Thursday, July 5, 2012

Water in a Bowl

From the ongoing works, “Untitled, Love Stories”

“You might be my soul mate, but I’m looking for someone here on earth.” Her words remained motionless.  Even after the expressions began to fade, he recalled touching the water in the bowl, look at her while she spoke, his fingers brushing against the taut surface of the water, trembling. 

The glass sat hunched on the table. 

What was divine was the idea – the thought that entered him in the night and left him during the days, from his hands, the actualization of a piece of something he could not determine the origin but knew right then that he needed to find its form.  It was lost.  It was lost in time and in memory, the folded layers of it, prying into the present, hoping for creation, the process of finding what is lost, building it, and giving it a name, which is, in fact, just recreation.  Over and over.  Water in a bowl. 

Her words reached him in those startling moments earliest in the day.  It was then that he could put an image to her face again.  Her expressions escaped him, and startled that he had forgotten her so quickly, he searched for the allowances that forgetfulness gave him: a soft smile, a deep longing, a tear, “someone here on earth” (For the optimists, the greatest achievement has been to keep heaven beyond earth, to put it outside and away, so as to say, “This is not all of it.  Have hope.  Live with your head burrowed in the sand and your heart facing the skies.  Carry on.”  For the other type of optimist, it was the myth which tethered and chained the spirit to a rock that sank beneath the river of inaction, anxiety, and most dangerously of all, ambivalence.  To those others, they wanted to shout, “Be free!  There is nothing but chaos!”). 

He looked at the water in the bowl.  It was motionless.  He sighed on it and watched the surface tease, relax and then tremor again, looking up at the moon, then at the stars, then at the sun, and finally at the grey clouds which turned into night.  De profundis clamavi. 

That night he dreamed that he was falling through the ceiling of his room, and as the walls swallowed him, he grabbed onto the tapestries that clung to his windows, light things he hadn’t noticed before.  And as he grabbed onto them, the tapestries wrapped themselves around him, and he fell, slowly falling through the walls, while the tapestries began to dance on him, touching his hands, feet and neck, brushing his collapsed torso and sliding along his body (a rock fell in the pile of ashes, and as the rock hit the ash, the ash kicked up into a dance, rising.  The ash always rises; the rock always falls), until suddenly, as he was falling, her image rose above him entangled in the tapestries.  He clasped at her.

That morning, he woke with the feeling that suddenly, he had lost a thing infinitely loving, infinitely touching, and never once a thing he could call his own.