the most beautiful thing: slipping reality
The veil is thin and the moment quick, too quick, stepping between concentrated reality and the movement underneath which is its own reality. Interpretation is an art. “It’s art, not journalism,” she said. And mid-fever I have taken it to heart more than I would have expected. There is an oscillating shadow at the door and as the sweat falls into my ear, I am sprung up, alerted to something here, certainly here, certainly. Real. I say “hello.” The angels hum silently and send direction from corners.
Just before my fever broke, there was an eery wind and an ominous silence and for a moment I thought I might lose my mind. It is not so hard to do, perhaps. It is a thin veil, after all, that separates us from the waking and dreaming, living and dying moments. I have talked to them that sit just on the other side of the fabric. I have talked to them and found little to discard. This night was no different. Some would say it was delirium, a fever-induced hallucination. I say it was a chance meeting that the heat in my veins arranged and they, knowing it would not hold water, inched closer than normal too, a brazen rag-tag bunch when our defenses are lowered.
And real or no, it does not matter. Because always we are treading softly on boundaries between worlds that offer a reminder from early youth: this reality is not nearly so solid and these imaginings are not nearly so false. They both slip from their holsters and we are blessed with the not really knowing, the beauty of fever, of exhaustion, of out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye, of dark corners and blinding sun spots. If nothing else, I am reminded to ask. What is real? What is not real, if anything is not? That, my friends, was the most beautiful thing about my time here in the land of meningitis. The beautiful remembering to question and the other-worldly moments of a slipping reality.
Painting: Study for the Dream Sequence in Spellbound 1945, Salvador Dali