Saturday, August 29, 2009

Birth Dream

A dozen people, me included, in an airport, were separated and herded into a holding room. We wondered what was going on; it was a motley mix, no pattern among us discernible. A door at the other corner of the room opened and we were confronted by a tall, naked person of a golden color, definitely Other, who held aloft a glowing wand. He waved us forward and no one moved, but then there were others like him among us, herding us again.

As each person passed through the doorway, the wand was waved over and around the person’s head a few times, then the person was pushed through. As a big, boisterous woman ducked through, she smiled and swung around to lower her head for more. “Oh, I can feel it,” she cried.

“What’s it doing?” we called.

“It’s shaving away our thoughts,” she said.

This terrified the rest of us, but we were forced through, as if we could not resist or were children too afraid to offer physical resistance.

As I passed through I felt nothing, and found myself shoved into another room pretty much the mirror of the first. We milled around, wondering what had just happened, feeling dazed, and once again, the door we’d entered through vanished and another door on the far end appeared, this time not open, but closed.

That was when we began noticing something horrible was happening to us. We were visibly getting younger, even as we watched. We aged backwards, and it was fast, as if each blink of the eye took off a decade or more. Soon we really were frightened children, and then I remember falling to the floor, a toddler unable to balance. My head bounced on the floor and I saw a baby in front of me, crying. I was bawling too, utterly abandoned, and bereft of anything but craving need, and then I saw the infant on the floor beside me deliquesce into protoplasmic jelly.

Even then, I felt my own body go, too.

After a blink of darkness I opened my eyes and I was again myself, but insubstantial, like a ghost. I saw others groaning and shaking heads, as if hung over. We each came to, pushing ourselves to our feet and staggering to collapse into chairs arranged as if on a bleachers, in rows one over the other. We sat gathering ourselves, no one talking.

Someone, a man I think, yelled, “I can’t stand this, I’m getting out of here,” and charged the door. It opened at his touch and he fell through, and we all gathered at it to see that it was gaping outer space out there. The cosmos, with stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and most of all a depth of nothingness.

A surge of emotions -- we can’t let him do that, we should join him, panic, desperation, despair, hope, even joy -- slammed through us and before I knew it I was deciding to join the others as one by one we leapt out of the room into space.

We free-fell, but could still breathe -- or did not need to -- and communicate -- perhaps mind-to-mind. We felt the need to stay together but also to get the hell away from out captors. As we fell away from the room we floated around and gazed back, seeing not only the doorway shining light at us, but a verdant green world of dense foliage, with minaret and breast-shaped domed structures with round windows, apparently our captors’ houses.

We shrieked denial and fear at this otherwise bucolic sight, and drifted around again, gazing at each other, and that was when a pair of us drifted close enough to touch. At once they combined, and the rest of us seemed drawn toward this new person.

Before I knew it I was joining with the others into one sexless golden being, very like our captors, and this one being maintained all our individual thoughts. We were able to converse freely, make suggestions, and discuss our plight. We experimented with this body, and found that we could drift faster if we thought about it. Then we found out how to take galaxy-spanning strides. All of our will focused on getting away from our captors.

When I asked where we might end up, everyone at once thought that we wanted to go back to Earth, to our lives. And as quick as thought we did it, seeing the blue globe approach in one glimpse, in the next standing on the ground.

And here we separated into our individual selves again, and each of us went to our distinct lives, only to find that we were as ghosts to them. We could not be seen or heard, not separately, and something drew us gradually back to becoming a single being again.

And this single being began its own life among people, lonely inside in too many ways to express but also alive on the outside, solid and real.

And then I woke up.

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