Elevation — A Dream

Evicted.

Cast out.

Before she can retrieve anything from that once-home, sunlit room, they have picked, like vultures, through her few possessions. The veneer cracks — all kindness, gone. Angry, she shouts; anguished, she chastises, drives them off. But there is nothing left — collapsed and sagging cardboard boxes. Scuffed floors. The smell of dust.

Turning away, she walks unshod, out along the curving road’s edge, heedless of night and cold and snow. Cars pass infrequently. Predatory, lazy, sated, their headlights melt through darkness, veer toward her, then jerk away. Heart racing, she hides behind scrub and winter-knotted trees when they pass. Until, she realizes she has no need to walk this night-swallowed road…

…and lifts from the snow, abandoning her stumbling footstep’s impressions. Rising, now, three feet above the earth, four feet, she moves through the night, slides through frictionless air. In tight revolutions, she begins to spin along the axis of her spine. Arms outstretched, one leg drawn up and crooked against the other. Spinning, hovering, calmly progressing forward, away over snow-bound earth.

Below, a crush of people push through the snowscape, too exhausted, too single-minded in their march to pause, to glance about. Observing one among their numbers falter, she slows her spinning motion to alight in the snow. This one is gravely wounded, and, ignoring the fallen one’s protests, she presses hands to either side of, then lips to the injury. Beneath her touch, bruised and broken ribs knit, raw flesh heals. The once-injured individual leaps up, rushes to rejoin the marching throng.

Having landed — feet earthbound, spinning stilled — she steps away from the human river to enter a sandstone house, seats herself within a small chamber. Bead-curtained walls glitter, defining the space in light and color. Now and then, individuals leave the never-ending march to visit. She tends to each — healing bodies, settling hearts, soothing minds — until, her kindnesses suspected, she is once more…

…evicted.

No shouting, this time. No chastising. Agreeably, she leaves the little house and resumes spinning levitation. The snowy plain unfolds beneath her, bounded on one side by a great stone wall, thirty feet tall and twenty feet thick. Following the wall’s contours, she rises steadily, gradually achieving sufficient height to land on a square, bare terrace entirely free of snow. Otherwise unreachable — no stairs lead to this space, no doors open onto it — she touches down within the spread of worked stone. She spins no more. She has arrived.

 

Rising Above.jpg

“Levitation” — C.Birde, 5/16

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8 thoughts on “Elevation — A Dream

  1. A beautiful specter ascending the Great Wall of China…

    So, you see yourself–or a woman you know/knew–as a guardian angel of sorts, a healer. Rather than be troubled with material things the rest of your life, you rise above the cold and depressing to tend those in need.

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  2. Well, no, not really…but I do consider myself fortunate to dream frequently and vividly, with dreams that kindly follow a narrative structure. 🙂 (Also, the dreams make great writing exercises!)

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  3. The illustration is quite pretty. Her open gesture is suggestive of an open mind and great sense of humour. Her straight posture says she has a fully functioning moral compass. I enjoyed the structure of this essay because it felt like a dream. It dawns on you and cuts off at some point. What was really cool was the seamless flow. I didn’t feel any natural pauses even with the paragraph breaks. That is amazing how you wrapped everything around like that. Wow.

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    • Thank you, Sabiscuit — I found this one challenging to convey without losing its sense of momentum, so I’m very happy that you found the flow pleasing. Sometimes, the most powerful dreams are the most difficult to wrangle in words! 😉

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  4. well, carrie, you have done it again: created a dreamlike narrative (evidently based on a dream) that parallels and comments on “reality.” this one is just as intriguing as the previous ones. but when i read, and re-read, and read again, the paragraph where the character begins to “lift from the snow,” the narrative becomes something very special. it’s amazing how vivid and surreal dreams can be, and this one is a fine example. you may have been asked before, but are you contemplating putting together a whole collection of these “dream tales”?

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    • Thank you, as always, Sanberdooboy. You are generous with your appreciation 🙂 I have always found dreams fascinating — even when we sleep, are minds are busy trying to communicate with us. I have wondered (from a safe distance 😉 ) if there might be a small place in the world for these “dream tales”, as you kindly name them, but this is the closest I have come to pursuing the idea. I have written two other short novels and am working on a third…I have just begun the first tentative steps toward looking for an agent. My skin is thin. Maybe this is true of all of us. 🙂

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      • i can certainly relate to having a thin skin, but as i get even older the skin, and the skull (!), seem to have thickened. as a woman writer, it may seem to you even more difficult than for a man to find and agent and publisher. but from what i’m reading (in Poets & Writers magazine, for example) agents and publishers are eager and determined to find and publish women authors. it’s good that you are looking for an agent. i think that your abilities in art and writing will entice an agent to represent you. don’t let a think skin get in the way of sharing your talent with the rest of us. i wish you the best.

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  5. Thank you for the encouragement 🙂 (I wonder if all writers/poets/artists are “overly sensitive”? or if sensitive souls are drawn to the arts?) I will try to keep my spirits buoyed as I tiptoe forward 😉

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