There are days when it’s possible to see between the lines.
Just a glimpse, you understand — portals don’t makes spectacles of themselves. They tend not to waste time appearing to the unworthy or unwary at all, but even for those allowed a peek into those spaces between, the way remains shrouded and dim.
There are such spaces all around, ancient ruins and spirit grounds and places older than time itself that are still inhabited by something older than time, too. Occasionally, they walk abroad openly in this world, and invisibly too: No one knows, so no one looks, so no one believes.
Almost no one.
The dogs know; they bark, hackles on end, give frantic chase. The timing is surprisingly predictable: the days surrounding All Souls’, of course, but those near other holy days, too, both ancient and modern.
The shifting of the seasons, when the light itself shifts form and direction to walk abroad in new ways.
The threshold where night ends and day begins, and the reverse as well.
The coming of the storm, and its departure, too.
Because these are all spaces between, the negative space of not-time, not-time and not-yet, arriving between the moments we notice to travel through those we don’t. It keeps them save.
It keeps us safe.
In our way, the story of the spirits’ first visitation is instructive. Seven came, bearing gifts that would enable the First People to live, and live well. Six presented their assigned virtues without incident, but the seventh was forced to cover its face and withdraw, because all who looked upon its face fell dead in an instant from the force of its power.
That is the mortal effect of gazing upon Truth, unshaded and unfiltered.
And so the spirits move between the lines, in the veiled places and shadowed spaces, not hiding in a darkened glass but wrapped in blankets of clouds and fog and light that conceals as much as it reveals.
You cannot stare at the sun without losing your sight. You can gaze at the clouds indefinitely.
Watch long enough, and you will see them walk, bearing their gifts for our kind. Look hard enough, and you will see Truth, shrouded and veiled but ready to teach.
The negative space is where Truth lives.