Cancer 10. An artist making shadowboxes in which he is placing collages and various small objects.
The shadowboxes were narrow worlds, each sealed behind a glass front. Often people sent him objects they felt he might like, strange and curious objects which seemed attracted to him like bees to a hive. He introduced the most unlikely objects to each other, objects that once they came together formed surprising and unsuspected constellations that seemed to grow imaginary histories out of themselves,frozen dramas, trapped in the shadowboxes amber.
A tree of ripe fruit discovered by hungry birds.
In Fardan, a province of Aab grows a tree which is invisible. The only way it was ever come to be known is that in late summer, when its fruit is ripe birds flock to it and sit in its invisible branches. It is a most unusual sight to see so many birds hovering in air, their wings folded as they peck away at the air. Irnad went to Fardan to observe this phenomenon and approaching the space under the birds grasped the trees trunk. He climbed the tree, but through misfortune learned of a secret – that as soon as the birds have had their fill the tree disappears. As he sat in the limbs he reached into the air and plucked one of these invisible fruits, but when the tree disappeared he fell from it, injuring his arm. Napala, the healer, nursed it back to health.
Every year after the birds engage in this feeding each one is seen for a few days to turn many different colors, and to sing most beautifully. Irnad, adventurous as he is, ate the invisible fruit he plucked and was incapacitated for several days of spontaneous laughter which he could not stop. He too manifested the shimmering rainbow colors of the birds of Fardan for a time.
I asked him if he had any desire to eat again of the fruit. “No,” he answered, “I feel quite satiated. The memory of that meal will last me for a lifetime. I leave the rest to the birds.”