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Two-World Turtle

The surface tension broke and a glassy membrane of water slipped down the turtle’s shell. She crawled up the shore to my feet, and I noticed her unchanging expression. Her eyes remained placidly half open and finely adjusted in both the air and the water. In my wonderment I asked the turtle, "What's it like to live in two worlds?"

She took many moments to consider this (as turtles often do) before replying with another question. She asked, "What's it like to live in the present, past, and future?"

I took my time to think about this, and asked myself how I could relate such feelings to a turtle. Perhaps tasting a sweet memory felt like climbing onto a rock to bask in the sun. Maybe my daydreams of the future felt like like floating and swimming underwater. But soon in my reflection I found feelings that I couldn't imagine for a turtle. I felt the grief that arose from memories of loss. I experienced the anxiety that spilled from futures of uncertainty. I would never want such things for a turtle.

Presently, I said to the turtle, "Sometimes it feels like a gift. But sometimes I feel trapped... Past and Future can also be woeful places to be."

The turtle looked confused by this. "Trapped?" She asked.

With so much ease, she slipped off the rock to go live again in the water.

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