"The world is made of cities and the spaces between them; and cities are made of people and the spaces between them."- Hwei
~~ And people are made up of stories; stories about cities and spaces in-between.

Epilogue

Max:

Dear Stranger,

Alas this journey comes to a close as we depart from the horse races.
We soon sailed away from the City of Clouds and Mountains and back into Coos Bay where I had first met Zen and boarded The Dream.

We end where we began, only to begin a journey again, like strings forever telling a story; a story that takes on a life of its own.
Sometimes our stories split into journeys across several planes and sometimes our stories cross paths.

In the end or in the beginning, whichever one suits you best, we come from the same material and we come to weave similar material.
Because we are like the fibers that this message is weaved into. We are strings part of something continuous and weaving something continuous.

We are like cloth because sometimes it is difficult to tell where a piece of cloth begins and where it ends. Cloth binds us together but may be frayed at the edges. It strings us together by leaving some spaces in-between. Cloth always grows to have holes, knots, and imperfections.

And so, I am just a string hanging onto cloth, trying to tell my story before I fall off. My story is of the world and a few precious moments. Perhaps it's not so different from your own story, Stranger. So I hope that we both travel far enough to share our stories with each other.

Because stories are all we have.

I can only be certain of two things in this world. One is my own existence; the other is exquisite imperfection. I also used to question tradition, but now I understand. So I'm placing this message in a bottle; hoping someone will find it.

This message goes something like this: We are here, and the world is waiting. The world is patient, but time is not. So go ahead and experience the world before you become too old. So go ahead and drink spicy hot chocolate, try some escargo, dance with a stranger, fall in love, sky dive, deep-sea dive, witness the flight of a bumble bee, chase a shooting star, and sail to stardust. Because one day we become pretentious, reserved, or afraid.

And before we do, I ask that you live in the moment and travel the spaces in-between.
Because we are here by a game a roulette with the whims of a strange Universe; wherever here may be and wherever here decides to take us.

Because the Universe is beautiful and strange.
And because I used to believe in goodbyes, but not anymore.

And so I said "Hope to see you again" as Zen and Ceres sailed into the horizon.
I said "Hope to see you soon" as Alex vanished into his house in the small port town.
I said "It's good to see you again" when I met Alice a few days later.

And as for you Stranger: "Safe travels and safe returns home."