She passes from one room into another and the door shuts behind her with the sudden violence of silence.
She questions this space and asks Nothingness whether or not she belongs; the new air drifting around her with a standoffish strangeness; herself suddenly feeling pangs of longing for that lost space which she had so recently left behind.
“There is nothing here but what I make of it,” she pulls at her hair and tufts here and there waft gently to the ground, “this space shall possess nothing but what I put into it and therefore nothing more shall ever knock upon my door. I bid good riddance to peevishness and all that it provides.”
She stoops and finds proof: Herself reflected in a shattered shard, a sliver of mirror reflecting back into itself, an image of a past restructured and rerouted, a future rewritten within the terms of a second chance.
This space is barren. What may have been had long since ceased to be and little remained besides a thin strip of dead trees, their gray and spindly corpses defining a boundary between the emptiness of this field and the next. It could be imagined that further out would be found similar demarcations, remnants of hedgerows sprawling out in all directions from origins unknown, with expanses of nothingness squared between them, voids within a void.
This field could only be identified by what it lacked, in that there was little there but a thin sheet of snow covering it, a twig or rotting leaf its only interruption. Though there was a house there, not at the center of the field but set back along one of its borders, so that the front of it faced the field spread before it and the back of it was met quickly by the line of trees which looked down with deceased eyes upon the house, their crooked branches tangled into each other, forming a wall, behind which another field was surely laid out in a similar way, though with an identity all its own.
Besides the small house and the rats within, the line of decaying trees behind and beyond, a path which lead from the house to some other horrible place, and a donkey, there was little else. Nothing grew and the fact that this was a field was useless, for the sole yield was that of anguish: consternation the only crop.
The field itself bore no ill-will to anything in particular. However, within the forgotten furrows of the field had been sewn the seeds of a certain misery and as this misery was nurtured—be it by nitrogen or neglect—a future had been born that would manifest in the form of a singular torment, a torment in the shape of that particular world which could be found contained within the mind of that peculiar child, a child who would spend countless hours wandering the field in search of that particular donkey, a donkey around whose neck the child threw his arms, a donkey into whose soft face the child nuzzled his own, his small body convulsing as he wept for them both.
Within a suggestion is wrapped an assumption and one cannot help but wonder it that assumption may be correct. If indeed what is assumed becomes a definition, than the suggestion becomes a command and heed must be given to that which is advised. Though in what way can it be determined that this assumption is valid, by what mechanisms can a determination be discerned, and to what end is such an evaluation of any use whatsoever?
It is to point at an abstract painting or a rudimentary sketch and declare it to be definitively what it merely appears to be. If asked, the creator of the thing may contradict the declaration, indeed stating it to be something different or perhaps nothing at all: Merely a flight of fancy: Something automatic and separate from any specific concern. Perhaps the creator will say that if it appears that way to you, than that is what it must be. If it appears another way to another, than that other way shall be the way it is. It is forever elusive in its evading of definition and one becomes the sole bearer of an individual truth for which she alone possesses, a personalized understanding formed by way of any number of varied interpretations and discernments, any judgement of which would be immediately fraught by the selfsame contradiction.
Therefore, when a suggestion is made which itself relies entirely on the body of an assumption, than that suggestion is valuable only within the frame of truth in which the assumption is created. The beneficiary of the suggestion may be existing within a truth wholly separate from the benefactor, and thus the advice must be considered perverted as it passes between these differing—perhaps even opposing—realms of consciousness as personally perceived by each. Why, it would almost be considered a stroke of blind luck if any foreign suggestion were to ever flow fluently and appropriately at all!
She watches a squirrel as it scurries along a wire, effortlessly bounding along its thread, before it darts suddenly down a pole and into a dustbin, itself surely to be found sated soon, herself smiling to herself for she has forgotten the entirety of herself as she had ever been before.
She had been told by the voices in her head that she is empowered and she makes attempts which assume that power, though it is proven to her that she is in fact not empowered, it is the voices who are. This is a difficult realization and it that makes her reality feel cold and hostile and it makes herself feel foolish for considering herself worthy for anything more than what she has.
The result of this realization is that she suddenly feels as if she must return to a sense of deep gratitude for what she already has, she must cling to it firmly and treat it tenderly, she must nourish what has been afforded to her so that it does not become corrupted or contaminated, especially by her own actions or negligence. She finds herself contemplating the perilousness of her circumstances and she is chilled once more.
