One Note XIV
Falling into Duality
In our last chapter, Ryan discovered Kelly's computer was bugged. To protect his equipment and files, Ryan initiated a systemwide lockdown then called Stephan and Jessica to make sure Kelly was safe. Finally, as he was waiting for his parents to arrive, he began to feel an overwhelming need to sleep. When he was unable to keep his eyes open any longer, he crashed on the sofa and was asleep instantly.
”When you smell the aroma of the a-tsi-na tlu-gv (cedar) tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that you are Tsalagi, and you are looking upon your ancestor.” - from “The Legend of the Cedar Tree” by David Webster
These days I look in the mirror and laugh. Staring back at me is a respectable, professional woman clad in the uniform of academia - a tailored linen suit, a blouse with collars so pointed they could puncture your skin, my moonlight gray hair pulled tight into a bun at the base of my neck, maroon lipstick applied to my lips and dabbed onto my cheeks. My female colleagues in the Department of Life Sciences call it color. I call it warpaint.
My walnut brown face is weathered and deeply lined. I’ve been told it resembles the face of one of those dolls made from withered apples. Not a bad comparison, but I’d prefer a more accurate description. My face resembles nothing so much as the weathered bark of my Mother-tree, the incense cedar.