The International Writers Magazine:Dreamscapes: Passing through
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
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
Dreamscapes Stories from
across the globe
all rights reserved