, who were much wiser than he, to see if this was a knowledgeable path. He wasn’t the first monk to take a physical journey to seek enlightenment, but it was an unusual choice of path, and so they told him that they would take a year to meditate on it. And there answer, Tag Hu-Ma knew, was the real reason Bre Dom-Dre was here.
“They advise that it is a wise choice to leave. They think that the journey will indeed benefit your search.” Bre Dom0Dre started to stare up into the sky again. Tag Hu-Ma followed her example.
“Then I will leave tomorrow.” He finally said after another 20 minutes.
“So soon?” Bre Dom-Dre asked, with a hint of concern.
“I have never been known for my patience, and I have waited long enough.”