It is a story of personal and professional truth, of the difference, inherent. Each to each. Of the truth that is in the telling, the tone and rasp of the old man's voice, the flicker and glow of the firelight, the lingering taste of the scotch, of the metal of the flask that held it, cradled it, a home, away from home, and homeward bound. Further up, further in, further along the path, the road goes ever onward and the clearing at the end of the path, may you find water and shade.
He believed there may have been facts but remained unconcerned. If their lack was anything it was not apparent, it was not felt or missed. The truth is in the telling, the teller. And the old man spoke with authority, a voice imbued with the power of the muses, the force of gods unbound, and in his silences we experienced death, emptiness, the draining out of the human vessel. Empty, made clean. The is-ness of things, Being-in-the-World, Being-as-Such.
He wanted another s'more. Perhaps the phrasing was just that he wanted s'more or even s'more s'more, but that felt redundant and cloying on the tongue, and he desire the gooeyness of the marshmallow not words, not now. Soon it would be his turn to tell. He was nervous, to follow such an act, such a telling. The close of the old man's story drifted away with a slight evening breeze, the forest's gentle Nachtmusik, but nothing was lost. Nothing is ever truly lost. It was now his turn, eyes had refocused on him, heads turned, slightly elevated, expectant. He put the flask to his lips:
In a forest not unlike this very forest, Баба-Яга began to sing...