Not quite a vision quest, but that was the idea. A small group of girls would hike to some remote lake, and one got to stay up all night with the counselor, writing her way toward dawn, final step on the initiate’s starry path. Rags were scarves stacked at the neck, in order of challenge: green, brown, red, blue, white. I don’t recall everything I logged when it came my turn. I’m sure the stars were in there, especially the falling ones, the fire, the coals, the lake, the lapping shore. A chipmunk ran across my sleeping bag, I was that still.
In the morning she would read our smudged pages, then we’d talk. Did you think about anything else? she asked. Admitted to the order of the red rag, but I could tell I let her down. There is a language for what is profound; I hadn’t learned it yet. She even offered to stay up with me a second night. So tired I could barely swallow my oatmeal, I declined. I wonder what I missed. I wonder what she did. I’m not sure the voice of God can be worn like scarves.