Art, Burning Man 2007
Photo by P. Alanna Roethle
This time-traveling, it tires me. I am never quite sure when I am, or whether I am moving forward or backward. The lines are drawn most darkly when I have lost something or someone that I tried to anchor to, though I was most aware in this process that it was fruitless and had gone about fastening myself temporarily anyway. We are not allowed anchors in this torrent of time. I am saddened when I am in the middle of joy or pleasure, knowing that it will be only the blink of an eye when I am looking back on this joy from somewhere far away. Standing in five-year-old shoes, I can recall quite clearly fast-forwarding in my head to age 30, and thinking – hmm, so this is it. Yes, this is just as I thought it would be. Yes, it is almost as if I have been here before. In my barefoot 30s, I look ahead to 60 and the losses and the pain I will have seen by then. I look backward, from my future self, and wish for these years that today I might call “now.” I am never stable, never living as much in the now as I would like. It is impossible, because I am never sure where I am.
I have been visited recently, by disconcerting dreams, presences, whatever you feel safe calling them. The medical profession calls it sleep paralysis, hallucinations, night terrors. I like to think I know better. I know that I don’t know everything, and that we can’t explain scientifically everything that occurs. I know that I see things, sometimes, and that I feel very specifically about these things without having a rational explanation. I have dreamed of future places, and later visited them. I have watched from afar, from above and from below.
This thing, lately. It is a buzzing presence that calls my name, off to the right of my vision. I see it in the gap between asleep and awake, the place that I always recognize and that I can use to control my dreams if I so choose. Often in that place I am distracted by things that are not of me, nor of my imagination. There are other THINGS there that I do not recognize. This one, it has called my name. The other afternoon, when I was drifting in that in-between place (though oddly I could still see everything in the room) it began dragging me out of myself, rocking me, and I felt myself start to disconnect and release. I did not feel pain or fear, and was calm. I also knew instantly that this is not what I wanted, and I pulled myself back. I can’t explain or talk to anyone about this. I am too practical, I understand that it is not believable if you have not experienced it yourself. I marvel at these astral projectors, lucid dreamers, OBE seekers – why would you want to leave this body? We leave so quickly anyway. I do not want to test that silver thread that anchors us to reality.