Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What We Shall See

I feel it now. Take it in. The slightest thing might cause it to disappear. Please, this time, let it linger. Let me take it inside. Give me a moment to turn all of my attention onto it. There's nothing more important. How long did it take me to learn that lesson? Allow me to measure every aspect of it so that I might remember it more clearly later. So that I can recall some tiny, pale version of the real thing. It's been too long. Let me stay here and bask in it, for old time's sake.

The feeling is unexpected, surprising always. It moves through me like a ghost. Most of the time, it moves on, but this time, this time, let it stay a bit longer.

Part of it must be carried on the rare shade of sunlight that only appears at odd instances. I can't be the only one that looks for this. But no one speaks of it, possibly for fear of losing the privilege of experiencing it. We wait, without knowing for what, and then when the moment comes, it's all obvious. Fleeting, but obvious, for that one moment. It seems longer but it's not. Most people won't talk about it. They barely want to believe it happens at all, I think. Maybe there are those who never feel that feeling. That tingle, that sense of pleasant displacement. Like you've walked into the wrong room by accident and seen something, wonderful, something forbidden, something not for your eyes. You want to stay, to be invited in, to be accepted, but your mind turns away, defeated.

I wait for it to happen again, in the back of my mind, I wait, hoping to catch it once more. I'm always on the lookout. More than a view, more than a memory. More like actually being there for that moment.

I worry, maybe this time was the last time for me. I may be left with only the sweet memory of the feeling, A memory of a memory. A beloved song, lost, one note at a time. A picture that begins to slowly fade as soon as it is completed. Like a poster in the sunlight, the colors, once alive and vibrating with excitement, slowly shifting to grayscale, the outlines becoming less defined, the background gradually taking on the dull yellow hue that underlies the rest of a moment-less life.

Think back, when was the last time I really remember the feeling, the sublime alignment of all my senses. Not counting the flashes, it would be--what? I think maybe, when I was four years old. I was standing on the grass, in the empty yard next to our house, alone. Facing south, facing the sun, eyes closed, the color was blood red-orange, the heat of a distant fusion engine on my face. A sun that shone only for me, I was perfectly still. Life moving all around me, but I'm alone, un-moving. Perfectly still. A breeze washing a thousand variant temperatures past me with each tick of the cosmic second-hand. Each small packet of air carrying its own aromas-- dirt, concrete, the green and brown grass, asphalt, damp laundry hanging on the taut clothes line, snapping in the breeze. Each smell made more vibrant and intense by the heat of the sun. Each smell, an important and irreplaceable part of the world. My world.

I remember it now. How could I ever forget that feeling and yet I did. I forgot it for years, decades. It was pushed out of my mind, taken from me. At first, crowded out of the center and later violently shoved into some corner by all the things I "learned" were more important. I forgot that wonderful feeling, the feeling of belonging where I stood. I was four years old and I owned that little piece of universe on which I stood. It was mine and on it, I was connected to everything else. I was four years old and there was no division between my mind and everything else.

After that, I began to catalog all the places I didn't belong. Everywhere else there was danger and the danger made me afraid. I learned to carry that fear with me, barely hidden. That's how you do it. You build walls and hide within, but even within my little redoubt, I doubted. I became afraid, and you can't own anything but your fear when you're afraid.

So let me stay in this pleasant light a little longer, remembering when I had no fear. Let me feel that old sun, my old sun on my face and move that air through my senses one more time. I promise to take better care of the memory this time. I'll lock it away inside and only take it out when I need it. It is so very precious to me.

Here's a thought. Perhaps it's a glimpse of what I will see when I go back to where I came from, when I die. I could live with that, very comfortably.

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