Wilson taught Azelea to draw a Japanese garden on her hand. He took her right palm and with his mud-dipped finger, drew a swirl;
round and round the garden like a teddy bear
He told her that if she followed the swirl, she would see a story.
So they ran into the woods, looking the picture of any young boy and girl from a folk tale you once heard. He uncovered her eyes as they reached a path, a beckoning opening for the curious young petal. The path wound as a swirl surrounded by a hedge of dense green, a labyrinth of sorts. With a smirk in his eye, and his mud-covered knees, Wilson took her mud decorated hand and ran into the hedge of trees. They stepped foot on the path. It didn’t take long for the maze to swell. It wailed and groaned like it should in the wind of the willows.
The hedge rustled and was changed by the wind by the seasons that rotated on an axis of 0.35 degrees. The stories in here were never the same. There was no catalyst, conflict or resolution. They were constantly disorientated on the denouement, and could never return to where they started. They couldn’t even attempt the address the place they had been in the beginning. It was a slow, sure walk along the hedge. It was a continual journey through a spiral that you only noticed changed when you saw the flowers on the hedge begin to blossom and bloom.
And so it seemed like the perfect place for a love story. There were no surprises that could hide around corners, no shocking mountain to climb. The hedge would blossom, and the sky would fade and the boy and the girl would continue along the spiral just the same. Hand in hand, mud under fingernails and dirt on their boots, through the flowered hedge in the woods, they wandered the labyrinth, looking for change.
He was the poet. She was the critic. Together they planted and uprooted their dreams in the shadow of the sun. One day, he told her he could see the dust she was made of, here, under the hedge. She told him that she wasn’t made of dust, but rather she came from a beetle, much like the one on that leaf. He pronounced to her that he could see the blossoms of Spring in her eyes. She told him that iris’ were an autumn flower and that didn’t mean anything. He explained that Iris was a Greek word for rainbow. She retorted that rainbows were an illusion, a hope story for peasants. He told her he could see through her eyes. She asked, ‘to my brain?’, he said, ‘no to other side of the hedge girl’, she looked away.
And so it continued, as a spiral within a wheel. The time passed as they walked the spiral, to the slow speed of the tall arm moving around the grandfather clock.The hedge continued with no obvious markers of place, so they began to follow the patterns in space. They plotted their course against a fabric of stars; using the pointer to find the southern cross. Sagittarius lurked as an uneasy villain to the young lady; a ‘Puck’ to the hopeful romantic.
The hedge wall followed them always side by side; sometimes closing in on them as the constellations shifted. The leaves on the hedge shrivelled and frosted. While the two found warmth in the breath of one another’s words and hands. She took notes on the species of flora and fauna they met along the way. He build tents and alters in the mud and the sand. She wrote, he dreamed. He walked, she leaned.
And just when they thought their journey should come to an end, they collaborated a ficto-critical piece called ‘Life in the Garden’ by Azelea and Wilson.