Visions of Fiction and Mirrors of Reality
It’s been a looooooong time since I’ve dived into some really yummy fiction! I’ve had the opportunity to do so the past couple of days and I’m officially in love! Michael Cunningham, who I’ve not read before has written The Snow Queen. I’m going to string together some of what he wrote to describe some of how I live:
“There it was. A pale aqua light, translucent, a swatch of veil, star-high, no lower than the starts, but high, higher than a spaceship hovering above the treetops. It may or may not have been slowly unfurling, densest at its center, trailing off at its edges into lacy spurs & spirals. Barrett thought that it must be a freakish southerly appearance of the aurora borealis, not exactly a common sight over Central Park but as he stood…he wondered whether to stand where he was, privately surprised…In his uncertainty, his immobility…he knew that just as surely as he was looking up at the light, the light was looking back down at him. No. Not looking. Apprehending. As he imagined a whale might apprehend a swimmer, with a grave and regal and utterly unfrightened curiosity. He felt the light’s attention, a tingle that ran through him, a minute electrical buzz; a mild and pleasing voltage that permeated him, warmed him, seemed perhaps ever so slightly to illuminate him, so tthat he was brighter than he’d been, just a shade or two; phosphorescent… And then, neither slowly nor quickly, the light dissipated. It waned nto a scattering of pale blue sparks that seemed somehow animated, like the playful offspring of a placid and titanic parent. Then they, too, winked out, and the sky was has it has always been… Finally, he continued on his way home… What else, after all, was he supposed to do? …Now that a very different light has shown itself to him, he finds himself imagining some connection between the leap and the extinguishment…As if a lone man, out for his regular three miles, could be the instigator of the new day. There’s that difference, between yesterday and today. ..He’s not a comet, after all, but a man, hopelessly so, and being human, must be pulled back in…before he perisheds in the annihilating beauties, the frigid airless silent places, the helixed and spiraled blackness he’d love to claim as his true home. A light appeared to him. And vanished again… He saw a light. The light saw him. What should he do about that? …Although he’s seen something extraordinary, and hopes it isn’t the precursor of a mortal ailment he failed to find on the internet, he has not been instructed, he has not been transformed, there’s been no message or command, he is exactly who he was last night. However. The question arises: Who was he last night? Has he in fact been altered in some subtle way, or has he simply been rendered more conscious of the particulars of his own ongoing condition? It’s a hard one to answer. … And now it’s a Tuesday…and he’s going to work. Will he see the light again? What if he doesn’t? Maybe he’ll grow old as a tale-teller who once saw something inexplicable; a UFO person, a Bigfoot person, a codger who experienced a brief, wondrous sighting of something inexplicable, and then wnet on about the business of getting older; who is part of the ongoing subhistory of crackpots and delusionals, the legions of geezers who know what they saw, decades ago and if you don’t believe it, young one, that’s all right, maybe one day you, too, will see something you can’t explain, and then, well, then I guess you’ll know.
My visions & visitations come in all sorts of ways. Some pretty, some notso. Sometimes I’m uncertain if I’m the one filling rooms with light or if the light comes from outside me or one is the same as the other. Sometimes the clarity is, well, clear; addresses, street signs, or things unfolding just like a Rand-McNally–things that need no explanation only action. Sometimes, there’s action without direction or clarity that brings confusion and occasional (HA!) cursing. When I go days without them (the visions and visitations, not the confusion and cursing!), I feel alone. Then, I’m not. I pick up hitchhikers of the universe that make me laugh, stretch my mind, embolden my spirit and make me forget everything I thought I knew.
It’s pretty nifty to read something called fiction that mirrors part of my reality. Makes me smile and fall in love with it all, all over again.
Maybe one day I can write like that. A way that makes another smile and fall in love with it all over again.