I say goodbye to Keith and drive through the Lower East Side up to West 20th. There’s a space open in front of the precinct station. It feels solid parking in one of the safest places in town. I like looking out the window to view the Mustang down here.
Miguel is on the sidewalk. He sees me coming, takes a final drag on his cigarette, gets up from a milk crate, and pushes open the barred door to the old freight elevator. He knows that’s the one I prefer. When I first started renting this place, he seemed disappointed I wouldn’t let him take me up in the newly renovated lift. At this point though, he just helps me with my bags and bids me a pleasant, “Adios.”
In the loft, reviewing the strange events of the day, I am both burdened and inspired. A deep transformation is taking over my life. It is moving me with insistent force toward a fuller, more completely realized version of myself. And as unsettling as it is, I feel no shred of fear. Fatigued and tired to the bone, I rest.
Naked now, between sheets, I await my descent into the world of dreaming. The enfolding layers of linen feel like soft echoes of the smooth boulders that surrounded us within the hillside cave.
Behind my eyelids, sight continues. Pulsations of entoptic vision fill my eyes with the regularity of ocean waves. I see phosphenes, staccato flashes, random spots of gold, and networked streaks of shiny blue and green. I catch a glimpse of shape-shifting colors. They move like protozoan forms of inner life.
There are spaces between the shapes. I make a conscious effort to send my imagination out to explore this evolving mindscape. Pear-green tubes sprout prickly spikes and take root in the emergent chaos. Finely detailed rosettes form from blood-red spheres. Plumes of ink-purple feathering out through watery mist emerge as nocturnal cactus flowers. I drift toward an incandescent horizon.
These events bring awareness of an approaching dream just as surely as quickly darkening cumulonimbus presage a thunderstorm. This knowledge gives me a moment to prepare. So as not to be caught unaware in the impending whirlwind, I clear a place in my thoughts to observe in a more detached manner.
I sense the pace quickening during the formation of this spontaneous vision. Calmed, I am able to see things from both inside and outside of myself. I see the scenes shift. Optical passageways illuminate the dark mind space within me. An onrush of cool air from my lungs and hot heart blood collide in emotional arcs. Drumbeat rhythms pulse through my chest. I am a ghost, passionate and alive in a chamber of flesh and mind.
I feel my spirit issue forth into the cavernous reaches of curved space and cosmic time. My awareness of dreaming merges with sensations of living and dying. I bridge the endless connectedness of inner and outer worlds. Each void is a threshold, each crypt a womb. I see the searing suns of Andromeda collapse into a vortex of interstellar emptiness and in the same instant new universes emerge from points of utter formlessness.
I am naked, as I have always been – within layers of soft tissue, smooth stones, rough boulders. All the places I inhabit – each wall, floor, vault, and every chambered space is filled with images, fraught with signs…
(to be continued…)
Image: “Naked. Inside.,” Digitized image (Milky Way Galaxy and unititled painting by Tullio DeSantis), 2009.