Another winter loomed large in the mountainous land of his muse, along the black shores of sand and cold saltwater.
The Elk had been there five years without her, sustained by solitude, fermented pomegranates and harshness, compelled by his omissions to stay, mulling through the void inside him, yet knowing one day he would need to leave, or degrade into bliss-less irrelevance wrestling with the only thing left for him there, the Cyclopes in his own mind.
As a wounded warrior might, the Stag stayed as long as it took to glean any inspiration to be found. And he wrung through every dread pumping through his veins until he did. Only then could he leave, resolved, with these things tattooed into his antlers, forged by the experience and living above it.
Five years after arriving in the land of the alluring creature, any regrets large enough to hold the Stag from leaving were gone. The distress was tamed and behind him now, and the sanctification rectifying him was complete. It was time to go.
He pondered this for weeks letting it settle and become a part of that which defined him. Then he collected his thoughts into his lungs, flared his nostrils and expelled them into the mist, intently knowing she would receive his message carried by the wind.
Then he stood at the waters edge like a thousand times before, contemplating the love, the broken places, the mending and the rebuilding. But this time he no longer searched for a chart to guild his direction back across the sea, for the veil of despondency had dissipated almost too suddenly, And he reclaimed voices from far within speaking to the power and levity in his gait, able to take him anywhere he wanted.
The home of his past was gone, but the Stag wasn't headed there and this pleased him. He would embraced the solo voyage to different horizons and would triumph-over the cold and deep, choppy and fierce. And he would have it no other way, for by this time his bones were girted for this kind of journey.
And so on a drizzly cold afternoon he left the mountainous land of his muse along the shores of black sand and cold saltwater. Calmly walking across the sand, he turned and studied the footprints he left, deep imprints of the past he would carry with him forever. Then he moved through dense air and waded into the sea deliberately, antlers bold and high, like a matador into the bullfighting ring poised to challenge every next day.