You

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I bitterly regret disturbing you but rejoice too. I have often been where you are, that place. The silence behind all music, stillness in the dance. Nothing is there and you don’t even need a mind for there is no time. No time to think, nothing. Perfect.

We all yearn for that place even when we forget it exists. When alive we go often into the black velvet of sleep which is half way there. It’s just enough to make living bearable … even possible. Of course we don’t remember that sort of sleep. You can’t remember nothing and no time.

Anyway, thank you. I called you because I am on a journey and cannot finish it alone. Feel no guilt or take one fragment of responsibility. I needed someone and chose by random means. The cause of your awakening, this disturbance, was me not you.

I don’t know how much you want to be alive, to hear, to see, to believe in time passing. If you’ll be my companion I’ll wake you truly when we reach the point at which I can go no further without you. Maybe you’ll come just half way to me. Yes, around half way. This is a dream. I am a poet, a songwriter, a bard and wrote lines about that velvet place:

The hardness of a wall

The movement of a tree

The sound that turns your head

Do not perceive but be

Yes, this is dreamland; a map so fluid you come upon the same place time and again. You have to – to reach your goal. This is a world where effect is the cause, time and space subject to your will. Of course, sometimes tragically, your will is not under conscious control.

Whatever you find there is true

a reflection, recollection

an echo of you

The area I’m taking you to is, in the main, gently undulating ground, grassy, rising towards a hazy distance. I’m not sure how much you want to see but the sky is vivid blue. The track is yellowy-brown, dusty, hard and uneven.

Oh … I wasn’t expecting to come upon this nightmare. It’s not important at the moment but bleak and overbearing always. The huge rectangular building three stories high lies within a band of lawn surrounded by threatening dark pines hoarding fugitive shadows. A Victorian building: lofty ceilings and windows. Dark, oppressive. Somewhere in there are things from my past. My things. I’ve never returned to fetch them. It’s a loss but the people there repel me. People who can snare with words and looks and attitudes like pirates’ grappling hooks. Irresistible irons heavy and unbending. The people are not evil but the institution has possessed and pervaded them. They think in the narrow gloomy corridors of the building in their minds. Not a dark satanic mill as such but duller, deader and infinitely more numbing.

We’ll pass by this area though not without the tortured wrench of leaving parts of myself still trapped; still overwhelmed and cowed, valueless to anyone but never to be released without painful and tedious process.

Ah, now the track leads back into sunlight and open skies. We’re a hundred leagues away in just a few steps. There’s a building to our left, a terrace of warm-coloured stone. I’ve never seen anyone there or at the windows. The arches with cobbled paths between dwellings and the streams straightened by stone sides – they draw the eye because the streams and paths cannot be in the same place together but they are. I adore this.

We won’t stop here: I never do. It’s the sense of wonder and mystery, the simple complex beauty I love. Staying there and working it out would rob me of all that.

The track rises steeply now, leading to my goal. There are so many dreams I’d like to show you but I have little control over things to be where I expect them and no reason to keep you too long. Some are not so becoming. Fear written in blood-splashed walls, the road of lions who talk but I cannot trust, the cross-shaped building oozing threat and secrecy.

This part of the track, still bordered by lush emerald grass, is a place bards come for lyrics. Lyrics which whisper past us like ideas waiting for someone to take them. Separate lines but some seem to be related, taunting me with an elusive profundity beyond my grasp. So like things which enchanted me as a child still too young to comprehend. Listen to a few and see what I mean:

The noblest families raised by the cruellest swords

I can’t remember his face

Slay them all: God will know his own

My heart burned in your grasp

The man behind the gun is not having fun

I knocked on your door, empty echoes of you

So much I could have done

You nearly said it

Bitter aching lines. It doesn’t pay to stay too long. Pure, bright and often savage but always needing poets and playwrights, the music of yearning or a subtle brush. They carry burdens of grief and want art danced around their solitary selves.

Somewhere there could be a place where happy lines collect but I haven’t found it yet. Maybe they’re not for me.

Come, run, run. We are very close now. Steep, so steep but there is no effort here.

This is it. Now awaken with senses alert. Those unreal hills, still covered in grass but almost vertical, reaching higher than birds. Look up and feel dizzy.

That is where I wish, desperately wish, to go. But I cannot ascend. Three times have I tried. In each attempt I’ve learned more about these mountains, little clues, hints. I cannot get closer than their lower slopes.

They have something special in store for me – you.

I’ve come to understand these mountains want someone else to climb them and return to tell me the story of the journey. So this is where I must stop. It is you who climbs and I will live it another way.

Dream them, create those parts I can’t see. Bring back the story in any form of art.

Pull me into it and then I can climb them through you.

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©Gary Bonn, 2018

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