Cycles: An Introduction
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
"I’m gonna jump up this fence and let you in. Hang out by the trees and a door will open.”
A climb up stairs, stairs, stairs, and a ladder, brought us atop to gaze over the Valley of Death. Moths flirting with red neon transform into fireflies and flutter into ashes before us. Someone once said they were drawn to me like a moth to a flame. The scene gave definition to the experience of emotional suicide.
In this small city there is an allowance of flow in perspectives. John returns for the sake of this exchange. At a local bar, he positions himself in a nook adjacent to the outdoor patio with an image of the universe he drew, pinned to a swinging wooden door, his soundboard for conversations worth having. Whatever snippet of profundity that makes the cut bounces off from the universe, filtered to his taste, and incites him to lean his head around the corner, announcing his presence with prophetic enthusiasm.
“You are lucky to have friends to talk about these things,” he proclaims as our group departs from a debate over the evolution of human hair distribution, length of carbon formation, and ponderability of Asimovian principles.
Agreed, this is a dreamland for a scholar in love.
Is this not a dream?
Ask me to describe the enveloping softness of island water, the invigorating smell of cedar forest, or the startling majesty of a slow-blinking owl. Remind me the excitement of departures with my gaze fixed forward for the next gate and the next door and the next face, creating bedtime stories from the moment I awake. My dreams are the catalysts of my actions, so my actions can feed my dreams.
Did you know that dreams hit plateaus?
I found myself at the most recent departure with my gaze fixed backward at the last gate and the last door and the last face, a recourse of the tunnel path that ignited my visual field neon red. I caught fire. I nestled in a heap of ashes, its furrows outlining the wonderful way a particular face wrinkled into a smile each time it caught me wrinkling mine.
How do you keep dreaming?
In the moment of waking, when a face frighteningly dear slips out of view, an instantaneous decategorization of colossal scale takes place. I am either ready to act or ready to feed. In the haze toward the next plateau, an immeasurable distance away, I listen to the whizzing neon. It was not love that struck me down. It was the barriers to love, constraints and misconceptions, embedded deeply enough that to be rid of them required a thorough sloughing of scorched skin.
The most promising part, the most painful part, is the regrowth of nerve tissue, retracing navigational sensors prick-by-eye-reeling-prick, better adapted for the next dream passage. Nobody leaves a dream unscathed. The alternative, to remain in a single dream, would mean to settle on a plateau.
Pain is assured. Take a risk and take someone's hand. Keep going.
Why do you still want to dream?
There are enough stories about pain written with sadness, the culprits identical to those responsible for the neon separating our collective presence from our potential. No need to look far for distraction and evidence. Look at a light source. When was the last time you looked up at the sky for direction? This is how pain is assured in the struggle to distinguish what sporadically wipes our sensors clean from what can stifle us in our entirety.
In dreaming, I write pain without sadness. Although pain is assured, so is strength, so is hope, and so is love. I choose to write my pain with love.