Even on bright mornings with sunlight streaming through my windows and a forecast calling for a clear, warm afternoon, I haven’t looked for summer landscapes recently when I’ve been choosing images for my digital art display. Maybe it’s the angle of the sun or the crisp blue of the sky that makes plain it is autumn, however unseasonably warm. So I’ve been picking autumn images with a little haze or fog, even if they don’t quite match the ambient light in my house.


This forest image wasn’t new; it was one that I had displayed about two years ago. When I pictured myself standing under the trees and breathing the cool, still air, I remembered how different the world had felt two years ago. Same image, but a very different strand of time.

Imaginary twigs crackled, disrupting the quiet scene. I glanced to the right and saw my future self Kass ambling up to me. She was dressed for a casual hike in faded jeans, a plain green V-neck top, and matching green cross-training shoes with thick soles.

“You called?” Kass stretched lazily, brushing a stray strand of moss from her jeans.

“Not that I’m aware of.” Taking a step down from the rock where I’d been standing, I heard another twig snap underfoot. “What I had in mind just now was the past, not the future. So I’m not sure how I could have been calling a future self.”

“Time isn’t always linear, as we both know. It’s full of unexpected twists and turns. Often when we think about the past, we’re really looking for insights on how to frame our experience of the world going forward.”

We walked companionably together under the trees until the bare, stony soil gave way to grass and brush. The canopy thinned, allowing glimpses of blue sky and high clouds. I stopped there, looking for a path, but I saw no signs of human passage. Cobwebs gleaming with dew stretched across tall brambles.

“You’ve been here before.” Kass spoke in a calm, reassuring tone as she walked on farther, through tiny white asters dotting the grass. “The landscape of imagination changes from one day to another, but it never becomes impassable.”

Just around a fallen tree, the sound of trickling water became louder. A stream came into view, with plenty of open space along its banks and a trail that looked familiar, although I couldn’t quite recall where I had seen it before. Kass took a step toward it and then turned back to smile at me.

“Paths are always a matter of perspective.”

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