“If eternal existence is altered, then it must become more beautiful; and if it disappears, it must return with more sublime image; and if it sleeps, it must dream of a better awakening, for it is ever greater upon its rebirth.”–Khalil Gibran
Life has been busy, a pell-mell dash through seasons as summer is now fall, and I have neglected my writing for over 2 months somehow. My full-time career asked much of me over the last few months, and a breakdown of leadership above me lead to some very stressful moments and tense situations. We overcame, but it was touch and go for a moment. On the positive, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write and design for something truly special, and to meet some wondrously creative folks. I only hope it’s something I can continue with as it’s a true passion for me. All the while, I’ve balanced the regular needs that go into motherhood of both human and furry children.
I’ve been a little blocked, too, to be honest. A little gun shy on writing, and feeling unworthy. But I’m finally determined to break that spell as my friend Edwin told me a few days ago: “if you’re a writer you’re never blocked, you just need to write through it”. So I suppose I have no more excuses, and better out than in. This dream came to me weeks ago and I have waffled on posting it, but for the spirit of writing, I present it, warts and all.
I walked down a long, dark, corridor, footsteps echoing. The décor was horrendously outdated, with wood paneling on the walls and dirty, beige carpet, well worn down the middle. A fluorescent light buzzed and blinked overhead, casting harsh light and dark shadow in epileptic pulses. The aroma of stale coffee was emanating from somewhere further on, burning my nose. As I carried on down the hallway, I came upon a door on my left, clad in the same ghastly wood paneling as the walls. A thud against the far side of the door immediately caught my curiosity, so without much thought, I grabbed the handle and opened it.
It is 1819, I am a man, and I am holding her tightly in my arms. The golden curls of her hair smell like jasmine, and I inhale deeply, as if I’ll never get another chance. She talks of India, of France, of Japan. I promise I’ll take her, that I’d follow her anywhere, even beyond death. She sighs as our embrace ends, and gives me a look with those pale blue eyes.
I am returned to the hallway now, the door shut tight in front of me. I tried the knob again but it is locked. Confused, I moved forward down the hall as another door, this time on the right, presented itself to me. I opened this one just as before, and stepped inside.
It is 1986 and I am a teenaged boy, sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s living room, hands fiddling with the thick, brown carpet. The news is on, looping a video of an explosion in the sky. I shake my head, stand up, grab my keys, and yell towards the kitchen that I’m going for a drive. The stereo is blaring so loud as I rocket down the road, far too fast. I’m not sure when the other car pulled in front of me, but in an instant I am moving in weird ways, and the windshield is breaking, and I hear screaming. Is it me who is screaming?
The hallway greeted me again as I struggled to catch my breath from the shock of the last room. I could already make out that another door waited for me just beyond. With reckless purpose, I went through.
It is 1534 and I am a young girl dressed in pale blue rags. I am holding tightly to my twin brother, his face smeared with dirt, his blond hair just as filthy. Other children are peeking out from the doorway of a ragged house as we stand together in the yard. There are 4 adults in front of us, the 2 more haggard of the group being our parents. They swap coins with the well-dressed men, and I am ripped from my brother’s arms.
Back in the hallway, I shook off the scene and jogged to the next door, and throwed it open eagerly.
It is 1992 and I am me, in Parc Monceau, Paris. My friends swing excitedly on the playground as I sit and watch them from afar, braiding together flowers and twigs. An elderly man approaches me and offers me a white rose, and as I reach to take it, I hear my grandfather call my name. I turn back and the man is gone.
The hallway greeted me once more, and even quicker now, I found the next door.
It is 1912 and I am a man in a dark room, lit merely by the dying embers of a fire. I toss her letters onto the fire one by one, flickers of light glowing bright for just a moment, only to perish again as the paper is consumed.
It is 2018 and I am me, in a dark forest on John’s Island. The moon is full and dazzling overhead as I run through the underbrush, my dress snagging on branches and twigs. I come to a stop just behind a tree and press my back against it, holding my breath. “Oh where is my red riding hood?” he asks. He catches me in the shadows and we fall to the ground laughing.
It is an unknown time and place, and I am a woman staring blankly into a mirror. I fight to catch my breath, panic coursing through me. I look directly into the mirror, find my own eyes staring back. “Courage, courage” she whispers in proper French, “Se réveiller!”
And so, I did.