Please play this haunting piece by David Darling while you read
I am not asleep when this dream begins and I am alone in a part of my room I am only asked to go to if I have failed in some way. I am deprived of his voice and the two small crystal glasses are being held limply downwards by each one of my hands. In the right is the glass that held the sweet candy apple red liquor, not at all similar in taste or texture to the one I drank down timidly in The Red Dream. This is sweet, like a syrup, but in the left hand, the slight residue of bitter blue still clings, drying like a baked color onto the inside of the rim. The red is sweet… the blue is blue… it tastes acidic like a lemony sports drink and yet it makes me thirstier still when I drink it all. It hasn’t been ten minutes and because no voice coaxes or comforts, or directs me, I feel these ten minutes like 2 hours. The color starts to swirl across my face, first on the outside and when I close my eyes I still see a blackish screen that are my eyelids, but colors glow from outside making the black now blue, sometimes flashes of pink. I stand perfectly still and I choose to try and keep my eyes open, unlike the last two times, where I allowed them to close on their own, almost immediately or was actually blindfolded.
I feel my clothes breathing with my breaths and I angle my gaze downwards and see that they are not even the same clothes I had on when I first came into the room hearing the door locking behind me. The glasses, as always were standing on a small bedside table, and without a command I knew I was to drink both of them. I tried to do that evenly, a sip from the right, then a sip from the left until they both finished nearly together. So when I look down at myself, holding the glasses I am not really surprised, just awakened to the detail that now my clothes are also of mixed color, a candy-apple red baby doll shifting slightly over layers of powder blue lace. With each second it is getting harder and harder to see anything as the light is now taking over my entire vision, and my heart pumps rapidly. Just when I think “I must sit down or I will fall” I feel bands of colored light wrap tightly around my eyes and I am de-materializng, as I felt myself do on the Ship of White Dreams.
I am going now, even from myself. There is the rush of air as if I were in high speed flight, I am that air speeding and there is a feeling I am a messenger, or a rescuer, something or someone needs me and I know I am on my way. I have no eyes nor limbs and I imagine this is what happens to the crew in science fiction movies when they teleport up and down to new worlds. I am first aware of patterns, colorful moving ones that start to focus ahead of me, above and below me and I am caught with the sensation of being gestated by light and now I am growing into it. Light, color,patterns, are always with me in my dreams.
I am in The Ink.
It is aqueous but not water, the colors shift forms and as quickly as they do, they shape into something else. It is frightening in that it has a beauty I have never seen before, so my mind can not even invent the words to describe it. Only now in retrospect and a long time after the effects of the sweet and sour journey, can I try to put these experiences into words. If you thought this moment was real -time, that I am really going through it now this second, you are wrong. When I have journeys as this one, there is no way to describe it while I am moving through it. His voice usually grounds me in language and that perhaps keeps my syntax functioning, and provides a word pantry, although raided and very bare still able to offer words. Today he does not speak to me and I am here alone.
Then suddenly I have form, shape, gender, thoughts and at first glance they seem to be what I am already familiar with, what I call me. I look up from The Ink to the skies, the moon is trapped in a net falling down beside me, my blue lace skirt is an impromptu parachute and I stretch out my arms instinctively to mute the fall. I am a streaking blue angel entering a new realities air space. All is possible.
The colors are so compellingly beautiful, heartbreakingly beautiful floating through my mind, that I feel a sting of tears and my eyes are washed in The Ink and I am so moved, I just pant shallowly, until this moment passes. Some things are too much for us to experience, we are not ready…and I know I am in one of these moments. Sweet and sour like the liquids I have just consumed, and I am overcome with waves of joy so deep they feel like sadness, and sadness so profound it makes me giddy with elation and admiration for the world I am being shown. In this state, I feel my feet touch solid ground, and when I peer out and around me, I seem to have landed on an object that is painted in the exact colors I too am now painted in, the sweet and sour colors of Life’s exotic mixed drink.
I am holding my breath like a statue, full of wonder, curiosity, excitement, fear and surrender to what comes next. I have no idea where I am, and yet I sense the reason I am here is to help something survive, something that is dying close to me and I, without knowing what it is I possess, can save it/him/her/them, and wait only to be sure of what I must do next. The net that brought down the moon and pulled me to this spot, is now laying over a figure that has fallen into the emerald green part of The Ink. It almost looks like a giant insect, but the net does not allow me to see it with any clarity or detail. I jump down and pass right through the web-like stands of the blue mesh-work that grabbed hold of the moon and fell from the sky, perhaps dragging this creature down with it. I am bathed in orange light and I feel myself making slow ritual gestures, almost as if I were dancing.
