In my dream there was a glad garden gathering going on. Phantom playmates rose from misty memories or swam forth from seething realms of flashing light. A sweet chorus of ethereal voices sang out from street corners, exotic moonshine temples, ancient battlefields, vaporous mirrors.
All the vaguely familiar faces were drawn from a brilliant darkness, though I myself was yet too dark to recognize each and every form as the dreamy reflection of my own self. Above, the sun was brightly shining and the sky was as blue as blue could be. The trees leaned in to share their fruit, then someone pointed towards me.
As I looked around, everyone was smiling, circling around the zero of whatever is or was. Their ghostly hands and hearts were happily twined for the sake of perfect happiness, a happiness with no memory of anything but this pure and simple happiness, happy as a spring-green day infused with the promise of summer.
Even in the absence of anything actually believable or not, the abundance of the garden’s floral ecstasy, radiant with the persistent presence of laughter and joy, overwhelmed us all with such delight that we couldn’t be bothered with the intimation that all good things must end.
Now I stand at the window, awake and sober from the night’s flight of fancy. Outside, in the corner of the winter garden, there’s a flowerless stalk of a rose in winter, its colorful petals all dropped off, all fallen away — wilted, curled, scattered, and by now dissolved into their molecular form with no visible trace remaining.
Entranced by a spell of my own design, I failed to read between the lines, nor had I learned to just be still and listen. I couldn’t bear the raw clarity of the mind’s own death, its silence, and so I longed to lounge in the fragrant springtime breeze of what I dreamt real love could be, finding only the yellowing leaves of a summer folded into autumn, all falling into winter.
Now, in the deeper purity of brittle ice, nothing moves or rises up to be remembered or forgotten – no laughter, no weeping, no dancing in a swoon of life, no trick of hope, no yearning for some promised one, nor anything I could praise or blame for the emptiness of what stays in place, or the emptiness of what changes.
Everyone’s busy trying to be something they’re not, but one stalk stands still in the hardened frost — the flowerless stem of a rose in winter, expounding its secret to the living dead who’ve gathered round to listen in and nod their glad approval.
Like that flowerless stalk I too stand here in the midst of all eternity — a poem without words, a dance with no movement. In the sky above, a fading shine accentuates the silence, and in the chill air outside my room, there’s a subtle scent of approaching snow. Maybe it will fall tonight, or maybe even sooner.