My Hidden Lives // Prose

23. a long forgotten dream

the end of consciousness

the end of consciousness

A Dream

 

I dreamed I had a house right above the sea.

To fall asleep every night with the sound of waves crashing against adamant rocks, and to wake each day with the same faithful murmur somewhere in the background of half conscious thoughts – to have with oneself, always, a constant reminder of the passage of time, to see time seep through the hourglass in the likes of each wave, which in itself contains one moment of one’s life, but also keeps the transition slow and steady, keeps it soft – so you can take your time to breathe and close your eyes, so you can take the time you need to live each second and each moment fully – time comes across so harmless and pain-free at the shore because it is never unfamiliar, but always carried by the waves. Such was my life by the sea.

In the dream, the sky is almost pitch black even though it is barely noon. Storm clouds gather around my balcony where I sit and observe the merciless tide with a solemn face. It is the same tide it has always been, the same water and the same salt, the exact replica of an ancient tradition nature has nurtured through millennia of its immortality. A tide described in many languages, used now or used in times we have all but forgotten, a solid cycle nothing can break. The view from my chair is dotted with bits of land, islands, looking almost fearful in the face of the storm. It seems as though they are about to pull their roots out of the sea and flea to take shelter and be reunited with the continent. Islands have an air of humans in the nervous expectation of a tragedy – they fear to be alone.

There is but one passage between these scattered masses of stone, and it is looking through this very patch of emptiness that my peace is finally restored. It is where I converse with the ocean, the absolute. Islands can grant me no wisdom, for there is a familiarity between us I do not want to perceive. It is an innate loneliness we know too well, these abandoned pilgrims and I. The ocean is different. It bears its solitude more elegantly, like an old maid who never wished to be a wife. The rogue water speaks decidedly of distant shores, but never with the melancholy etched in the voices of men. The water leaves and does not need to return, it is a passenger who needs no destination. The water has taught me to love simplicity and being, rather than becoming.

When I turn my eyes to the left and contemplate the land before me, I can only ever see weakness. I know there are hills there, and fields, and mountains twice as large, colossal and at times even frightening, but they cannot all be seen at once, they cannot be acknowledged as a whole. The ocean is eternal and endless in its equality, in its rhythmical comings and goings, in its unchanged forgetfulness of what was and is. It becomes new with every wave in every moment, yet still retains the same substance it has had since the beginning of what we now call time.

I wish, then, I could be as brave and as beautiful as the water, to live and live time again, one moment into another passing with the same resolve, the same certainty I had since I was a child and was sure that white was white and black was black, and there was no one to tell me otherwise, or make me doubt the simplicity of perception. To forget and to come to know, to live a day at a time and not be able to look back, to turn back, to stop the flow of consciousness. Such would be a life I would not be sorry to spend in a dream. Such would be a life where I would need no companion and would finally be able to follow the current down, like a river, into eternity.

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