Just Two Images
Walking over, across grass, the dirt, mud, our feet bang bang on the planks of the jetty; our hollow reverberation a tuned wood block. Two of us coming, casually to greet another: younger, bored with our contemplation and talk. Look, look can you see them? he says, pointing. I can’t at first but then I look more and wait and then I see a flash and a flash and a twist and then a fish. I see the black fish amongst the reeds only a hand from the surface. Their bodies sit still beside reeds, their mouths locking onto what they want and then their bodies twist and: dislodge. They sit still again and eat or chew slowly and then go again: Lock, twist, dislodge. The weeds or reeds waver in the breeze of the water and the blackfish gleam like stars. Some are smaller, some are bigger; faster, flashier. Twinkle, twinkle: the sky below us lights up, the trees hang towards us, our reflection adds coloured gloss to the surface. But we ignore ourselves. Wavering in the breeze we falter.
The colours are dull brown: kelp, for reeds; clear reflections, refractions for water; stringy wood for jetty, dark; grey, gloomy grey for sky; and grass green: your grass green for the grass. The colours combine moodily to heighten each of us, the grass, the trees, the breeze, and the day. Overcast. But not cold.
Above The Earth, Amongst the Stars
‘If you do not make yourself equal to God you can not understand Him. Like is understood by like. Grow to immeasurable size. Be free from every body, transcend all time. Become eternity and thus you will understand God. Suppose nothing to be impossible for yourself. Consider yourself immortal and able to understand everything: all arts, sciences and the nature of every living creature. Become higher than all heights and lower than all depths. Sense as one within yourself the entire creation: fire, water, the dry and the moist. Conceive yourself to be in all places at the same time: in earth, in the sea, in heaven; that you are not yet born, that you are within the womb, that you are young, old, dead; that you are beyond death. Conceive all things at once: times, places, actions, qualities and quantities; then you can understand god.’
The Corpus Hermeticum, Book 11. 20
Once, at night, I was standing outside gazing at the stars. The night was cool, but a breezy warmth caressed my body. There, as I stood on the night-tinged grass, I became aware of the immensity of the world around and above me. The stars, the space they exist in, is what I gulped. This is what I knew. Without warning, I felt my mind surge forth, up, into the everything, the eternity of the water-like nighttime sky! For a moment, I felt myself, or had the perception of myself zooming away from the earth. I felt the land beneath my feet drop away, I felt the night become colder or more immense or dense, like water does the deeper you go. Above the earth, my, and our home, I felt frightened that I was so high. I was scared that I would fall. I was terrified of the insignificance of not only me, but the earth I had just left. I was horrified. I felt my body cringe and falter as with real fear; as one does when they peer over the side of a huge cliff. What can this feeling be referred to as? It is not really fear. Perhaps, it is a giddiness. It is a craving to zoom over the edge and feel what it is like to be engulfed by the height and the flight that escapes all humans with only their fundamental body. I have felt this. But I did not zoom over the edge of anything. Perhaps understanding, but that is all. I think it was a clarity, a focus of the imagination, a depth, that caused me to feel what I felt. It was an experience I felt, if only because my mind envisioned it so deftly, expertly. I wish I could have this experience again. I have tried. But it does not happen. The pure essence and innocence of the process has been stolen from me. I know it is possible. Perhaps I could do it again if I could somehow remove myself from the memory of it. Or, perhaps, I just need to believe it can happen again…