Friday, 23 September 2016

The Garden of Unreality – 12. The Dream

I was floating in a world of green. It seemed to last for an eternity. Almost imperceptibly, I was beginning to rise very, very slowly and, gradually, faster and faster in the direction of light. I was a dolphin. I leapt free from the surface of an ocean and played with other dolphins in waves which broke on a silvery shore.
From the woods behind the beach a woman came. She crossed the strip of sand, disrobed and swam toward me. For hours we played together and when the sun set I escorted her back to the shore. At the boundary of land and sea she spread out her garment of iridescent cloth and draped it on my head, covering both my eyes. She then embraced me. I felt a strange urge to stand upright and when she pulled away the cloth, I was standing beside her. I had become a roe and as a roe I followed her into the woods.

In the woods we were living for ages and I felt happy. I grazed with the herd but was always following her and when she slept it was me who watched over her. Less and less like a woman she looked and more and more like a girl. In the end, she was only a child. This made her uneasy and she started to roam farther and farther afield. At first, the whole herd was following, but ever more of them went astray and, finally, there were only the two of us left together.

One day, we heard a far-off voice calling, “Li’l sister, li’l sister, where are you?” and, at once, she ran off, with me following behind. Sometimes close, sometimes from afar, the call was repeated and, at last, we burst into an open space where sunlight playing upon a lake had conjured up the shimmering arc of a rainbow.

By the lake’s edge was a boy walking away from us. Once she saw him she called: “Li’l brother, don’t leave me. Please, stay!” and as he turned around she ran for him.
On reaching him they embraced and remained still for a long time, hugging each other and crying. I had followed her, hesitantly, to the lakefront and there I stood and watched.
Now they were talking and hugging again and after a long while they joined hands and went up a slope covered with flowers to a ruin which rose from shrubs not far off. In its centre gaped a dark gate with steps leading down to what might be a tomb or an entrance to the underworld. They went in, hand in hand, and once they had stepped out of sight the front vanished before my eyes and the gate with it.

For a long time I stood at the edge of the lake mournfully staring into the water. Then, on impulse, I began to move forward over the gently sloping bottom until the surface closed over my head. Slowly, I was sinking deeper and deeper. It seemed to last for an eternity and, eventually, I was floating in a world of green.

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