“To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don’t deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline
I fell, like I always do, to the waters below -although instead of crystal clear this time they were soapy and misted. I hit the frosted surface and felt the swoosh ripple through my body. Visibility zero. What is being told here? My hair felt heavy and movements we slower and more laboured then usual. Something grabs my hair and pulls me further down into the pool towards the dark. The light goes, it’s cold. Where am I being taken? The creature is quick and before I know it I am in brilliant sunlight. The water is crystal clear once more. The temperature is noticeably higher. I surface. I am alone. The river bank is in sight… It’s so very bright here, like a childhood summer memory. Do I have to come back?
The ancestors are very important to me. Those of the Land and of Blood. I have been pondering recently as to where I fit into my landscape. I have made no secret that where I live now doesn’t feel like home. I close my front door and I lock it out when it becomes too much. The noises, the rush, the alienation, the boredom. I raise the barriers. There are many different cultures in this town I live in, which gives it a great diversity. Everyone has opinions on how things happen. But it can feel like everyone is in their corner with their identity and I cannot answer the question: Where do I fit in? I have lived here for 9 years, that’s almost a third of my life but yet it still feels transitory. I cannot fit in into the philosophy of this place. Work sleep no play. The high street could be anywhere with its instantly recognisable chains and soulless design offering nothing new. Sales and bargains, latest and greatest. Bigger and better. Strive for perfection with us! The supermarket stocks every nations comfort food to get them through their lives here. Well British food is poor, right? We all plod passed one another like we are alone. The infrastructure daunts me. These streets were not trod by my ancestors. There’s no umbilical cord here. No bones buried in the soil. I am floating not grounded. I long for something else. And now I ask myself: Is that acceptable?
I wander and suddenly I find a pocket of wonder. In the forgotten shadows, where no one walks for fear of the unknown. A warming flush of breath. I can see it, the connection. In the still I move – something talks to me. It is there, a humming in the background, in the places the noises do not reach. And its beautiful.
But its not enough. The curtains come crashing back.
Is that wrong?
“Off to the right along their path, Pallas Athena sent a heron gliding down the night. They could not see it passing, but they heard its cry; and heartened by that fisher bird, Odysseus prayed ‘O child of Zeus who bears the storm cloud, hear me…. tonight, befriend me most, Athena….’ These were the prayers, and Pallas Athena, Zeus’ daughter, heard them.”
from The Illiad by Homer