Finding Stillness in the Rush: An Elf’s Unexpected Gift

Finding Stillness in the Rush: An Elf’s Unexpected Gift

Image – By Atelier Sommerland Sourced By Joseph Street Digest via Adobe Spark

Yathanae sighed, the bustling Tokyo market assaulting her Elven senses with its discordant symphony. A thousand human years felt like mere breaths in her 100,000-year existence, yet they bore down upon her heavier than a mountain. This borrowed life, a curse binding her to a mortal coil, was suffocating.

“Ma-banare,” the Japanese term for the lack of space, that gnawed at her soul, depriving her of the long stretches of sleep she was accustomed to and replacing them with brief naps. Sleep, her eternal solace, became fractured. Mortals chased fleeting moments, filling every second, leaving no room for the quietude. Their urgency echoed in their rushed greetings, their frantic steps on the packed streets.

Napkins fluttered from ramen stalls; the air was thick with the aroma of spices. Yathanae, disguised as a human, picked at her bowl, her stomach churning with longing. Not for food, but for the deep slumber that spanned four to five years in her world, a luxury stolen by this mortal shell. Here, sleep was a restless dance, chased away by the relentless pace of human existence.

She closed her eyes, yearning for the stillness of her Eldoriel Elven home. Memories flickered across her mind – the Red Ogre’s taunts, the flash of his magic, the searing pain of the curse taking hold. A foolish duel, fueled by youthful pride, had landed her here, bound to this fleeting existence until she learned its hidden truths.

One evening, beneath the neon glow of the city, Yathanae found herself in a tranquil temple garden. Serenity settled around her like a forgotten melody. Here, amongst the koi ponds and moss-covered stones, a semblance of Ma existed.

An old woman, her face etched with timelessness, sat meditating beneath a cherry blossom tree. Yathanae, drawn by an unseen force, knelt beside her. “Ma wo wasurete shimatta ningen-tachi,” she whispered, “humans who have forgotten the space between.”

The woman smiled, her eyes crinkling at the corners, revealing an ancient wisdom beneath their gentle veil. “Even in their haste, they chase beauty,” she said, her voice soft as falling petals. “Look for the Ma in their tea ceremonies, the silence in their calligraphy, the respect in their bowing.”

Yathanae closed her eyes, the woman’s words resonating like a forgotten poem. Perhaps Ma existed not just in the grand pauses, but in the tiny spaces between breaths, the moments stolen between hurried steps.

As Yathanae meditated, the surrounding garden shimmered. The old woman dissolved like petals in the moonlight, revealing a radiant figure draped in flowing white robes. Amaterasu, the sun goddess herself, smiled warmly.

“You have remembered, Elf of the Everlasting Light World,” she said, her voice echoing with the warmth of a thousand suns. “Ma exists not just in your world, but here too, woven into the fabric of their fleeting lives. Find it in the shared laughter, the quiet contemplation, the respect for nature.”

Tears welled in Yathanae’s eyes — tears of understanding, not despair. The goddess had planted a seed of hope, despite the curse remaining.

Yathanae now longs for solace in the hidden moments of Ma until the curse breaks and she can return home.

This story was in part written with AI.


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