There is not a friendly world out there awaiting her embrace with open arms, patient and caring, biting their lip in anticipation of her reveal. There is an indifference toned in the colorlessness of denial and she has nothing to offer which might make it think any more of her. She feels deceived and it was only her that allowed such deceit to linger, wafting without her knowing in the corners of all things, remaining patiently to present itself, her delusion having spread further and more thickly than it had ever before.
She desperately sorts through it all in an attempt to find patterns which might hint at a proper arrangement, a series with sense, a path which might give her an ability to reorder this calamity so that it resembles something with purposeful clarity. (It is with some relief that there may already be a cobble from which she might step and she is thankful that it has been placed in exactly the right spot at precisely the right time.)
There is more than the concrete which requires adjustment for this path to become solid beneath her, she must also rearrange the patterns that make up her thinking with the awareness that all the pieces currently present may not be needed in the end as the patterns become more organized and clear. She has made mistakes and she must correct them, though she must also remain aware of herself as a factor, a factor which remains far from perfect, a factor that has limits which will become boundaries, herself as a thing from which further clarity can be found though a certain opacity shall forever be.
And then a rearrangement occurs which causes her to question everything in its entirety: Is it a validation or a ruse? If indeed a validation, than she may allow herself to take a deep breath and acknowledge herself as an already-valued participant in that which she had previously come to understand as hostile absolutely. This is a small grain from which hills may be built as it allows her to feel some sense of safety where moments before she felt unsafe completely. This also has a side-effect of reintroducing the sense of perplexity which had begun her descent into this particular maelstrom.
(A decision in favor of stasis had been made. She shall remain and endure, and hopefully find an ability to learn from her suffering, using the experience as a means to better prepare herself for the intolerability she is she sure to face in future. And while the prospect of seeing herself become undone causes her fright and consternation, at least she will know that she is not causing further strife nor is she pulling more people into her plight.)
This becomes the definition of a void found depleted: The reasoning framed by the fullness of facts found abstracted within their own distortion.
She finds herself perplexed. She fears that the solution to one problem may become the genesis of another—perhaps even many. If she continues on without solution, in that she remains tormented in this same way, she at least understands the parameters within which she suffers and, in fact, is aware of a definite ending.
However, if she remains with this suffering, endures as it morphs and mutates, grows and shrinks, becomes something unbearable than hides away in waiting, she will be crippled by it and she shall not function as herself—she shall become defined by this suffering and she will be consumed by it—all while having limited her ability to freely speak of this suffering for she shall have chosen to remain within it rather than make an attempt at freeing herself from it (an attempt which, again, may lead her to further unknown problems, hence her fear of such movement).
If she remains she will need to remember that she now posses some of the responsibility for her predicament, that this suffering is in part her choosing, that her fear of the consequences of removing this suffering—in that it might find itself replaced by an even more burdensome set of circumstances—will have its own consequence of herself continuing within this frame of reality, however distorted and weird it may be.
Though if she remains she will find herself in the midst of deep paranoia and psychosis, as these are the only states which will be able to offer her an explanation for the bizarre predicament in which she has positioned herself. She will have no agency and she will be without recourse: She must simply persist and endure, seeing an end, striving for that end, and simply steeling herself with whatever props she might find within herself.
“Although,” she reminds herself, “history tells me that I should be confident that not many props shall be found, and therefore I must be prepared to simply cry softly into my knees, pull at my hair, and lie restlessly through another sleepless night, as this is what all shall come to, time and time again.”
“Of course,” she reminds herself further: “I must only endure this for another five or so months.”
She finds herself feeling a need for validation in her consideration of this perplexing complexity and turns pages to learn of the words of authority. In these documents she discovers that she has erred, that she has misunderstood the general precepts when it comes to these things, and that aspects of this suffering are to be explained by her own actions in response to the the oppressiveness beneath which she finds herself. She lolls this around her damaged mind, attempting to understand the gravity of her error, wondering if she should attempt remedy, wondering if this remedy shall only cause further damage and she finds herself within another conundrum spiraling within the one which already dominates her completely.
She pleads for something to make sense for a moment, for there to be clarity somewhere within this suffering, just a minuscule hook upon which she might hang her hat, a hint, some momentary meaning which she may use to foot herself solidly, some point from which her vantage is unobstructed by the frustratingly nonsensical set of parameters within which she has been asked to operate. A horizon set straight from which she may get her bearing.
The trackstands are delightful in their classy retrogression, though the sincere warmth of the handshake at the end makes a thing of beauty for me… It creates within the affair an air of ballet more than competition.
