Forest of Ashes

Forest of Ashes

A Story by Savannah Bly
"

The Forest of Ashes is a metaphor. It is a special place for me.

"

Forest of Ashes


I am standing in a forest of ashes, surrounded by the memories of fire and personal destruction. As I walk down the lonely path, everything comes back to me. Ashes are all that’s left of the fire that burnt and destroyed a part of me. Ashes are the constant memories of what was before and during the fire. Just like a rainstorm carries the ashes away from existence, so do tears. For one reason or another, I don’t want to lose the ashes; I keep them in existence with my mind, forever fighting the tears that will wash them away into a lost world. This forest is a safe place, a haven for my thoughts and memories to live. For a second I stop, and shudder in the cold. Looking behind me, I realize that to the rest of the world this is just a forest; nothing more. Others see the trees in this forest; I see beyond the trees to another forest, one of ashes and memories.

            I take a step forward, looking at just the forest as itself, as others see it. One foot in front of the other I move, following the dirt trail laid out by the path of the trees. Thin branches snap and crackle beneath my feet. I curve around the bend, remembering the times that I ran away from my therapists down this same footpath. I ran ahead, past the curve they couldn’t see, and straight into the trees that they never cared to notice. A few miles away lies the ocean; its breeze travels through the forest air, giving me a salty taste of the ocean as I stare at the fork in the path.  I go left, yet the fog makes it harder to see what is coming ahead.  The chill of the afternoon wind bites at me. The unusually early darkness adds to an eerie feeling I am in a horror film as I walk past scattered Halloween decorations from the hands of the wind's wrath.I glance behind just for my effect, and then smile at the life around me that symbolizes the death within me.

            When the path has ended, I turn around and go back, knowing the forest has changed; now it is reflecting all the turmoil within me. As I pass the Halloween decorations again, I see the horror of life that happens daily. The fog is now smoke, burning my eyes, yet I conquer through it because it leads me to what I try to keep unknown. There is a fire; one of personal destruction fed by the events in my past rather than wood. My mind exists as the trees of life and strength in the forest which set the path to travel on as I continue, following the smoke. I realize now that a finale of death is approaching. I know this pathway well, life destruction in front of my eyes. I head to the right, past the fork separating two very different paths. This is real, all of it. I remember the fire now: my dad’s death. It happened; I have pushed it to the back of my mind, away from all the tears, but now it is here. The fire is almost out now; I hear it crackling not too far from me. I move on past the bend, and look to my left. There lays the remains of the fire: my father’s ashes. I leave the path and travel down rough terrain. It is hard to reach now, but I get as close as I can.

            Although it has been years since the actual fire of personal destruction, the ashes are still there. I walk this path and still what I see hasn't changed. I see it as if it is happening for the first time. I don’t let it rain here, not with tears. I need the memories; they are all I have left. This is my safe haven, a place where I can be so close to where death is most alive; it’s where the pain of my daddy’s death can be eased with memories of his life. As I head back up to the path and leave the forest of ashes, I know I am physically leaving the trees’ ashes; however, I am also leaving my memories for another day. I will travel down the road again. I know it must be done; and, just like today the forest will be seen by everyone else, but the forest of ashes will only be seen by me. Until then, the forest of ashes continues to haunt me; beckoning me to realize its true form that can only be seen from my eyes.

© 2014 Savannah Bly


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Reviews

This is interesting, but if you're trying to write an expanded metaphor, try not to make it quite so obvious. In the very first sentence, when you mention memories and personal problems, it really detracts from the potential of the piece. I would have liked this better if you had written the whole forest out, and just allowed the reader to connect the description of the forest back to your personal struggles, rather than immediately pointing it out.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Savannah Bly

6 Years Ago

Thank you for your input but, I think you are confused by the point. I am saying that the forest is .. read more
DaughterNature

6 Years Ago

No, I understand that you want it to be a metaphor. I was simply trying to point out that, normally,.. read more
Savannah Bly

6 Years Ago

Hmmm... I see where you are coming from. For this piece I was mainly thinking about explaining the m.. read more
I loved this poem!!!my favorite

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kamari's

6 Years Ago

I know but it speaks to me like a poem
Savannah Bly

6 Years Ago

That is great! I think many of my stories have poetry inside them.
Kamari's

6 Years Ago

Yes it does
Evokes painful thoughts so close to home. Nice imagery. I will message you a few other thoughts.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 6, 2014
Last Updated on May 10, 2014
Tags: Ashes, death, Forest, evergreen trees, life, dead, metaphors, fathers, family, Washington State, the ocean, west coast, interesting, smoke, scary, darkness, inside, thoughts, feelings, emotions

Author

Savannah Bly
Savannah Bly

Wichita, KS



About
Hi, my name is Savannah. I am originally from the West Coast but live in Kansas now. I love to write and I love to read; one of my current majors is Creative Writing. I have a blog I am restarting soo.. more..

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