The Path of Gylfi

This is the first part of a much longer story.  If interest is expressed, the story will continue to be posted.  I welcome all insightful feedback!


Endless plains threw the deep, dark forms of two isolated stones into sharp relief. Both stones were pillars holding up the sky, rounded at their peaks. They bothered me.

I sat on a peak in a small range of low prairie mountains. The sea lay out in front of me as I considered it from my rocky perch; a sea of golden grains that washed in long, uniform waves until they crashed abruptly into the rocks. The waves would continue past the stones, leaving fans of solitary stalks as isolated calms in the wake.

Beyond those silent pillars lay a land of greed and worry. I had come from that land. There, people surrounded me. I was alone now and I was loved.

The sun was setting between the rocks. They really are islands in the sea-plains. As the sun sank deeper into the golden ocean, the islands grew darker and darker in contrast, sucking the day’s final brilliant rays into their void.

I would try to find a cave. I searched my mountainous roost until a small, deep crevice satisfied me. There I slept.

The morning sunlight warmly nudged my face- wake up. I rose and stretched, content at the day before me. A new day was potential lost and gained. I welcomed both. Potential lost meant potential to err as much as achieve.

When I went out from my cave, the stoic towers amidst the careless grass once again bothered me. If I could have, I would have moved one of the islands away, indeed removed it from existence entirely. Why should they deserve one another? Companionship is such a nuisance.

I didn’t have supper last night and I wasn’t going to breakfast this morning. I just sat down on an overhang, pondering the golden sea.

The sun made its course and I marked time by the shadows of my islands. I suppose that if they were going to bother me, they might as well be mine. At least then I should feel of some merit to consider myself the object of their offense.

I was leaving this sea. I would soon cross over the mountains and settle down into the forest that shadowed their stony dark spines. The forest would be cool, not dry and barren like this plain. It would be nice to look up into branches and not have to stare out- down over the tops of unchanging grasses.

For now however, I remained. I continued to consider the golden sea before me. I hated those drab islands. They were companions to each other.

While I remained absorbed in the continuity that I was to leave, I remembered my early years.


As a child, my family would visit relatives up north in Michigan. Michigan had something that my Mountain Western home did not. Michigan had lakes.

We had an old flat-bottom boat that I would take out onto my grandpa’s lake. The lake wasn’t too big- you could clearly see all opposing shores- but it had plenty of space for me and my flat-bottom.

When I wasn’t braving the open waters, I would hug the more fearsome shores. The inland lake-shores were plentied with dense patches of brown-tipped cattails, dangerous fallen logs and low-branch tree canopies. The surrounding waters were dense with slimy moss and lake weeds.

I could not decide whether I was more afraid of the deep open and the monsters it hid, or the mysterious dangers of the secreted shore.

Out in the open waters I was free and pensive. Along the underbrush and mossy shores I was a mischievous pirate, hiding out with me booty. Life was good.

6 comments on “The Path of Gylfi

  • When I read The Italian Soda Man I was stunned from your insight into the things and your so alive
    reminiscences of your early childhood. Now I see the
    same as confirmation of my initial impressions.
    I don’t know, what to say any more, because I feel,
    not so many people have been had so beatiful
    childhood. Would they can understand you.
    I see also the outlining contradiction with the
    present and it will be very interesting for me, how
    you will solve it in your book. I think you can invent
    some fictional elements and maybe to drive in children again or something more special. Simply the nowadays
    readers have to be attracted with something.
    Only that moment: relatives-grand pa has to be clarified. I think to say about your grand pa as a
    relative for not so rightly.

  • Chad:


    Thanks for the feedback and insight. This is still a work in progress, but I will definitely consider your comments!

  • Beautiful writing. The narrator’s relationship with the earth, the world he knows and the one he’s anticipating is unusual and intimate. Such deep awareness of the air, sun, water, shade is very rare and welcome!

  • Chad:


    It’s good to hear your positive reaction. I hope to further explore the “world he knows and the one he’s anticipating” in follow-up pieces.

  • Aaron:

    You had me at “mischievous pirate”.

  • Chad:

    @Aaron… so you didn’t get anything until the end… brilliant!

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