Fifty-Two

There were colourful fish of all shapes floating in the night. They started to pour in one direction, as if carried by a powerful air current. As I followed them, the darkness gently dissipated. We were in a forest, I saw birch trees gliding by. Then I noticed that there was a river below, wild geese swimming in the depths. All were racing ahead: the fish above, the geese below…

I spotted a house in the distance. Maybe that was where we were heading… but we were too fast. The wind drew the river out of its bed and the mass of water was floating in the air, surging ahead with us. I was worried that it would flood and destroy the forest. But the flux did not burst, it slowed down instead. I turned to face it. The water was like a tunnel embracing a void. Its core was invisible, silent and still. I was mesmerised: should I enter?

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Fifty-One

It was almost night. At the edge of the forest, I saw a woman dressed in heavy fabric. On top of her head, there was something embellished with pearls, stones and gold. She was climbing a hill. A vast landscape below. Then, like a drawing on the sky, electric lines. She looked at me as if to check whether I noticed.

Suddenly, I was in the kitchen of my childhood home, at the threshold of the room where my father died. It was dark inside. I was small, standing right on the doorsill. Looking at the jambs around me, I noticed knives hanging from the top, suspended by a single, thin thread of rope attached to a nail in the middle, my height.

I noticed the Siberian man next to me, on the kitchen side. He was looking at me and I at him. Then the door turned into a wooden wheel, with the knives facing the middle, towards me. I was holding onto the axle. He told me to keep steady and started to roll the wheel, then let it go, down a slope. I was rolling and rolling…

I ended up in the parking lot of the factory nearby my childhood home. It was deserted, and my wooden wheel turned into that of a bicycle. Then, I was riding the bike, with my father behind me, pushing, helping.

Then we were surrounded by people holding hands around us in a circle. I saw a wolf and got frightened, but he settled near someone. Next came a bear. A gorilla sat behind yet another person. A falcon landed on the shoulder of the Siberian man. And there was the woman I saw at the start, dressed in golden bees. She was luminous.

My father walked to them. Joined them for a second, holding hands, then closed the circle and walked away. Left alone with these people, I was in the middle of the circle, with one foot on the ground and one on the pedal of my bike.

Then the ground opened, and a shapeless form condensed into something like a hand. I wondered whether it was a mole… I decided to follow it, the shape was about my size and constantly changing but never crystallizing into anything concrete.

It was dark in the tunnel, and it smelt of soil. After a few steps, it was not that dark anymore, as if there was some light filtering in after me. I turned back and saw the woman dressed in golden bees following me. And so were all the others.

We kept going and going, tagging after the form through long, dark tunnels.

Suddenly, I was in my childhood kitchen again, just closing the door to the room where my father was sleeping. But then I decided to open it and went into the room. It was dark inside. The light from the kitchen filtered in and I stared at the patterns on the carpet. I almost bumped into the coffee table in the middle of the room. I gripped the top of the large chest with the tv on it to settle myself, and noticed that I had no sensation in my hands. Not even as if I had gloves on. Nor was the carpet soft under my feet. I could see my hands and feet but they could have belonged to someone else, I could not feel them. I couldn’t hear anything, either. Not my father snoring or breathing… not my own steps… not the noises outside… I was numb and deaf. I was eyes, only.

****

Note: the wheel reminds me of Nicholas of Flüe‘s:

von flue wheel

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Fifty

I saw locks of hair attached to a line, blowing in the wind, like clothes to dry. There was also hair lying around on the floor in my mother’s kitchen, and outside, all over the yard, half-covered by sand.

Suddenly, they became butterflies and flew towards the cemetery where my father is buried. I wished they had brought him to me alive, instead of visiting his grave.

Then there was a little girl whirling two bowls of fire attached to two strings. She turned around and around herself. Now she transformed into a very small man with a burnt face and now she was a little girl again.

Next, we were surrounded by a herd of paper birds. I was worried that they would get on fire. They did, but with such fragile beauty… they were burning in all colours until the wind carried them away.

The night was approaching fast and the burning paper birds became iridescent, weaving their light into the darkness like northern lights.

Then I saw little girls jump off a cliff, one after the other, spinning in their fall. They floated in the air for a moment before they plunged, as if dancing. The Siberian man stood right under the rock and caught them each, one by one.

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Forty-Nine

At the seaside, I saw a horse turning around and around. Another one joined in and started to rotate the opposite way around the first one. Then came another and another, each girdled the previous one, always contrariwise. They all turned golden, then more and more translucent until only their outlines remained. In the end, there were only golden threads left, each coiling around the other.

And in the centre, there was the ever-changing woman. She was watching me. I went to her and we held hands. We were one.

Then I noticed a boy and a girl. They were running in a field of wheat, playing tag in the sunset, laughing.

There came a group of riders. They lifted the kids onto their horses and off they galloped enjoying the speed. All turned golden: wheat and men… In the distance, I saw women dancing, holding white sheets. Suddenly, I was one of them. We started to build a yurt, we would stay here for the night.

The field was on a plateau. Down below was a beautiful lake, in all the colours of the setting sun. Right next to our tent was a huge tree, and the men started to climb higher and higher. I joined them.