There arises in her a sudden desire for a totality in rearrangement, a frantic tossing of everything up into the air so that it might land in differences complete—herself now amidst such fondness that shame pours from her like rivulets of ruin on the run from a Rebirth, the damp and damned ignominy pooling around her feet stubbornly as if saddened at having been so hastily dismissed.
Though there is no rearrangement, no ability for a reversal or a rerouting, herself instead mired in her Placement, the only rivulets running from her are formed from the perspiration of flailing desperation as panic sets in again. She paces and she weeps, around she goes like water circling a drain, herself consumed and confounded by it, and around she goes again.
She promises herself a kindness, something akin to a compassion, though this only goes to prolong whatever odd predicament this is: “I darn the sock only to discover it with holes once more—though I can never be sure just where they’ll form. It seems to me that I must darn the sock completely for this is the only means for an assurance that I’ve done the most I can—though would this not imply that this sock is no longer that?”
She pulls a thread through the fabric of her sorrow and lays another stitch across a seam which has pulled open to expose herself as that thing, that tattered thing, the silliness of herself shining though and causing her to blink and raise an arm so that she might shield her eyes from herself, the glaring error of herself blinding her so that when she raises her other arm towards her eyes in a protective swoop she drops the needle with which she had so recently darned, it falling towards that lowest of places, and she finds herself upon the ground again, alight and beaming, the dreadfulness of her foundering deficiency drowning the world around her with a foulest gleam—and then around she goes again, losing her breath at last.
The child stumbles and it was none who noticed, with crimson forming at the knee, and from dark lines the desperation spreads while flushed tears are choked back into their place. It had never felt quite right then—that saddened and upended Then—and then again It had never felt more so than now.
The swing set creaks in a tired, anguished rhythm—too and fro it goes—an empty seat from where a child had so recently fallen in a heap upon the concrete, a soothed reassurance topples from its place as the most monstrous of Mistruths said—and the child knew it then from down there where he lay, he knew it then just as surely as he did that face.
That place exists much like a picnic in a postcard, a nearby tree sighs as it witnesses another lie whispered with comforted tones—‘There, there’—and there crimson rushes to the cheeks of the child, the ground the object of an unwavering stare as specks are spoken into ears broken—and then it was doomed to have begun, the beginning of what was to bring the poor thing to where it now sits mislaid, tears forming in corners, manifestations constrained by the simple dismissal of a life worn and greyed.
The sound of a horse’s hooves call rhythmically their trot along the cobbled street which flows longingly along the western bank of it all. There is nothing there besides them for they had persisted in existence solely for the amusement of maidens past—those demure damsels with pretty heads upon which distress was never met. That horse has long abandoned any sense of bridle or harness, to call for her return would be useless, and she now prances freely along the riverbank, an equestrian pedestrian, with a sort of mocking neigh rising from her toothy bitless grin—surely snaffled kimblewick shall soon be found littered joyfully amidst a guttersnipe’s predicament.
(And here the stage is set for a Reversal’s rehearsal, the sort of practice which baffles practitioners so lofty in their achievement, those casting aspersions upon these requisite roles with fits so perfectly piqued. She wipes a tear from the corner of her eye when she thinks of it, herself once corseted and costumed with a mask affixed so quick—indeed and in doubt, she will live to perform another day.)
The sounds of footsteps creak with irritation above the place where her head had laid but for a moment, perhaps for a moment more, upon a pillow made of moments whose contorted countenances she found it so very difficult to adore. She is no longer shocked, no longer moved into a disquieted irritation by such announcements, such evidenced existences of which an awareness she would’ve much preferred to have ignored. She must act quickly and cobble together the plot of a thimble for her thoughts, that enveloping device which must catch and prevent the searing stab of perturbations by way of pock and dimple, herself helmeted and protected, the pourings of her mind clamoring and clattering against their silvered sentinel.
Before this there was that, and now there is little less than the most she could have ever hoped for. These days are never delicate, their unwinding never kind, and as the wildness of a horse freed breathes widened life against her window’s pane: She is again found with her head in her hands, her heart now once more upon the floor, herself littered joylessly amidst a dustbin’s refusal of all that which was disposed before.
The silence of the morning is interrupted only by the soft patter of raindrops against the window, their gently pecked salutations adding a curvature of randomness to what had been so grim in its firm and straightened steadiness: These stubborn minutes forever traipsing into the ones before them as if all had been decided so precisely, so definitively, so recalcitrantly within a plot defined however long ago. Though now, with a disordered cloud looming not so far above, dripping patience into the bewilderment found beneath it, Time itself discovers itself as having been rearranged, and thusly one peers dimly into that newfound vacancy provided by this delicate disruption with so many disused moments to spare.
