Samsara: Chapter 8 – Bernard’s Walk in the Park

An Introduction to “Samsara: A Trilogy”

Samsara: Chapter 1 – Amelie “In the Present of Time”

Samsara: Chapter 2 – Julian

Samsara: Chapter 3 – Lizzie and Dante

Samsara: Chapter 4 -Hope in a Story

Samsara: Chapter 5 – Amelie and Julian

Samsara: Chapter 6 – Phoebe’s Memories

Samsara: Chapter 7 – Nate and Isabeth


            After he spoke to Julian, and realized that his dear friend had done the unthinkable, Bernard decided to take a walk to the nearest park. He needed to clear his mind, and determine how he can avert the situation that Julian seems determine to tackle on.

Bernard, or Bernie as Julian prefers to call him in this life had spent many lifetimes with his dear friend. In fact, there is no one who can be compared to Bernie’s loyalty and devotion to Julian. In stature, Bernie is just as tall as Julian, except in this lifetime, he decided to arrive ten years earlier in order to set their plans in place. Bernie’s black hair began to demonstrate its defiance when he turned 40 by slowly cultivating gray strands, and in particular on the sides of his head. His face always portrays a kindness that whenever anyone speaks to Bernard, they feel that he empathizes with what they are going through. This may be because of his eyes, the color of honey, always betrays his emotions, so much so, that he could never be a person to rely on at a poker game—he would give himself away entirely. He has a sense of humor that sticks with him in all of his lives. His one love always loved this about him, and she was the one who was quite serious about life.

It is unfortunate that they both decided to spend this lifetime without each other.

Bernie walks to the nearest park by their office building. He crosses the street, and notices the homeless man sitting on the ground near a park bench.

“Hello, Michael. How are you today?” he asks.

“Hello, Bernard. I am doing quite well, thank you,” Michael answers.

“Is there anything to report today?” Bernie asks Michael whose face is covered in dirt, along with fingernails also covered in dirt.

Michael situated himself in the park for as long as Bernie could remember, and he understood why. The park near Bernie and Julian’s building allows for many of their workers to contribute to Michael’s needs. Some days, they’ll give him money for food, other days they’ll buy him breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. During the colder months in San Francisco, several of Julian’s employees would make sure he had a jacket, sweaters, gloves, and hats to keep him warm. It was Bernie who encouraged and cultivated the treatment of Michael.

“Bernie, you have to stop Julian from his plans. He cannot go on searching for her,” Michael looks at up Bernie with pleading eyes, and a voice of authority that Bernie recognizes well.

“Is that what you have to report today, Michael?”

“You know that I have much love for you and him, as I do her. There are boundaries set in place that you and Julian are fully aware of before arriving into this lifetime. Whatever contract Julian may have gone in with you, and if you are aware of this, you must not have him take it any further,” Michael stands up, and Bernie helps him. They sit down on the bench, and Michael’s eyes expresses a certain exhaustion where there were once invincible strength.

“My friend, are you alright?” Bernie asks.

“I am. It has become exhausting to fight against Julian’s will. What he did created a chasm that was tiring for all of us,” Michael exhales, and sits back on the bench.

“I apologize for him, Michael. But, you and I both know how he has been in many lifetimes. The chasms he creates triggers changes, and she has been alongside with him for all of their lives.  She, too, has been exhausted, and while I understand that she needed rest– I must support Julian.. as always,” Bernie looks up and watches a family eat their lunch on a picnic table in the center of the park.  He envies the luxury of such simplicity.

Michael looks at Bernie and smiles. In this life, he is still as loyal as ever. In every lifetime, Michael is the entity assigned to watch both Julian and Bernard. He had seen them at their worst, and at their best. Michael fears that if there is anyone who would cross the boundaries and break all of them, it is Julian—and Bernard would be right behind him.

“Michael, why is it in this lifetime you decided to be this homeless man? You could have easily decided to be our father again,” Bernie asks.

“Ah, that is a good question. Such choice allows me to observe humanity in all its forms. I can watch day in and day out how humanity has evolved, how society is attempting to question truth, how we succeed, and how we fail,” Michael said.

“As fascinating as that sounds, I fear that I may not be there just yet, old friend,” Bernard smiles at Michael.

“And, with that I will leave you to it. Please speak to Julian—whatever good that will do. Do let him know that he is exhausting all of us, and he needs to take heed to what I am telling you both: let her be,” Michael pats Bernard on his shoulder, and starts to walk off towards the other end of the park. Michael turns and looks directly at Bernard, “I care for her too, and we both know that she is Julian’s equal when it comes to stubbornness, and anger.  But, he must allow her to rest–just this once.” Bernard thought that he heard Michael snicker.

Bernard looks after him, and wonders in awe how Michael has put up with both him and Julian. It must be an exhausting task, indeed.


Ballerina in the park. Photo by JAH.

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