In our ascent, we were surrounded by an ever-changing play of colour. And then, we were not climbing anymore but flying in a pulsating tunnel of air. When we stopped, there was nothing but beautiful, iridescent fog… drops of sunset gathered by wet cobwebs.

Slowly, I could make out the shape of a man. He was standing by water – sea or lake, I couldn’t tell. I recognised the Siberian man. He was waiting for me.

Forty-Eight

I was sitting cross-legged in the sand in the desert, my breath circulating around my body like golden strings. There was a big storm coming, and I was worried. But the Siberian man came and sat down behind me, with his back touching mine. Our breaths joined, golden threads brushing our skin. “That is not our storm”, he said. I felt calm, centered. All was raging around us but we were not touched. I raised my head to look at the blue sky above me, the clouds were gently wandering about. No signs of upheaval up there.

When it calmed down, we were still sitting there. Suddenly, I started to see in a different way, like staring into the Sun with eyes closed. It felt as if I was watching with my skin or through my skin, from the inside. At first, it was dark, then very blurred. Slowly, I could make out a huge eye, of somebody very old, somebody very ancient. She was so close to my face that I could feel her breath. And she was looking at me.

Forty-Seven

The sky was a sea, and there were fish flying above me. And a golden liquid thread was drawing bees into the air. I could feel the wind on my skin, sometimes warm, sometimes cool, gently pulsating. And I heard the Siberian man say: “People can be so unconscious, so diffused and diluted, they expand without awareness… So, instead of unfolding, they diminish and instead of becoming one with all, they eventually crumble and disintegrate into nothingness. It’s not the way. Hold your awareness tightly around your body, keep your consciousness close to your skin for now, just feel it. Do not let yourself spread further than what your awareness can hold together.”

I could feel the wind around me, then I started to see it, as well: it was like a second skin woven from the same golden thread the bees were made of.

Forty-Six

I dreamt that a boy and a girl – maybe twelve or so – fell into a parallel universe very much like my mother’s garden in the summer: fruit trees, vegetables and flowers everywhere. And in their fall, they crushed a bird. Here, birds were a conscious species who could take the form of bird-men: they were as big as humans, had human eyes, feathers and beaks.

The Birds were infuriated by the accident and wanted to hunt the kids down and kill them. But there was a human child in that world who was interested in hearing their story and decided to help and hide them.

As they were talking, they noticed a big bird up in the air, so the one from this world told the other two to go and take shelter in the wooden shed on the other side of the fence. It was the leader of the bird-men who landed in the garden, and the boy tried to explain what had happened. After a short conversation, he signalled the other two kids to come out.

When they did, they found themselves surrounded by bird-men. The girl started to talk, and in that moment, I became her. I recounted everything as it had happened, how we had dropped from another world and how we killed the bird by accident. The bird-men listened intently, in silence, and I became an observer again. They finally decided not to harm the children.

*

The next morning, I went to visit the leader of the bird-men.

“Why were you so angry with the children? They didn’t kill the bird on purpose”.

“They fell into this world – they entered unconsciously. That’s why they caused death. They were supposed to become bird-men. But their unconsciousness killed an aspect of themselves. You are one of us, you are a bird-woman. We cannot fall like that. We fly, we flow, we glide on currents of air. We let go of our control, not our consciousness. Or else we cause death.”

Forty-Five

I was in cave or a small shrine with a group of chanting Buddhist monks. They were sitting in a circle, with me in the centre. Some threads were spiralling from me to them, and each monk held onto one of them as they gently circled clockwise around me. Then they lit the threads, which started to burn slowly, like incense sticks. When the fire got close to me, it burnt the air around me. It felt like fresh breeze coming through a window. I felt lighter, almost transparent. Then the threads turned into water, and I was like a fountain. And the monks, still holding the end of the strings of water, started to weave them in beautiful, vivid colours. They were creating a beautiful, rotating cloth above my head. I opened my arms, and my fingers became threads, and my whole body, too, and the monks weaved me into this piece of fabric: light, vibrating, intricate. I was caught by the wind, and taken out of the shrine, I was flying above the mountains, above the rivers… dancing in the air.

Forty-Four

By a river, the Sun was a big, orange orb, just setting. I saw a group of ibis landing in the water. One of them came to me. It was dark, but I could make out its silhouette against the dark red of the Sun. We were standing in ankle-deep, crystal clear water. We could see fish, tadpoles, larvae and other living things moving, swimming.

Then the water thickened, it became muddy. “It’s how it is, there are cycles, the water thickens, then clears up” the ibis explained. And, with its long beak, it picked a larva. I thought it would eat it, but threw it behind its back instead. At that instant, the thing transformed into a fully developed insect – a dragonfly or a butterfly, and it flew away. The ibis did the same with other forms of life in the mud, they all turned into their fully developed selves and flew or jumped away.

“But some of them you eat or discard, don’t you?”

The ibis didn’t reply, just looked at me silently.

“How do they know what is going to happen when you single them out?”

“They don’t.”

The river turned into a wood, and the ibis transformed into a woodpecker. I could see bugs and grubs deep under the bark of a giant tree. The woodpecker looked at me intently, then started to do its job.

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