And there, within this tranquil pause, low down on the side of a house which teeters precariously on the edge of the memories of a hill near forgotten, is a small window, wider than tall, close to the ground, where one would have to kneel or crouch to peek through its pane, its face having remained cracked without notice for an eternity, a thin haphazard line running sharply with confusion from one corner of the glass to another, this window ignored to the point of nonexistence, itself sealed shut by years of dust. It whispers to no one and has asked for nothing, though it is here that a world of its own was once discovered, contained and constrained in the space before this window, at that very place which up until now had never been given much consideration nor care.
Before the window, placed inconspicuously between two inconsequential conifers which had grown tall with confidence—these dull evergreens reaching upwardly in an endless pursuit alongside the southern wall of the house, is a patch of earth where a solitary daffodil has come to be singularly resplendent, its trumpeted countenance providing a certain comfort to the window, a companion born of bulb and soil. The pairing of this flower and the window must become inseparable within any formulation of the world as it has come to be: The daffodil exists only if so does the window, and the window is equally bound to the fate of the flower. There cannot be the possibility of a reality in which one has Been without the other having Been nearby, and it is undoubtable that they remain this way to this day.
Though the memory has grown dim and has been subsumed within the sea of error which laps at the shores of age and decay, its details brittle and the bridges between its pieces have perforated and become disjointed. To set upon a path within this memory is to soon find oneself disoriented entirely, as if a single footstep might bring one into a moment miles away and years past, what began cast in daylight is suddenly found obscured by night, the memory having long since abandoned any attempt at mending its fraying hem and restitching its gaping seams, and within this fragmented place the daffodil finds itself wilting and alone, the poor flower having now realized that the window was always—with all the myriad pains of certainty—never actually a window at all.
Her day felt modern, with sharpness as its definition, strong lines
leading her to a conclusion. She felt confined by its rigidity, a sense
of unbroken vastness spreading out until its boundary is too soon found,
an abruptness halting all when a difference in direction is required.
These chiseled hours with their facets so unyielding invoke in her a
strange fear of errant variability, though it would be impossible for
her not to adore to them their set aspect, with their clarified
precision having been so frequently her prescription.
It is that starkness which she admires so—whether it be a strength in
sincerity or false honesty, gentle confidence or a feigned assuredness,
she looks upon their performance with a sort of covetous yen, never envy
nor jealousy, she comforts a craving for Ability, perhaps it might be a
resentment for herself which so often clouds an appreciation when she is
found in awe of another: as if the spite which she feels towards herself
for not allowing herself to be herself distorts, then overwhelms, then
oppresses the purity of reverence which she experiences when confronted
with the immensity of profundity as provided by others. (Alas, her
acknowledgement of this falsity only allows herself to despise her
pitiful self further.)
The depth of her notion is far deeper than any shallowness in which a
more centripetal focus would be lost, though her preoccupation with her
Self as it relates to her perception is in dire need of
reduction—although even a corrective realignment would go far in
allowing her perspective to fall beyond herself, before herself, or
indeed anywhere else but herself.
She is ashamed by it all, really, a shamed self with ripened cheeks
again, she hides herself from herself and in doing so she pushes
everything even farther away from that challenge with herself which
would do her well to have. Though a head hung between the knees will do
little to propel her towards a reckoning and so she contorts herself
into a confrontation: a dissection of these assemblages of fear within
her, each with requisite and excuse spilling forth from any incision,
each able to defend itself with explanations prescriptive and expansive:
‘This and that reason is why, exactly’, and so she ties herself into
knots again, a cyclic labyrinthian plot within which sensibleness will
surely corpse itself whilst attempting with futility to gain any sort of
exit from it.
The day feels less modern as lines blur and any clarity she had known is
now found drowned in a mire of befuddlement, fading definitions giving
way to a day awash in abstraction, unsettled variation having returned
to roost. This was by Yesterday’s design, she decides, and feels herself
slipping into a confusion, herself having just forgotten precisely what
it was she had only moments ago resolved: “This is not the place for
me, here, it is already too far away. I have lost myself in trying to
find it, to discover where I am and how I might return, to point myself
in any meaningful direction now seems to me absurd. I must abandon
myself, here, or there, wherever I was, wherever I wish to be. I had led
myself to believe that I was settled upon a conclusion, though now I am
startled to discern that I have never been further away from truth.”
And with herself beside herself, in stitches and in fits—she pushes
herself past herself and begins again renewed.