Initiator: Bill Carmel – I Can See For Miles and Miles


Initiator Artist: Bill Carmel
Artwork Title: I Can See For Miles and Miles
Size: 26 x 18 x 10″
Medium: Bronze wall sculpture
Price: $3,260

Responder Author: Linda Hartmann
Writing Title: I Can Dream for Hours and Hours
Price: $109

The morning dew sparkled on his bed of leaves, making for a gorgeous blanket of glistening diamonds. Will usually felt at his finest in the forest, but a report of a missing person, a bride-to-be, made him more hypervigilant. He followed the river as his primary guide but carried a compass, scope, and flashlight. He had just enough water and food for the day, with a little extra “just in case.”

The mountain called to him, and his ascent began. The sun rose, heating balmy breezes, and the dense fog lightened. Gazing up toward the summit, a Wapiti grazed, the most majestic elk of species of all red deer. Will formed his thumb and forefinger as an “L” to view and isolate the beast, marveling at the elk’s details through his scope.

A black bear entered Will’s view, catching him off-guard, but he knew what to do; he froze and slowly made himself large to thwart any charge. The bear deferred and was not there to spar. The Wapiti moved swiftly downslope and stopped between them, demanding their attention. The elk dipped his head in respect, then rotated his neck and drove in a direction, indicating them to join in the trek.

Hearing the screech of a hawk high above, they looked up in unison. They understood that the hawk had excellent vision and trusted the birds’ lead in a tracking decision.

They walked more briskly with the lead of the hawk; the bear sniffed the ground; the elk was attentive to both sight and sound. Will saw a piece of cloth in a branch, torn and caught, yellow and teal colors and easy to spot. The animals sniffed, and suddenly they left at a pace very brisk. Hawk continued to screech up in the sky – highly trained rescuers would understand why.

Will’s heart quickened, filled with fright and delight, as he saw yet another clue in sight. A shoe was sticking out of a pile of leaves, and he ran to it and heard a soft wheeze. He cried, “She might be alive!” He checked her pulse; weak and present, not a ghost. Unconscious with blood on her body and head. He used his tent and poles to make a small bed. The elk used his strength to help with the carry.

They followed the bear to an opening where a rescue team was already there. The hawk landed on a branch nearby. Dehydration and cold caused the woman to lose her foothold. She walked toward camp to rest but fell over a tree stump hitting her head. Her eyes opened, and Will took a moment to check them with his flashlight. “Equal and reactive,” he announced to the rescuers. Making eye contact with one after the other, “Thank You,” she said to the crowd gathered. They took her away but reported later that day that she’d be okay! It was her last solo hike before marrying the love of her life at the top of the summit.

Will was relieved and showed his zealous gratitude by sharing with black bear, Wapiti, and hawk his “just in case” food.

“Vivid dreams” are detailed lingering dreams that feel similar to real-life memories. Will reflected on their themes. Meaningful, and repetitious in dreams, these avatars taught him how to become the best man he could be. The elk taught courage and perseverance to reach goals – step by step; the bear showed others close by can help protect, and the hawk freedom in all things, with intuition and vision. He found working with those different from himself made a much stronger team.

© 2023 Linda Hartmann