I am standing upon a downed craft, or an insect made out of polished steel, deep red, and the most pale haunting blue. It could be either and maybe it is both, but it struggles every once in a while to free itself from the restricting strands. This is why I am here and without willing them, my arms and legs begin to move in a slow graceful way. I think I am praying…praying that this net now be lifted. I am close to his head, and I hear very shallow labored breathing. This craft is alive.
I begin to rotate in an age-old rotation of hope that what lives, even faintly, may keep on living. I feel the deepest compassion for this creature, my heart bleeds in its colors, his noble head chiseled like a fine- bred dog and I sense he is dying and his only chance for survival lies in me. In my thoughts I let all the words that want to come, spill out of my mouth and I lay over his stricken broken frame stroking and holding him, willing him back to life with my wishes, and my ritual dance.
I crouch on the side of his head, and the net begins to dissolve. I see him for what he is, or rather what he could be. He is alive, there is no doubt, his labored breathing makes my body rise and fall, but he is made from a hard surface, maybe metal, or something I have never seen, something associated with inanimate transport not life -forms. He is a downed plane, a car wreck, a twisted pile-up heading for the compactor and then I look around and I see others, none of them even barely alive, they appear decapitated and tossed into a pile like junk, like something of no value.
So many thrown in a heap, all just like him and I know I can’t save any of them, not even one. I am flooded with the deepest feelings of frustration and I am powerless, and this realization makes me cry out to his silence and scream at him, the one who left the glasses on my bed-stand, the one I trusted and believed in, who it appears has truly abandoned me.
“Then why did you send me here? Why?
I can do nothing. I can save nothing. All are dying and all will die.
Why did I have to see this? Why? All are dying and all will die.”
I slump to my knees sobbing, I am heartbroken, I have the broken heart of someone who cares and is helpless to change the outcome. I came too late it seems, and all that is left are my laments that gush out of me and fall over his prone head and into The Ink in the form of tears. I think I am crying for a tragedy that is beyond my human understanding, and yet it is not beyond my human feelings, and this makes me feel so much, that I too wish I could expire along with all of them.
Poetry pours from my lips and mixes with the teardrops, because today of all days there is no voice who comes to tell me,
“Trust in it all”
“Don’t be afraid”
“Yes I have shown this to you for a reason,
but you might not understand it just yet”
I understand I do not only cry for these creatures whatever they were, but I cry because I am now alone and seeing so much is almost unbearable for me to live with every day, and his voice has abandoned me.
I lay across his snout and feel his last breaths, and I know his struggle will end soon, and he seems to know it too as he calms and no longer raises his head. I feel so much for him and I open my mouth and press it against him like a suction and I feel a liquid flow out of him, sweet not bitter and I suck some more and it slowly fills my mouth until I can’t hold any more. I drink of him, his fall, his pain, his lonely death and realize I did change something as he gives me willingly the essence he holds inside that he feels is precious. I understand him without words and the sweetness now of his last minutes fill my mouth and I hold him tight and tell him I will take this liquid back with me and to know I understand even though I understand nothing.
He stops breathing and is gone. There is nothing I can do but slip off his sleek muzzle and fall into The Ink where I let my body go limp and my tears turn to colors. I hold his essence in my mouth and now I want to desperately return, to wake up, to get back to my locked room. The sweet liquid of this dying creature is held carefully inside of me and with a sense of mission, I keep my lips sealed shut, so not a drop might spill and be lost.
I stand and will myself to return. I have no idea if I am still under the effects of the red and blue liquid, but I am submerged in The Ink feeling like I will explode soon if I can not spit out tenderly what he gave me in the generosity of his dying last wish. I push up in my mind, as if I am underground and I gasp through my nose with my mouth closed tight.When I open my eyes, I have returned and all in my room is how I left it. Bright colors completely replaced by the dark heavy shades of my paneled walls and I feel a security knowing all is there. I walk quickly to the bedside table and choose one of the empty glasses that had contained half of my journey. I am not particular which color, only that I need to deposit his essence into it as quickly as I can. Remembering it all, the scenes and sensations, his last sweet taste, I let it flow in the glass in one stream of colors swirling into and filling it up, way beyond what I could have possibly held in my mouth. I see before me what he gave me, what he was made of and realize in a second of clarity why he gave it to me.
His essence, what he bequeathed me, was the swirling shades and hues of The Ink.
Then the voice of the one who guides me, the voice of the one who had gone mute and left me on my own, whispers directly in my ear, his familiar breath against my cheek, his tone commanding yet loving. But I know what I have to do and I will do it…before I even hear him say it…
“Karima! Write it!”
“Write all of it!”
to be continued…
April 16, 2011
Misty Shores Linc Island
*please see my comment