by Angeliska on April 29, 2014
I’ve been saying it over and over for the past few weeks now: I feel like I’ve woken up from a strange dream. Or more, it’s like waking up from a dream within a dream within a dream – never feeling quite sure if you’re really awake this time for certain. Coming back to myself has required a slow journey inward, a reeling in of all my webs, my loose threads, tying knots in some, severing others. Cycles of neglect spawn forgotten rooms, like those ones I still dream about sometimes: a dim place long unvisited, coated with thick swags of velvety dust. In order to nurture these corners long forgotten, others fall by the wayside: including and especially this one. So I brush it off, attempt to sidle my way back in and put things back in order. This is where I’m at. Simultaneously, there’s been a spring: a glorious, long chilly spring unlike anything we’ve seen down in these parts for quite awhile. Ever since gaining a garden, this has become my favorite season – spurning autumn’s fires for pale shoots and tender budding. Though for at least the third year in a row, I’ve found myself gripped by a strange malaise, an ennui of sorts that makes it difficult to want to do anything much at all. I’m slow to wake up, in the mornings – slow to rise out of my cave from a long hibernation. I guess that’s it. I am trying, though – forcing the chrysalis, squeezing the bud in efforts to get the green sap to rise and get flowing again. Uncharacteristically, I’ve not been much in a reading mood of late, which feels very strange indeed – though I did finally read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and loved it very much. In lieu of explaining anything more, I’ve chosen passages (in italics) from her marvelous novella, which seem to to a far better job of illustrating my current state. A strange brooding amidst a riot of lavender blossoms, a heart by turns hopeful and heavy, a turning, a lovely limen.
“She went and stood at an open window and looked out upon the deep tangle of the garden below. All the mystery and witchery of the night seemed to have gathered there amid the perfumes and the dusky and torturous outlines of flowers and foliage. She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods.”
Wisteria makes me very giddy! Also, I’ve decided that since I’m such a grown up person now, that I ought really wear more things made of silk. And so, this vintage Chinese butterfly dress, which also makes me a little giddy…
“There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why — when it did not seem worthwhile to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.”
“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
“But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.
The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”
So many miracles great & small are occurring lately… Today I found the first ring I ever made, lost years ago! Chrysoprase with silver kitty heads. It was laying in the dirt, perhaps formerly obscured by a rain barrel. I had just assumed it was lost forever.
“Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive power to the mad pace. They are fortunate beings. They do not need to apprehend the significance of things. They do not grow weary nor miss step, nor do they fall out of rank and sink by the wayside to be left contemplating the moving procession.
Ah! that moving procession that has left me by the road-side! Its fantastic colors are more brilliant and beautiful than the sun on the undulating waters. What matter if souls and bodies are failing beneath the feet of the ever-pressing multitude! It moves with the majestic rhythm of the spheres. Its discordant clashes sweep upward in one harmonious tone that blends with the music of other worlds — to complete God’s orchestra.
It is greater than the stars — that moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon. Oh! I could weep at being left by the wayside; left with the grass and the clouds and a few dumb animals. True, I feel at home in the society of these symbols of life’s immutability. In the procession I should feel the crushing feet, the clashing discords, the ruthless hands and stifling breath. I could not hear the rhythm of the march.
Salve! ye dumb hearts. Let us be still and wait by the roadside.”
“Even as a child she had lived her own small life within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life – that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.”
“She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.”
“Who can tell what metals the gods use in forging the subtle bond which we call sympathy, which we might as well call love.”
“…a tangle of sea smell and of weeds and damp, new-plowed earth, mingled with the heavy perfumes of white blossoms somewhere near, but the night sat lightly upon the sea and the land. There was no weight of darkness, there were no shadows. The white light of the moon had fallen upon the world like the mystery and the softness of sleep.”