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The International Writers Magazine
:Dreamscapes: Passing through Space

Infinity and Beyond
David Tavernier
I had a dream last night that I lived inside an atom. All bundled up and cozy inside my little shell, I had little awareness that around me was a busy and contentious world, bouncing with other atoms. Drawn together ricocheting off each other, we swarm in a sea of colorless goo.

And then my body began losing its substance. It thinned, its particles separating, becoming like a fine mist of mercury. And I passed out of my atomic shell, to see the whizzing balls of white doing their dance. So many of them, uncountable and infinite, played in their microscopic game. Like Christmas ornaments painted white, but sturdy beyond comprehension, they scream at the speed of light toward each other. Over ten million times as fast as a car, their collisions are even elegant, without a hint of violence. The whole scene is like a gigantic three dimensional game of billiards, and all of the players stand out of view, shooting their cue balls with the force of a wayward planetoid.

And, unhappy as it makes me, my body drifts further away. Like a parched cloud, I move outward from the hurricane. The cloud of whizzing atoms condenses, becomes thicker and thicker, until, as I enlarge and drift away further and further, it becomes a piece of chalk lying on a blackboard in a fifth-grade classroom.
Ah. I think. My journey is finally at its end. But apparently not, because instead of staying within the classroom, I continue to enlarge, and I continue to drift further and further away. Where is my untold destination? I wonder. Trying to grab onto the interior of the roof, my hands slip through. They have no material. And then my head passes through, and neck, and my arms, and finally my kicking feet. I'm going to fly out into space. Where is this strange reverse-gravitational force pulling me? Why is my body inflating like a hot-air balloon?

No one can tell exactly where he is going in life. This is a fact. There are too many forces outside his influence. There are too many changes happening simultaneously for him to react in the proper way to force himself along in his desired direction. Grappling with that helplessness is a good part of life. Trying to fight gravity -- to reach the sky, the stars, the end of the universe -- is the most human of desires. And right now I battle it. Right now I struggle to stop myself from fleeing into the clouds.

Above the schoolroom, it recedes, until I see that it's a farmyard schoolhouse, with, outside, a little red play-structure. Fields border it all around for hundreds of yards, until a black country road passes by, and forks off into a spindly brown dirt thing that branches like a vein to its doorstep.

But there is another way of viewing things. I think to myself. You don't have to fight it. Letting my head lie back in the pillow of a cloud, I begin motioning my arms in a back-stroke. Away, away, into the sky, far from home...
And as the clouds pass me by, and the earth's atmosphere thins, turning from blue to black as the rays from the sun lose their polarization, I begin dreaming of the possibility for two wanderers to meet out in this void. How often do fated comets collide? I ask a passing asteroid. When will I meet Haley's comet? Can I ask to meet him? Does he have a doorstep and a doorbell to ring on? No. Haley's comet will pass me by, just as I pass by the floating red orb of mars.

The outer planets are approaching. Jupiter with its red gaseous eye. Saturn with its crystal ring. Pluto with his icy sheen so bright. Won't you ride my sleigh tonight? And then all the planetoids loved him. And they shouted out with glee. Pluto the frost-covered planetoid. You'll fall into the Caspian sea...
Hahaha. I laugh to myself. This is fun! Into the outer edges of the solar system I fall. Grains of interstellar dust graze my face, and I try to catch them in my hands. I wonder if mother would like a batch of interstellar sand when I get back?

The void is like the black pupil of an eye. It is unfathomable. It is open. You can fall into it. You can forget your existence looking into it. You can dream of it, but you cannot wake up from it. You are stuck inside it, whether on the face of a planet, or in the icy grip of outer space. You are stuck on your journey. You'll never go home. You're glued in one direction, without freedom to roam. You're stuck in the traction of an unknown force. Without your freedom of action, you accede of course, to the laws of entropy, drawing you outward to your maximal state. Like an earth-bound centipede, you've no idea of your fate. The stars keep rushing by, and the comets keep passing. The clouds of dust keep scouring your fragile clothing...
Galaxies. No more can be said about them than "Galaxies." Clusters of them spin together in a circling star-waltz. One two three, one two three, one two three, go! One two three, one two three, one two three, go! Stars, stars, back and forth! Round and round and round. They play like little children on the playground. They never stop their dance in the unfathomable pupil of the void. Stars, stars, round and round... they're making me dizzy...

At the highest of highs, the stars vibrate like incandescent lights from afar, some of them appearing to be fixed in place, others slowly crawling like starfish in a monochromatic sea. And at the highest of highs, they condense. Like a fine mist becoming a cloud, like a cloud of atoms becoming a book, like a book becoming a piece of a shelf, like a shelf becoming a shard of a library, like a library becoming a part of a block, like a block becoming part of a district, like a district melding into the scenery of a city, like a city absorbed under the satellite gaze of an orbiting camera lens...

Worlds within worlds within worlds, I touch the edge of the universe with my palm, and it passes through.
Outside of the universe, I see that it is just like an atom. White on the outside, like a surreal cue ball, screaming at the speed of light. Our universe is one of many, colliding in an elegant microscopic dance. Twisting my head to see where I go, I spot the light floating in from a classroom window...
I wake up, and look over across the room at a piece of chalk resting on the blackboard...
The game has started over again.
© David Tavernier December 2004

See also Ice Cream

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