Friday, September 28, 2012

White Dream

When I was a child, I had a lot of strange experiences that were mostly experiences of light; I never spoke about them, I think not so much because they were private but because I didn't know how to speak of them. It's also possible that I might have tried to once, I do vaguely remember something like that; but when I did try to talk about these experiences, there was no one interested in it, or no one who wouldn't simply laugh it off. I had many occasions to learn to keep my thoughts to myself.

This photo makes me think of a particularly treasured one: I would go to bed -- usually I would read for a while. If I didn't have a book I wanted to read, I might just start with a word in the dictionary, read its definition and derivations, and use that to link to a new word, and I would just keeping doing that, flipping through the dictionary, until the mystery of language lulled me to sleepiness.

Then I would lie still on my back, and in the very empty moment between awake and asleep, when my consciousness could seemingly leak through my skin, suddenly my tongue would feel very soft and large in my mouth, and there was a clean, not-quite-sweet taste sensation, and the vision my eyes had behind my lids, unlike the usually flickering darkness while truly awake, would be expansive, bright and white. I clung to that experience and looked forward to it. I called it my White Dream.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how beautiful Ravenna. I love reading of you going through the dictionary, then that moment, so surprising and unique.

    Something very different, yet akin in a strange way, is the white blindness Jose Saramago writes about in his great novel "Blindness".


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