Softly, softly, her vision constricted, as if heavy velvet curtains were being drawn closed, slowly gathered about by an invisible drawstring. These curtains narrowed her vista so that she saw only the head of a single white carnation bobbing on the hot green pool. One bright point of light. Her heart lifted a notch, tickled the base of her throat and then it slipped forwards. After that, she was gone.
Long. Down. Floating. A perfect white carnation. What was that sulphurous roar?
She was floating, her body being carried, being transported upon a bier, up along a mountain path. Her body was light, yes. Her limbs were constructed from light. Yes! A billion luminous flames drifting further apart.
This was good.
She was expanding. The space within the glimmer was empty and silent. She spread out as large as the sky. And then swam away.
She was fanned now like a ghostly mist, high above the endless hills, the jagged peaks that she understood converged upon an axis, the loftiest point of the earth. She glowed down on them all, each peak separate and distinct, named, unique, and yet just another furrow, just another convulsion of earth, much like any other furrow, sharing the nature of all the other ripples that spread out, claimed space, and then grew softer, worn down, until they resembled the gentle folds in a rug, and were tamed, and then flattened.
Plains, then. Rolling away, like a huge tablecloth shaken out and then voluptuously laden with green fields and graceful sparkling rivers. Shall I play Mother? Banana plantations. Coconut trees. Mango orchards. Lemon groves. Jackfruit. Papaya. And cashew. A luxuriant feast of fertile land and cropping trees and bushes, black pepper, coffee, and rice, and endless market stalls. Picnics hemming great cities and, within these stone fortresses, the millions. The scuttling of those millions, hither and thither like ants set alight, miniscule scuttling insects and then, glory to God, the sea.
First, the frothy waves, child’s play, merry, dancing, distinct, and then, quickly, the vast and fathomless ocean, the undifferentiated salty mass that heaved and sprawled away infinitely, so much more colossal than all the plantations of food and all the gee-gaws of civilisation. Vast and deep and saturated with mysterious life. Almost too much to bear. The teeming! The contemplation!
And, beyond that boundlessness, further lands, different palettes, yellow skins, black skins, pink skins, more mountains, further rivers, plains, deserts, cities, forests, starlight, moonlight, sunlight. She was breaching the zenith. The climax beckoned.
A great cry of joy burbled up from her chest. It split her heart asunder. She tipped out into the void and, for a brief while, recalled the haunting chant of the spheres.
Thereafter was silence.
Aeons passed. Space was consumed. Breathed slowly inwards and then breathed back out. She reclined in the belly of time.
When she was born again, there was firm ground beneath her back. How unexpected! Some sort of matting, she figured. Something basic, that was woven and very precise. Her fingertips were exploring.
I will die.
She remembered her dream.
One day, all of this I feel, know and sense will disappear, because I will be swept from the face of the earth.
She hoped she would not forget. But such was the fate of most thoughts. ‘Ah well,’ she sighed. She quietly fingered the matting, and let her dream go. Such was the fate of a dream.