Saturday, August 13, 2011

Secret Harmonic Motion

A weird collection of ideas from a series of surreal dreams I had.

Do you want to know the truth?

The truth is I never used to get migraines, but I have one now. A headache that creeps in like nausea, rendering me weak-willed and horizontal. Spiritual rape.

The truth is that I have one of those depressions that only moody music and classically sad novels such as The Crow can cure. It’s like withered hands that clutch at my throat, caress my heart, dig playfully at my intestines.

No. No. Stop. Don’t touch me.

you’re mine.

It’s a joke. A play on words that it can only guess at it. It does not own me. I own it.

Revel with me in masochism.

The truth is that I know happiness. Pure, thoughtless, exciting. Happiness is not a word, it’s an energy. Something that burns my veins like the touch of sun, life-giving but too powerful to soak in all at once. It’s these twisting desires to dig into the depths of the earth, feel the moist pressure of The Mother’s womb, hear the creeping insects of the deep and forget all of life above, that makes me realize when I’m happy. Without this despair, I realize, there would be no happiness.

The truth is that I embrace it when it comes. I sit with it, nurture it, let my posture sink, my eyes close, feel the noose crush my throat. I let rhythms guide me through this darkness. Driving electrical rhythms, pounding base, pinpricks of noise that dance across depression like amplified steps of the centipede. Poisonous, fascinating, monstrous, natural.

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Every day she wandered the old Victorian house, feeling the spirits of history as she passed them by. Always they scared her, but her mother told her

shh. No one can hurt you here.

Until, one day, she met a man at the end of the hallway who said to her,

When nothing works, and just living hurts, forget. Just forget.

And she realized, irrevocably, that all these creatures in the Victorian house were once alive. And they had forgotten. And for the first time, it did not scare her. It hurt her.

Every night, she returned to the man. “What have you forgotten?”

Secret harmonic motion.

She didn’t understand, but no matter how the question was phrased, the man replied the same.

Secret harmonic motion.

She searched. Not within the house, for she knew all the rooms, knew all the living and the dead, knew the black canvases and the dying flowers in pots that lined dusty window sills. She searched inside herself for the answer, and what a mansion she discovered inside.

It was a world she had always known was there, but only by consequence of the world outside. There would be no outside world, would there, without a world inside. Each hallway was different, lined with intricate moulding and wallpaper that did not hold patterns but scrawling lines of her early childhood, where no rules existed and every stroke was an adventure.

And in the center of her home, she found a grand carnival with gleaming lamplight, striped big tops, phantom children that screamed with delight on the rides. And at the center of this, a merry-go-round, huge, rising like a mountain of goldwork, ceramic and velvet.

She approached the ticket-taker at the ride’s lines, but he only smiled and held out her hand to indicate

no, my child, you will never need to pay for this ride.

So she stepped up the wooden steps to the great circular ride. She gripped the pole of a large wooden horse, white, red eyes, teeth bared as if ready to ride into war and shred the faces of its enemies. She straddled the wooden horse, felt her hips roll as the ride began. Up and down, she felt the pulse of life inside her, of creation. She gripped the great metal pole that bound her to the horse, and she rode.

Hair flung free. Music spun her like the ride, consuming her as she consumed it until they were one, pulsating and filling the space like an invisible force of nothingness and everything made whole. It pushed and she pushed back, a perfect tension that kept both at bay though they moved in circles, seeing the entire carnival for what it was, a secret harmonic motion.

When she dismounted the horse, she thanked it, and it replied

my pleasure.

And she recognized what irony it must have been, to know that the pleasure had been all hers.

She left the carnival behind, back to the gilded hallways and out the oak doors that divided the real world from herself. She flung them open, almost angrily, and there the man stood.


He spoke without words, beseeching her in her pain.


And to that, she had but one response.


And that was the truth.

The truth is that I know happiness and despair at the same time. A tension that pushes back and forth, so perfectly that I feel still even when there is motion. This is balance. This is perfection. This is to remember, to never forget, my secret harmonic motion.

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