The cedar men line the highways and byways of the passages into this world. You can see them poised on the horizon, lining the distant train tracks, lurking in shadow or naked light. They huddle against the cold, battered by the winds or stand burned brown and cinnamon under the heat of the summer sun. Come quietly from the darkness of the forest path into the blazing light of the clearing and you might catch one frozen, hiding still, in the open.
The cedar men don’t always bleed red sap under a crown of bitter green. The cedar men aren’t always cedar men. Unbound, unnamed, they might form an unexplained shadow on the wall or a haze of mist in the mirror behind the gazer’s reflected image. The cedar men are the hand that touches your shoulder with a grasp so firm that surprise is the only emotion registered when looking behind to see no one there. The cedar men have voices of their own and mischievous fingers that flip switches to darken rooms or fling open kitchen drawers and scramble the contents looking for what they only know. The eye of the camera catches the unexpected glints of blue and mauve, reflected lights of flashing eyes.
My mother swears that I am her own and I know I am. My mother swears I am hers alone but I know that is not so. I am Wednesday’s child. Tow headed, fair browed, my face is the full strawberry moon that waxes in the darkest sky marked by uneven cat’s eyes. The night finds my dreams in full technicolour flowing into the full light of day. I follow the ways of the enatic line. Those who blaze the brightest exude a heat radiating out to touch. My blood takes a small hand in the untangling of the skeins that flow around us all and rarely we are permitted a clear glimpse of the will and way of things.
I see the cedar men laid bare from a distance. The tide of glamory hides the essence as the inner eye focuses on the form to define it. All four seasons see the hunched backs and high collars turned up in disguise. The danger lies in lingering too long. Another’s face can become the borrower’s if worn too often or too long. The habit of tree, darkness or lonely echo will become the truth and a cedar man will be no more…but others will take its place. They will come to watch, to warn, to cry and to play in the humming wires, the camera eye, the distance, the dark corners and the empty rooms. Just this side of unseen doors, the cedar men wait for us to pass by, hiding out in the open.