So that was over, that motley-accrued moment, yes, had been over for some time now, and she had entered a different time, incomplete, a kind of singing on the dock, the dock where waves would lap against the weathered boards, where a gull may keen from far away; but it was not the sea, it was not even the river, this time, but instead a lake, a smallish lake, the kind that may once have lain hidden within the wood of a castle, though not too small, just the right size for moonlit dips; yet sadly, she reflected, there was no phosphorescence. She would not digress into phosphorescence, now, no, most certainly not; not think about the time the warm sea lapped around her, and she saw handfuls of green stars cast about in the galaxy of the water, she would now not remember that blue-green feeling upon her still-sleek body, perhaps still holding the sun within it, as the stars travelled over and across her arms, raising up the tiny, invisible hairs, bringing her to life. It had been a gorgeous place, she remembered not where; she had been with gorgeous people, she remembered not whom; but their hearts were full and their laughter rang out and blended with hers, echoed upon the waters of that day. She’d felt as warm cradled and safe as in a canoe, though she was immersed. Something to do with the sounds of the waves chattering friend-like with the small and polished stones, on the beach she’d left behind.
It was always in these darkest swaths of night, that this presence in the now of another day would come. (Was that true? Or was it perhaps some small friction of the future?) There where green on black could be created with the sweeping arcs of her hands through the water — there, she sees it again, suddenly now, but instead of water there are keys, small square keys with glowing greenish letters on them, everything black around her, soft, cocooning, and the only light from nowhere near, and then again, but this time without the sea, these magical greenish bits of stardust under her fingertips.
How was it she could not sleep, it was not because there was too much life to be lived, not anymore, no; though that was it at one time; there was too much life to be lived, back then, and so she could not sleep, but stayed impatiently awake till dawn, when life would start again; now, it was different. There was too much life to be lived, and she had lived it somehow incompletely; she had feasted upon thoughts for too long when something useful could have been done instead; some hand may have been held, some ring of stones placed just so. It was the act of creating that was important, nothing more, and always with the body touching the world.
A thought was nothing if it had remained a thought, and yet some thoughts were far better as nothing; the only thoughts worthwhile preserving were those created in a moment, then set immediately outwards upon the sea of that moment; and if the moment passed, any reality-brought thoughts were better off dropped overboard like stones, allowed to tumble gently, surely, irretrievably toward the sea floor, sometimes to roll a little with the current, certainly; but in any case to live their lives as cast away stones, eroded — gently and gradually — at the bottom of the sea.
Now she was brought to the memory of a bell, a musical chime in a tower above a ramparts; birds with great wingspans were flying there; one swivelled its head to look directly at her, it saw her admiration, it hovered in the circle of her admiration, in the wind against the sun; it had no message at all, the thoughts dropped away from it as fully as though it were in a wind-tunnel but suspended in time, and she stood finally free, for just that moment, in the circle of her admiration, as her hair floated outwards from her face; the bird gave her its freedom, thoughtless, weightless on the wind, creating nothing with its body, yet everything at once; the widest arc, the tips of feathers resting against the breast of the sky.
Notes/refs: The title is a quote from Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway [Edit: (p. 4), which I began reading this night when I could not sleep.]
Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