Wednesday, September 28, 2005


It began several years ago, years that I fear to count for chance of disturbing the distance lying between then and now. I stood at a street corner waiting for the light to change, turned my eyes upward to glance at a face in a window high above, when everything around me began to waver and collapse, as if the entire reality were painted on cellophane rippling violently in a forceful gale. It was terrifying , and I closed my eyes tightly, but I wondered also how it had been done. When I dared to look again, reality was as it had always been. I took the episode as an imploring omen to leave behind my job and home and move into a monastery, which I did. But that did not settle matters. Reality wavered there, too. The monks of the order told me this was a problem of transition to be solved by fervent meditation. As a novice to the ways of spirituality I had not yet conquered the reflex of looking back.

Story #287

18 comments:

Tom & Icy said...

Memories are made of cellophane.

one said...

It's best to stand in the middle of the space and get caught between the folds.

The Mushroom said...

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

-- Stealer's Wheel

That's the problem with looking back: the view never really changes. Due to angle there might be some refraction, but everything you saw before is still there. Somehow we think it should.

The Mushroom said...

...change, that is.

weirsdo said...

Interesting, poetic one. In Rushdie's THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET a similar problem occurs.

AP3 said...

Well done!

ariel said...

aren't things a lot more interesting when they appear as reflection on the surface of another thing? they somehow get a meaning even if they were not so meaningful before. it is true not only about buidlings...

The Mushroom said...

Oh, and if you see Lot's wife nearby, rub your margarita glass on her back.

GPV said...

As my feet drew a trail on the sand,dune after dune,endlessly going up and sliding down,my soles were acking and my mouth dried by the heat was begging for moisture.
I was on the point of giving up and let myself fall on that sea of burning sand,just about swaying before going down for eternity when I heard something,I don't know what,maybe laughter or a short
call in the distance ahead.
Senses came to alert and strength seemed to surge anew,I climbed that last dune eagerly and lo! There was that oriental palace or castle(hard to remember) and there
was a door I ran to,I knocked and I knocked,my voice was gone and I fell on my knees hands on that door
and fell on my face as the door opened.
I suppose I was carried,I was in a sort of a patio,small court with a water bassin surrendered by columns supporting buildings above a covered alley,near the bassin grew a small lemon tree,people were
talking around me but I couldn't understand what was been said.I was desperatly thirsty but not a sound could come out of my throat,so I pointed to the bassin but they didn't seem to understand my need for water,I tried to turn over and get on my feet and..fell out of bed ,my throat was still dry and I thought it was due to the air-condition and I walked barefoot to the ice-box to get a drink of cold water.

wala said...

This same vision
i saw in my tea.
Peppermint and
Earl Grey gazing
at me. I shouldve
stuck to coffee.
Maybe then, the
buildings wouldnt
be melting on me.
Or drank a beer
direct from the
tap to induce wavy
eyesight and take
a long nap.

Doug said...

Ariel, you sound like a photographer. Indie, you sound like Ambrose Bierce. A lot of his short stories feature similar moments.

Jamie Dawn said...

Monastaries have never been appealing to me.
I'm not a fan of vows of silence.

Indeterminacy said...

Tom&Icy: May your roll of cellophane never run out.

G.D.: I can vaguely remember the drills we had in school where we had to get down under our desk.

Mushroom: Maybe 3-d glasses would help.

Weirsdo: I never read Rushdie, despite all the controversy. I've always heard his works boring.

Ap3: Thank you.

Ariel: I guess reflections always have been fascinating. And most of all the reflection in someone's eyes.

GPV: Your style is just amazing. I can't get over how immediate and real your narratives come across. Thanks for taking the time to write all this!

Monster Spank: Thanks for the poem. I usually alternate between Earl Gray and coffee. Great poem.

Doug: You're the Ambrose Bierce here, not me.

Jamie: I've never been to a monastery so I couldn't say. But I never liked to talk much anyway, so I'd probably like it. If there were nuns. ;-)

Everyone: I'm really sorry. I had no time yesterday to write anything, and today has been too hectic to get anything reasonable together. Will it be really bad if I skip today?

dddragon said...

The next time reality wavered, I took a deep breath and stepped forward, coming closer to the undulating wall before me. I could not go on like this, afraid that every heat wave could turn into a larger disturbance. Clenching my teeth, I got even closer to the wall. Instead of merely testing with my fingers, I boldly stepped forward, not knowing whether or not I would merely bang my nose or if I would find myself in a new world.

A Little Bar of Soap said...

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Where is Jesus in this story?

weirsdo said...

No. we'll be back, of course.
I haven't read SHAME. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN is definitely not boring, though I was disappointed in the ending. THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET I actually didn't care for that much at all, but the similar image of reality disintegrating like a tape, and this all having to do with time just struck me.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

It 's fine, that way I might keep up.

Indeterminacy said...

Dddragon: I think he will bang his nose. That's probably how I would have wrote it, if I had tried to continue.

Little Bar: The way to spirituality is in the mind of the person involved. It cannot come from outside. It must come from within. That is why I left questions such as you posed to the read.

Weirsdo: Something wiersdoish happened and a story got posted after all. I don't understand how this happened. I will set my opinion on Rushdie back to potentially-interesting and perhaps read one of his works.

Alice: Where were you when I was single?