The last thing I see before I close my wrecked eyes is a flame dancing in the crosscurrents of my room, and then nothing. A tired hand seems to slowly pull my eyelids down. The wick glows like dying embers in a campfire forgotten, illuminating my figure sitting cross-legged on the ground, and slowly it fades. The flame is converted into a sea of black that sets my soul free. Zero replaces my every thought; firing synapses morph into void beyond all voids. I am looking into infinity: a black passage that goes on as far as the eye can see. Entering a meditative state is like pressing the reset button on a gaming console. I'm on level three- not quite a boss, but getting closer. I've had enough excitement for one day so I press the button down until that smooth gray rectangle stops. I can feel an itch in the back of my mind, urging me to let it go and continue with the game, but I resist, forcing the thought to dwindle to nothing.
A tick, gears of a machine grind to a stop. Cogs of a contraption that ran for ages finally experience some rest.
I'm in a forest. Haggard and twisted hardwoods twine their branches around each other. The shimmering star above casts down gaunt streaks of light. Wisps of silver moss hang down from the limbs, flowing to and fro in the wind, streaks of milk in water. The blades of grass beneath my naked feet are soft to the touch yet the color of scorched earth like knitted blankets, shades of yellow and orange. I notice as I walk my feet seem to sink into the ground, yet it leaves no trace on my skin. My meandering takes me on handful of heterogeneous paths, all trodden from thousands of feet making their way down and back the grooves in the earth. Time passes slowly as I walk from one road to the next, never knowing where I'll end up. I attempt to look at my watch on my wrist, but my gaze cannot turn away from the beautiful scenery long enough to glance the time. Random ambulations bring me to a circular clearing. In the center of this expanse is a small stone well with bantam tufts of grass grown around the base and vibrant jade moss trailing down the sides. I look downwards into the circular opening and I see an obsidian liquid along with my bust staring back at me. I feel by my feet to find something to drop in and my hand touches a smooth pebble, appearing to be worn down by years and years in a turbulent sea. I steady my elbows on the sides of the well and drop the pebble in, waiting only a second to hear its response. I'm fixated with my reflection now distorted by the waves in the pool. My face and shoulders roll up and down with the man made tide. Eventually I pull my gaze away from my distorted figure and notice a small wooden ladle on the opposite side of the well. Reaching over to it I dip it under the water and pull it up to my lips. The water is cold, yet the atmosphere around me the opposite. My mouth opens just wide enough to let some of the liquid drizzle in. It flows through my teeth, slipping over my tongue and finally makes it's way to my throat. I imagine this is what drinking menthol is like for I feel its freezing chill slink down my throat little by little until it finally reaches my stomach and mixes with bile. I set the ladle back down on the rim, and some water flows out of it onto the dry yet cool rocks.
My body does a 180, slowly dragging my head along with it as I stare at the statuesque trees and orange grass. I become intrigued by a large pine, towering above the rest like a skyscraper above a house. Some moss falls off the tree and floats in the breeze until it finally disintegrates into a thousand feathers that drift towards the ground. At the base of the trunk there's a little spot cleared out for sitting. The grass has been moved away and there's nothing there except for brown dirt that's been patted down from many previous seats that have been taken. I slowly make my way over to this spot, and begin to sit down. My back finds its way to the trunk of the tree which aids in sitting. I feel refreshed, relieved, safe. The ground is cool against my figure; the tree's bark is pressed into my back, but it doesn't inflict any pain or discomfort. It holds me, like a mother and her newborn, wrapped in blankets and clutched tight to a bosom. I let my eyes wander and soon they come to rest upon a bright star in the sky. I look into the sun, and am enveloped in white.
| Reset |
I take my finger off the reset button, allowing myself to return to reality. My eyes slowly open and are greeted by the dancing light of my candle. I feel a sense of lightness, like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. A part of me longs to be back there, in that enchanted forest, touching, feeling, tasting. I pick up my mug that used to be full of tea and I finish off the small drop that was still sliding around the bottom. Placing the cup down on my dresser, I crawl into bed. The cumulative cold of the covers shock my tired feet as they slide in. The candle still burns as I let my head fall back to hit my pillow. As I fall time seems to be in slow motion. I watch as all the figures around me, illuminated by the small flame, streak by, blurred by the apparent time rift. After falling for what seems like forever, my head finally lands softly on its destination. I sink back into it and it embraces my weary crown. Just before I close my eyes, in the far corner of my peripheral vision I notice something in the air. I turn to look at it and there floats a feather from my pillow, now slowly making its way to the orange and red carpet.